1 September 2011
Catapulted to Victory
“Daddy, why are there no jobs?” three-year-old Eliza cried. George Donner wasn't sure how to answer. Since moving to Springfield Illinois they had lived an okay life, but jobs were getting hard to come by and the Donner's were running out of options. “Miner's are reporting traces of gold in California! As we speak the Gold Rush has begun!” George Donner threw down the paper and packed his family up to head south the next week. Throughout the exciting week they heard rumors of the travel being deadly. Positive George just brushed it off and said they'll tough it out for the miles of gold on the other side. They begun their journey in June of 1846 and after miles and miles of travel in their wagon they were running out of food and water. Stopping to repair a broken wheel a ranger on horseback, who later was known to be the infamous John Sutter, told them about a shorter way to the gold. Hesitating but continuing with directions informed the family of his fort he made just a couple miles down the valley and up a few mountains that would lead them into California only half a mile after that. Recharged by the news the Donner's quickly fixed the wheel and headed back on there way. Thirteen-year-old Elithia and eleven-year-old Leanna thought it would be entertaining to fidget around with the horses carrying them in the wagon. One tugged on the horse tail while the other threw small wooden toys in front of there path to scare them. In there success, the entire family was thrown from the wagon and all their food, water, and hope rode off into the distance. “Your lucky I can see the cut-off from here”, blared another sister, Georgia Ann. Indeed there was a sign for Hasting's cut-off, but in her now delirium she failed to notice that before the cut off sign the road cut off too! The children now eager to reach food and shelter raced to read the sign, and with screaming parents behind...