Document #6: Diary of Patrick Breen during the Winter of 1846-1847.
January 13 – Snowing fast. Snow higher than the shanty. Must be 13 feet deep. It is dreadful to look at. Don’t know how to get wood this morning.
January 15 – Mrs. Murphy is blind. Hoping for some account from the mountaineers soon.
January 17 – Landrum Murphy crazy last night. Provisions scarce.
January 21 – Denton came this morning with Eliza. She won’t eat hides. Mrs. Reed sent her back to live or die on them
January 27 – Mrs. Keseberg here this morning. Son died three days ago. Mr. Keseberg is sick. They don’t have fire enough to cook their hides. Bill and Simon Murphy sick.
January 30 – More troubles. Mr. and Mrs. Graves seized Mrs. Reed’s goods and will hold them until they are paid for goods that Mrs. Reed used. Mrs. Reed has no money. Also took most of the hides that Mrs. Reed and family had to live on. May God send help soon.
February 7 – McCutchens’ kids died five days ago.
Merryman, J.H.” Narrative of the Suffering of a Company of Emigrants in the Mountains of California in the Winter of 1846-1847.” Illinois Journal. (December 9, 1847):1.
What were the main concerns with the Donner Party at this critical point?