The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate

By Eliza P. Donner Houghton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III .
IN THE HAUNTS OF THE PAWNEES -- LETTERS OF MRS. GEORGE DONNER -- HALT AT FORT BERNARD --SIOUX INDIANS AT FORT LARAMIE

WE were now near the haunts of the Pawnee Indians, reported to be "vicious savages and daring thieves." Before us also stretched the summer range of the antelope, deer, elk, and buffalo. The effort to keep out of the way of the Pawnees, and the desire to catch sight of the big game, urged us on at a good rate of speed, but not fast enough to keep our belligerents on good behavior. Before night they had not only renewed their former troubles, but come to blows, and insulted our Captain, who had tried to separate them. How the company was relieved of them is thus told in Mr. Bryant's Journal:

June 2, 1846, the two individuals at variance about their oxen and wagon were emigrants to Oregon, and some eighteen or twenty wagons now travelling with us were bound to the same place.

It was proposed in order to relieve ourselves from consequences of dispute in which we had no interest, that all Oregon emigrants should, in respectful manner and friendly spirit, be requested to separate themselves from the California, and start on in advance of us. The proposition was unanimously carried; and the spirit in which it was made prevented any bad feeling which otherwise might have resulted from it. The Oregon emigrants immediately drew their wagons from the corrals and proceeded on their way.

-21-

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