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Finding Aid to the Virginia Elizabeth Reed Letter Collection MS.543
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Collection Overview
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This collection includes letters written by Virginia Elizabeth Reed, a member of the Donner Party, at age 12, as well as manuscripts written about her by George Wharton James and Frances Watkins. This collection also includes magazine articles and newspaper clippings from 1912-1955 regarding Reed and other Donner Party survivors, and photocopies of two postcards Reed sent to her grandchildren around 1918.
Virginia Elizabeth Reed Murphy (1834-1921) was 12 years old when her family joined the Donner Party in 1846 to travel to California. Daughter of Margaret Reed, step-daughter of James Reed, Virginia and her family were among the few survivors of the unfortunate emigrant wagon train. Virginia later wrote about the events in her book Across the Plains in the Donner Party. Once they reached California, the family settled in San Jose, where Virginia met and married John Marion Murphy in 1850. They had nine children together.
0.2 Linear feet (12 folders)
Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. An item-level list is available from the library staff.