You think you have heard it all before, until you read the account of Sarah Graves and her bold decision to face the uncertain future with her new husband, Jay Fosdick. Imagine yourself at 21 ready with hope and promise for a better life. In 1846, to pack up and prepare to travel overland, mostly walking, takes tremendous stamina and backbone.
The Indifferent Stars Above is about Sarah and the people she will travel with. Author Daniel James Brown crafts with living stimulating accuracy the scenic details of character and setting that makes this an incredible, readable history of the Donner Party saga.
Sarah and her husband have loaded a covered wagon filled with everything they believe they will need. It’s not an easy task as she makes the necessary preparations required for the trip, paring the load down to the essentials. Housewares, furniture, clothes and all the food necessary, force an incredible burden of weight for the ox to pull. They will have to walk most of the way to conserve the strength of the beast.
They are emigrants filled with enthusiasm and a purpose to buy land, build a home and settle the west. They believe their destiny is hopeful, but destiny will fail them. Star-crossed from the beginning they set out and then join up with a group of travelers, known by the leader as the Donner Party. The famous story of the Donner Party is an event famous in American History.
Sarah’s story details the horrific and terrifying journey of physical survival with that ill-fated group. The journey that pushed everyone to their limits of personal endurance. A journey that conjured up ethical actions too sinister to even comprehend.
Unfortunately, a guide by the name of Lansford Hastings posed a shortcut that proved to be anything but. It was virtually impassable and only benefited the greed and the potential profit for Hastings and a business associate. This decision ended up being only one of the many bad luck choices the Donner Party attempted.
The history of the experiences of the Donner Party in the vicious winter of 1846 that dumped record snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada mountains has been told in numerous historical accounts. The author has done extensive research evident from his prodigious, rich bibliography. He credits the first serious account of the Donner Party as written by C. F. McGlashan in 1879 from first person correspondence, called "The History of the Donner Party." The published work will include an eight page black and white insert.