Age: 23

       Draftsman with Fremont’s 1845 expedition. After the Bear Flag Revolt (June 1846) Kern commanded the garrison at Sutter’s Fort with the rank of lieutenant in the California Battalion. He was appointed to manage the funds collected for the Donner relief. Kern was regarded with scant respect by members of the relief parties; uncomplimentary remarks about his behavior were appended to the Ritchie-Tucker First Relief Diary, and many years later R. P. Tucker recalled Kern strutting about “as big as the dog in the Smok hous.”  Kern’s papers dealing with the relief of the Donner Party are located at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. They were published in Eberstadt, Edward, ed. A Transcript of the Fort Sutter Papers, Together with the Historical Commentaries Accompanying Them. New York: De Vinne Press, 1921.


New Light on the Donner Party, Kristin Johnson

Ordeal By Hunger, George Stewart