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The ordeals faced by a group of pioneers journeying from Illinois to California in 1846. Jacob and George Donner knew that the trip from Illinois to California would be long and difficult, but they had read a bout a newly discovered shortcut that would make the trip somewhat easier. Even so, the going was rough. The group had to contend with sickness, quick tempers, and hostile bands of Indians. But, they were determined to reach their destination by winter. At the end of October, they found themselves stranded on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada with little food or supplies. The snowy winter had already begun, and help was nowhere to be found.