Tamsen Donner, a native of Massachusetts, came to Elizabeth City, NC in 1824 to teach botany at the Elizabeth City Academy. In 1829, she married Tully Dozier, of Camden Co., NC. She lost her husband and children to fever and she moved to Springfield, IL to care for her brothers children. While there she continued to teach botany and in 1839 remarried to George Donner. They had several children and in 1846 they set out on the overland trail to California. The Donner party got caught up in the snow in the Sierra Mountains. Tamsen Donner would not leave her sick husband, but managed to get all of the children to safety at Sutter’s Fort, California. She was apparently eaten by the others survivors.