A segment of the wagon train headed to California in 1846. They had been enticed by young promoter Lansford W. Hastings, who advertised a new and faster route to California (which he only tested once with a horse; it turned out not only more dangerous but 125 miles longer than the charted route).
The twenty wagons of the Donner Party left the regular route in early July and headed for Fort Bridger, the first stop on the shortcut. Beginning on the shortcut in late July, they at first made good time but soon found that the trail over the Wasatch Mountains was almost impassible. Instead of only a week, the trip over the steep Wasatch to the Great Salt Lake took a whole month. Next, the journey over the Great Salt Desert took nearly six days instead of two. The shortcut rejoined the established trail two months after they had embarked on it. By late October, they reached the Sierras but an early winter storm blocked the pass. The travelers were trapped, only 150 miles from the safety of Sutter's Fort.
Trapped in the mountains from November until April, two thirds of the men died as did a third of the women and children. Desperation drove most of the Donner Party to eat the dead. A group of fifteen of the strongest immigrants (nine men, five women, and a boy of twelve) and two Indian guides set off to find help in mid-December, but when they found help in mid-January only two of the men (both married with children) were alive; all five women survived.
"Anguish and dismay now filled all hearts. Husbands bowed their heads, appalled at the situation of their families. They cursed Hastings for his false promises and broken pledge at Fort Bridger... Mothers in tearless agony clasped their children to their bosoms with the old, old cry, 'Father, Thy will, not mine, be done.' It was plain that try as we might, we could not get back to Fort Bridger. We must proceed, regardless of the fearful outlook." -Eliza Donner (1843-1922)
The third rescue party captured perhaps the most poignant scene of the Donner Party.
"The picture of distress... They had consumed two children of Jacob Donner. Mrs. Graves’s body was lying there with almost all the flesh cut away from her arms and limbs... Her little daughter, about 13 months old, sat at her side, one arm upon the body of her mangled mother, sobbing bitterly, crying, 'Ma! Ma! Ma!'"
"I have not wrote you half of the trouble we’ve had, but I have wrote you enough to let you know what trouble is. But thank God, we are the only family that did not eat human flesh. We have left everything, but I don’t care for that. We have got through with our lives. Don’t let this letter dishearten anybody. Remember, never take no cutoffs (shortcuts) and hurry along as fast as you can." -Virginia Reed (1833-1921)
by Lorelili December 18, 2011
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A fun party where everyone cuts each other up and eats each other alive.
Hey boys we should throw a Donner Party this weekend!
by dkc1002 December 21, 2019
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1. A party you don't want to be at

2. A group of pioneers who were stranded in the mountains and resorted to cannibalism.
1. BIG BRO: Man, I drove 20 minutes to go to this party but there were all these bad dads drunk on smirnoff ice doing crushed up percocet off a sex and the city box set and all the girls talked with fake british accents and they were drinking sunny d and listerene and at one point we smoked a blunt that i realized was just top menthol sprayed with oven cleaner and i watched someone kill a dog with a chain and then hotbox his truck with nitrous while getting with a clown

LIL BRO: Dude, sounds like a Donner Party

2. BIG BRO: Did you hear about those people who had to eat their family members to survive in the snowfucked ice mounds of the dooomedddest 1800s hills?

LIL BRO: Nawdawg, sounds like a Donner Party
by nikkitemare September 16, 2009
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The two of us should have a Donner Party.
by Psinorhc August 30, 2011
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Preferred close to a tit fuck by practitioners of a more sadomasochistic persuasion, this includes the female taking a bite of the male's penis while it resides in the interminable winter of a mountain pass. Actual ingestion of any retrieved parts is optional.
I wasn't circumcised until that psycho goth chick I went home with after the rave got all Donner Party on me.
by Profane Urbane November 7, 2010
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1. An expedition through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the 1800's that ended in cannibalism to survive.
2. A nice little get-together where you eat your guest when you get hungry.
"I'm friggin starving, who's up for a donner party?"
by You'll know in time June 21, 2005
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When you're so hungry you'd be willing to turn cannibal. (Like in the Donner Party from like.. 200yrs ago in the US or something)
Kid- MOOOOOM! I'm hungry!!! Can we hurry up and go home already??
Mom- Sweetie, I need to finish getting these groceries!
Mom- Well.. Exactly how hungry are you? Can't you wait? :/
Kid- No way!! I'm almost Donner Party Hungry! >,<
by Sukelai January 26, 2011
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