Patty Reed's Doll - The story of the Donner Party - A wooden doll recalls the hope with which a group of pioneers begins their journey and the ordeals they face as they travel from Springfield, Illinois, to California.
Patty Reed's Doll tells the story of the Donner Party, a group of pioneers who made a wrong decision to follow an untried cutoff as they journeyed to California. They found themselves trapped in deep snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the winter of 1846. Stranded without sufficient food less than one-hundred miles from safety, they faced the bitter trials of starvation, illness and death. This account is told through the eyes of a tiny doll which eight-year old Patty Reed kept hidden in her apron pocket. The story is appropriate for teaching the Westward Movement and California history and does not go into the bleaker facts of this harrowing event.