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April 28, 2008



Actually, the facts seem to suggest that the Donner Party was late leaving Independence, made every possible decision wrong and that, yes, combined with circumstances they could not deal with, led to disaster. Or, at least that's what the book indicates. Who are you mad at, me or the author?

Kristin Johnson

"At every possible decision point they made the wrong, bad decision"? I'm afraid that *you* are the one who's "woefully underinformed." Referring to the instances you cite, the Donner Party was not late in leaving Independence, and they had good reasons for staying at the higher altitude. They were not any more ignorant or unprepared than other emigrants of the day, and the disaster was the culmination of a series of events and circumstances, some of their own making and some beyond their control. It's all too easy to make mistakes that end in tragedy; it's also very easy to jeer at things you don't understand.

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