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Amanda Henderson McCutchen

The photo above is of William McCutchen, husband of Amanda. We’ve not been able to locate a single photo of Amanda.

Born abt. 1822 in Pettis Co., MO, Amanda married William McCutchen with whom she had five children: Harriet, James, John, Thomas, Edward

William had joined Charles Stanton who together rode ahead of the Donner Party to reach Sutter’s Fort to gather additional provisions for the entire Party who were running low on food and supplies. McCutchen became ill and thus Stanton returned over the Sierra to the Donner Party accompanied by Luis and Salvador, two Miwok Indian scouts employed by John Sutter.

Amanda was one of the five hardy young women who survived the Forlorn Hope. On December 16, 1846, she left her daughter Harriet with the Graves family and set out for help.

While living at Sonoma with the Brunners, Eliza Donner Houghton recalled wearing “a dark calico dress and sunbonnet, both made by poor Mrs. McCutchen of the Donner Party, who had to take in sewing for a livelihood.”

Amanda died on 10 Nov 1857 in Santa Clara Co., CA giving birth to her son Edward.

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