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Sex and Death on the Western Emigrant Trail: The Biology of Three American Tragedies.


Sex and Death on the Western Emigrant Trail: The Biology of Three American Tragedies

Donald K. Grayson

University of Utah Press


246 pages



Anthropologist Donald K. Grayson uses a biological framework to explore the fates of three emigrant groups traversing the American West in 19th century: the well-known Donner Party, plus two Mormon groups who lost a total of 200 people in Wyoming: the Willie Handcart Company and the Martin Handcart Company, who tried to bring their goods and children in wheeled carts drawn by humans, not animals, from Iowa to Utah. The author argues that age, sex (the author specifically prefers this term over gender), and family size explain patterns of mortality and survivorship in these groups as they faced extreme conditions. B&w historical illustrations are included. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Title Annotation:Donald K. Grayson
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2018
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