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Donner Party

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One of the most famous tragedies in the settlement of California, the Donner Party was a group of 81 settlers from Illinois and adjoining states that were trapped by heavy snows while crossing the northern Sierra Nevada during the winter of 1846 to 1847. They were attempting to complete the crossing before winter but an early snowfall had already closed the pass by late October when they arrived. Only 47 survived. The pass they were attempting to cross is now known as the Donner Pass in their memory.

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