Across The Plains In The Donner Party [DD]

Across The Plains In The Donner Party [DD]

Author: Murphy, Virginia Reed

Narrator: Colleen Delany


Format: Digital Download

Length: 1 Hour

ISBN: 9781593161217


The story of the Donner Party is very much the story of James F. Reed's family, not simply because the Reeds were prominent members, but because they left much documentary evidence: diaries, memoirs, correspondence and letters written en route and interviews shortly after the disaster. The adopted daughter of Reed, Virginia Reed Murphy's memoir is a noteworthy recounting of the Donner party disaster and its gruesome end. Her writing is sprightly, informal, and full of human interest.

"The desperate and whispery expression Delaney gives to the child's account makes it so personal we can feel her hunger and emotional pain."

Virginia Reed Murphy was only a baby when her mother married James F. Reed, who was appointed her legal guardian. Although he did not formally adopt her, Virginia went by his surname. There was a strong bond between them and Reed did not treat her any differently than he did his natural children. Virginia was a noted equestrian who won prizes for horsemanship in her later years. Virginia wrote letters to her cousin on July 12, 1846 and May 16, 1847. These two documents, her letters to historian C.F. McGlashan, and her memoir, Across the Plains in the Donner Party, are important contributions to our knowledge of the Donner Party. Her writing is sprightly, informal, and full of human interest. Later in life, she became the first woman on the Pacific Coast to engage in the fire insurance business. She and her husband had nine children, three of whom died young. She died in 1921 at the age of eighty-seven.

NARRATOR Colleen Delany has narrated numerous best-selling audiobooks. An accomplished stage and television actress, she has appeared in "Homicide: Life On The Streets," as well as on the highly successful CD-ROM game "Wheel of Time."

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