Tonight we showed the PBS documentary film, The Donner Party: an American Experience.  I want to thank the audience for their patience as we worked through some technical difficulties.  an American ExperienceI found the movie compelling and grim.  Very grim.  It’s hard to listen to some of it.  But it should be.  I liked very much how Ric Burns, the filmmaker, set these events in the context of a massive tide of  immigration west, and it was interesting to me that after word of what happened to the Donners got out, people weren’t so eager to come to California for awhile.  And what changed that  was the gold rush. 

Also interesting that 2/3rds of the women in the party survived while 2/3rds of the men died. 

Someone asked me after the movie, the names of the Dublin pioneers who were part of  rescue parties, and I could only remember the Fallons but I’m pretty sure there were others from Dublin. 

Ah the terrible hardships that people have suffered in order to seek a better life!

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