The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate

By Eliza P. Donner Houghton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXV .
THE CHAMBERLAIN FAMILY, COUSINS OF DANIEL WEBSTER -- JEFFERSON GRAMMAR SCHOOL -- FURTHER CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS OF THE DONNER PARTY -- PATERNAL ANCESTRY -- S.O. HOUGHTON -- DEATH TAKES ONE OF THE SEVEN SURVIVING DONNERS

OUR school home in Sacramento was with friends who not only encouraged our desire for knowledge, but made the acquirement pleasant. The head of the house was Mr. William E. Chamberlain, cashier of D.O. Mills's bank. His wife, Charlotte, was a contributor to The Sacramento Union and leading magazines. Their daughter, Miss Florence, taught in the public schools; and their son, William E., Jr., was a high-school student, preparing for Harvard.

In addition to their superior personal attainments, Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain, each -- for they were cousins -- had the distinction of being first cousins to Daniel Webster, and this fact also served to bring to their home guests of note and culture. Georgia and I were too closely occupied with lessons to venture often beyond the school-girl precinct, but the intellectual atmosphere which pervaded the house, and the books to which we had access, were of inestimable advantage. Furthermore, the tuition fees required of non-resident

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