Things have been a mite slow on the Donner Party front lately. I continue to research -- Ancestry.com has just added the 1852 California State Census to their online databases, so I've been tracking down Donner Party survivors and rescuers, or trying to -- some of them are pretty darn elusive. Some are right where you expect them, while others show up in surprising places. Baptiste, for instance, was living in Sonoma in 1852, or maybe he just happened to be there the day the census-taker came by. George Donner was over in Solano County -- he was there in the 1860 census, too. I found Philippine Keseberg and her two girls in Sacramento, but Louis isn't listed with them. Same with Flavilla Eddy -- she and the kids were in Santa Clara County, but where was Will? And Patrick Dunn, an obscure member of the Second Relief, was down in Santa Barbara County making a living as a monte dealer.
You may also have seen the Donner Party around the web lately -- the political metaphor has been making the rounds again, this time equating the Tea Party and/or Republicans with the Donner Party. This is a vile slander. I don't care about the political parties, they can fend for themselves, but I detest the image of the Donner Party as bunch of maniacs ripping at each other in a frenzied struggle to survive. Didn't happen, folks!