James Reed was exiled from the Donner Party.
James Reed was one of the leaders of the ill-fated Donner Party in 1846. But he avoided their fate in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Before the wagon train got there, Reed killed a teamster. He claimed it was in self-defense, but Reed was unpopular with the other travelers. They banished him, allowing him to take a horse but nothing else, apparently believing he’d die. Instead, he reached California in a few weeks and began organizing relief efforts for Donner and company.
He also began buying up cheap land. Reed eventually became rich.