Journal of Anthropological Research
University of Chicago Press
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This book offers a different look at how to think about the starvation and death that hounded emigrants attempting to get to California and Oregon in the early years of nineteenth-century US expansion. Specifically, the Donner party and two lesser-known Mormon handcart groups are scrutinized for what the patterns of age at death by sex can reveal. In the subtitle The Biology of Three American Tragedies, “biology” here means solely demographic data on sex and age at death. These are really the only biological variables examined, so the title Sex and Death on the Western Emigrant Trail is more accurate as to the subject matter; the subtitle promises more of a biological account than is actually delivered.
American Literature | United States History
Martin, D. E.
Sex and Death on the Western Emigrant Trail: The Biology of Three American Tragedies.
Journal of Anthropological Research, 75(3),
University of Chicago Press.