Donner Party member (see his biographical entry). McCutchen had gone ahead to Sutter’s Fort with Charles Stanton to get supplies, but became ill and was unable to return. When McCutchen and Reed attempted to rescue their trapped families in early November they were forced to turn back by the snow. Their next attempt, the Second Relief, got through in February. McCutchen found that his daughter Harriet had died; he and Reed reburied her remains.
On their return from the lake with their charges, the relief was caught in a blizzard that raged for three days and nights. McCutchen labored heroically to keep the fire lit. At one point he became chilled and stopped to warm himself. It wasn’t until the skin of his back scorched that he realized that the fire had burned through all four of the shirts he was wearing.
New Light on the Donner Party, Kristin Johnson
Ordeal By Hunger, George Stewart