The Donner Party Chronicles
a book by Frank Mullen Jr.
“The Donner Party Chronicles: A Day-by-Day Account of a Doomed Wagon Train”, by Frank Mullen Jr. (now in its fifth printing).
The book follows a group of pioneer families who were snowbound in the Sierra Nevada during the terrible winter of 1846-47.
The families set off overland for California in ox-drawn covered wagons in April 1846. They planned a 2,000-mile, five-month walk across the continent to new opportunities, but were entrapped near the lake that now bears their name. About half of the 81 immigrants died and some survivors resorted to cannibalism. Their tale remains a tragic icon of the West.
With hundreds of rare historic images, maps and contemporary color photos of the Donner Trail by Marilyn Newton, Mullen’s book is a regional best seller and is used in history classes in Nevada and California schools.
“Frank Mullen’s book is a joy. He’s attacked the story like the veteran newspaperman he is, and, as an added bonus, he got the history as close to right as anybody might ever get it… This book makes a singular contribution to Donner Party lore.”
Will Bagley, historian, author and emigrant trails scholar.
“Frank Mullen has added an important book to the history of Donner Party. The tragedy has been the focus of writing since the spring of 1847, but Mullen has found a fresh way to make the story understandable and, perhaps more importantly, human.”
Karl Ahlrichs, descendant of George Donner.
“Mullen's writing style makes this book the best Donner Party telling since George Stewart's Ordeal By Hunger.”
Frankye Craig, Donner Party historian and novelist.
To purchase book on Amazon:
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To view Frank’s multi-media slideshow and summary of
the Donner Party’s trek in 1846-47,
visit the entry in the Nevada Online Encyclopedia.
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