case2001: Survival in the Donner Party

Description Usage Format Details Source References See Also Examples


This data frame contains the ages and sexes of the adult (over 15 years) survivors and nonsurvivors of the Donner party.




A data frame with 45 observations on the following 3 variables.


Age of person


Sex of person


Whether the person survived or died


In 1846 the Donner and Reed families left Springfield, Illinois, for California by covered wagon. In July, the Donner Party, as it became known, reached Fort Bridger, Wyoming. There its leaders decided to attempt a new and untested rote to the Sacramento Valley. Having reached its full size of 87 people and 20 wagons, the party was delayed by a difficult crossing of the Wasatch Range and again in the crossing of the desert west of the Great Salt Lake. The group became stranded in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains when the region was hit by heavy snows in late October. By the time the last survivor was rescued on April 21, 1847, 40 of the 87 members had died from famine and exposure to extreme cold.


Ramsey, F.L. and Schafer, D.W. (2002). The Statistical Sleuth: A Course in Methods of Data Analysis (2nd ed), Duxbury.


Grayson, D.K. (1990). Donner Party Deaths: A Demographic Assessment, Journal of Anthropological Research 46: 223–242.

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