Donner Party Members Were Not Cannibals, Researchers Say

April 16th, 2010 - 7:36 pm ICT by GD  

By Gina Gomez
donApr 16, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A research study conducted by the Appalachian State University may put to an end one of the most heard-of stories in the history of America. The famous “Donner Party” incident which took place in the 1840s speaks about members of the group living on the flesh of dead men for survival when they were stranded on the Sierra Nevada Mountains. But the new study suggests that there was no cannibalism involved in the Donner Party.

Researchers of the Appalachian State University who traveled to the mountains in California suggest that though the survivors in the incident feasted on meat, it was not human flesh that they ate, as was earlier known. The cooking hearth that was dug up by the researchers reveals that the Donner members had cattle, deer, horses and even dogs, but no human flesh.

The expedition of the Donner Party members which started in the 1840s with 84 people on board left 47 people stranded when the rest died during their trek to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Till today people were of the opinion that the survivors fed on the flesh of their dead companions in the mountains. One of the members of the group was also sued and accused of cannibalism upon returning from the journey. Hence this revelation by the anthropologists of the Appalachian State University is indeed shocking as generations have come to believe that the Donner Party survivors fed on human flesh and were cannibals. In fact the Donner Party also served as the base of stories for several drama, poetry and stories.

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