Differential mortality and the Donner Party disaster

  title={Differential mortality and the Donner Party disaster},
  author={Donald K. Grayson},
  journal={Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues},
  • D. Grayson
  • Published 2 June 2005
  • Art
  • Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues
The story of the Donner Party combines powerful American themes. The beginning of the tale is immersed in the romance of the western frontier and in the American dream of improving life by taking bold steps. The end of the tale, in contrast, is awash in death and cannibalism. No wonder Americans learn the story as children; no Grimm's fairy tale can match it. However, detailed analyses of the patterning of Donner Party deaths suggest that the story is even better read as a piece of biology than… 

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