Jonathan Graves, Donner Party

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About Jonathan Graves, Donner Party

Survived, age 7, but not for long

Jonathan Graves was one of those left behind at Starved Camp by the Second Relief and rescued by John S. Stark. James F. Breen recalled, "I distinctly remember that myself and Jonathan Graves were both carried by Stark, on his back, the greater part of the journey."

    Although Jonathan survived the rigors of Starved Camp, it was not for very long. It has been known for many years that his little sister Elizabeth died after her rescue, but not that Jonathan died as well. On May 22, 1847, Mary Ann Graves wrote, "The number of our family now living is only eight"; obviously Jonathan and Elizabeth were still alive at that date. In 1875 William C. Graves told the editor of the Russian River Flag that "two of the Graves children, a son and a daughter, died the next Summer from the effects of the privations and exposures of the previous Winter." Lovina Graves Cyrus told her granddaughter that Jonathan and Elizabeth died of mountain fever after their rescue while the surviving Graveses were living along the American River. McGlashan was informed that Jonathan had died, but, strangely, did not mention it in his History.
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Jonathan Graves, Donner Party's Timeline

May 1847
Age 7