1884 Article New Madrid Earthquake 1811 collection. - Tom Malmay
OPENING THE OHIO. ZnUUl Trip fas Xtw Orltmn; JXads Jturtn0 h Cewead-iea- Jimrth- -trs 18 It. IUPZJ&STIXI0X8 OF THE TTJCZ, ICornipondmtcm of t&m cm-sr JbMrwLl Canto, III., Jan. 1. On ths 18th of De- 1811. tne first steamboat that ver floated out of ths Ohio into ths Mississippi river, moored at what is now tba wharf of Cairo. This boat waa tba r?ew Orleans, ' commanded by Captain Roosevelt, and was Co its initial voyage , from Pittsburgh to tba ' dry whose name ths pionser steamer bore., At that time Cairo was not, nor did she' ties from ths stagnant swamps of the Ohio and Mississippi until Marly a decade later.' A few white people had squatted in ths bottoms and along these great rivers, bat as jsS a city as this point had not been thought of. Indeed, the country was too thinly populated So rsaolrs towns and cities. It has been almost thrse-qaarters of a esntary since these waters were first plowed tj the steamer New Orleans. ." The day sbs rounded to at ths mouth of ths Ohio was on never to be forgotten by tba few people who had been brotlght to thejpot by the startling lias of too approach of "a great monitor walking upon tba water." Ths same day (December 18, 1811) was that of tba severest shocks, ths most convulsive throes of ' ths great earthquake, aver siooe known as the tfew Madrid earthquake, and which con tinned with great violence for three days and nights. At the hum period another phenomenon . of startling magnitude to ths Ignorant people of the tuna was visible erery , tightthe great comet of 1811. Its regular appaaranca whenever night cast hsr mantle -over oar insignificant planet, with its tongua of flams licking the sky,'! was believed by many to be a - manifestation of the anger of Providence at puny man for ' bis attempt to "create a thing to live upon toe waters;" ."'. The experiments of Fulton and Livingston to navigate by steam the Hudson river, in the present century, belongs to history. When success crowned their experiment on 4he Hudson, they at once turned their attention to the great rivers of the West, and sent Capt. Roosevelt to Pittsburgh to go over the rivers tram that point so fiew Orleans and ' . report to them whether thev were navigable or not.- Capt. Roosevelt made the inspection, and opon his favorable report the steamer ISew Orleans was built at Pittsburgh in 1811. Ia December of that year she weighed nncnor. and turned her prow for the Greece at City, arriTing at the month of the Ohio right . in the midst of the- great earthquake. ' As aba boas ' came down the Ohio she stopped opposite Yellow Bank to take on fuel, which 1 bad been previously supplied and piled on i tba riyer bank. While thus engaged the Squatters of the neighborhood, with con- SSeraation depicted upon their sallow countenances, congregated about the boat, in quiring of ths Captain and crsw if they had sot heard strange noises on the river and in the woods tba preceding day. ; Tbey insisted that tbey had seen the shores shake and re-" peatodly felt the earth tremble. , TEB TKXP GRAPHIC ALLY DISCRIBID. - A. passenger on tba boat who waa-an re-witness, IX an eye-witness be could be called, thus describes the scene: The weather was very hot, taa, air misty still and duii. and though the sua was visible, like an immense - glowing ball of copper, hi rays hardly shed more than a mournful twilight on the surf ace of the water. s evening drew near indica ' iioae of what was passing around us became ideat, for erer and anon we heard a rush Ing sound, violent splash, and, finally saw - large portions of the shore tearing away from the land and lapsing into the waterr abyss. It was" a startling scene; one -could have beard a pin drop on desk. The crew spoke but little; they noticed, too, that the comet had suddenly disappeared, and every one on board appeared thunderstruck." This was ths first day ol the great . shake," and on the next day the terrible natural convulsion increated in violence. There are few people now living who wars in this portion of the country at that time, or who were living in the district shaken by the earthquake; but many facts of interest have been banded down by tradition, which, ; taken in connection with what has been pre- . set-red, give a somewhat reliable account or believed to be reliable at toe great New Madrid earthquake of 1811. In preparing a history of . Cairo last summer, I gathered some information of the event, new to me, and which may be also to the readers of the CotrBiKBV-JouKNAL, or at least some interest to them. Briefly grouped together, they art about as follows: Trees along the shores of the river were sen waving and nodding without any wind . to stir even a twig, and all day this violence seemed only to increase. The steamer New Orleans had no choice but to pursue its down tba -river. Usually the boat ' had at night brought to under the shore, but at all points the crew and passengers saw the high banks disappearing, overwhelming everything near them. A large island in mid-channel which had been selected by the pilot of tba boat as the safest plaos to anchor was sought for in vain, it having totally disappeared. Thousands of acres of land, consti rating the sorrouoding conutry, ; with their gantio growths ot forests and cans, were swallowed np, leaving not a traoe to tell where, or won, or bow tbey sank." For hours the boat proceeded on its way, and when dark came it rounded to and ' dropped anchor at toe foot of a small island. During the long night the crew kept watch on dec, listening to the sound ot the waters which roared and whirled wildly around them. From time to time they could hear tba earth slide from the shore and the eom-sootton of the fading mass as it became en-rulled in the river. The night was one of Itorror. and was never forgotten by the crew cf ths Kew Orleans as long as they lived. On the day following this awful night the eonvulstoos seemed to increase, and many ot tae ignorant inuapitants re my oeuevea the world was coming to an end. Indeed I . doubt not but the more intelligent, too, be-lieved that the great day was at band, when the sun is to turn to blood, the moon to be pt est tzi ths sixth to dissolve like snow. its world is three-quarters of a century older and wiser than it was then, bat doubtless there are hundreds and thousands now who, ender the convulsive throes of nature . for three eucoeesive days, sucb as that of 1S11, wou!i, to esy tiie least, order their Sjceaiioa rot.s. Oa the third day, we are told, shock followed thock, and a dense black cloud cf vapor overshadowed the land, through which no straghn;r sunbeam found i J way to cheer the depending fceart cf It rcr-iiciocecf L.S Lies of Milton: The sua la !m ecl'rse, disastrous twilight shed O'er half tue nations. " STOJUXS OF TBI XABTHQUASTX. L "7 Cirri t:!i cf tl:t Xt tots highly incredible now, and hard to digest. figuratively speaking. It seems incredible that the bed ot the river could be so agitated as to lash the waters into yeasty foam until the foam would gather into great bodies and float a war. It seems still more incredible that the waters of the two rivers, like the "Awe's fierce stream," which Walter Scott tells as was "backward turned," were turned Daca- upon themselves in swiTt streams. But these, and much more, are well-established facts. An eye-witness tells us "there were wave motions and perpendicular motions ot the earth's surface, and there were, judging from effects as well as testimony of those who witnessed it, sudden risings and Dursnngs or the earth's crust,, from wnence wouia , snoot into the air to the height of many feet jets of water, sand and black shale." Sot it is im possible now to describe all the wonderful poenomena ol this, world's wonder. It can't oooone by any pen drawing. Much as has been written of the New Madrid earthquake from beresay evidence, but one person, so far as known, put upon record his own ob servations, wno saw is upon land, rnis was a Mr. Sringier, who related what he saw to Sir Cbarlei Lyell in 1846. His account is somewhat as follows: Mr. Brineier was on horseback near Kew - Madrid when some of the severest shocks occurred. -The transit of the waves thruugh the woods was marked by the crashing noise ot countless branches, first heard on one side and then on the other; at the same time, powerful jets ot water, mixed with sand, loam and bituminous shale were cost up with such impetuosity that both horse and' rider might have per- woea naa lue swelling ana upnenving ground nappenea to burst immediately beneath them. Some of the shocks be described as Deriien- dicular, while others, and much mors deso lating too. were horizontal, or moved along ' use great .waves; and where the principal fonntains of mud and water were thrown up circular cavities, called "sink boles" were formed. One of the lakes thus formed is over sixty miles long, as described by Blinder. and from three to twenty miles wide, and in piaces msy to one hundred feet deep. in tailing over the surface of this l&ke - one is . . struck . with ' aston ishment at beholding the gigantic trees of the forest standing partially exposed amid the waste of still waters, like gaunt, mysterious monsters; but this mystery is in- creaea, on casting the eye into the depth, to witness cane-brakes covering - its bottom. over which a mammoth bpecies of tortoise is sometimes seen dragging its slow length along, while millions of lish sport through ins aquatic thickets, "the whole consti tuting," says the writer, "one ot the most remarkable features of American scenery." Along., the border of want is carted the "sun countrv. " ' taat is. deoreaaions noon whica lakes did not form, all tue trees growing . there prior to the great earthquake are dead. Their leafless, barkless and branchless bodies stood for many years as ' noticeable objects and . monuments of the earth's agi- TBI SEVXRXST SHOCKS of this great earthquake were during the first three days, but they lasted to a greater or less extent for three months; but he that would know more of the great "shake" may read it m the history of Kew Madrid. . Amid these fantastio tricks of nature the steamer Kew Orleans floated out ot the troubled waters of the Ohio into the yet worse troubled waters of the Mississippi river. It was the coming of the first steamboat 'mid such awful surroundings that made such a strange meeting of the excite-1 energies of nature and human thought a silent thought of a man's brain fashioned into a steam en-' gine, and propelling a boat upon the Western rivers. Tne deuiz.-ns of the nver hills the ignorant squatters of the cuuntry had only known that the first steamboat and the great earthquake came at the same time, and that both were preceded by the comet that blazed in the heavens. 'They believed that this flying into ; the face of heaven by presumptuous man, and making a boat that run by bilin' - water," bad brought the earthquake. The rivers had long been navigated by fiat boats, keel boats, canoej, du?-' outa, etc., ect., and all went well the river flowed on peacefully to the sea. But man came with his ''fire boat," and the earth went into convulsions, and darkness, like a pall, enveloped . the land. These were the superstitious ideas of the mass ot the people at that time. The comet, the staemboat and the earthquake were so blended in their thoughts that no arguments, however able and eloquent, could convince them but that the one caused the other, and that all were intended as a kind of warning to rebellious man, that ha had incurred the: wrath of Heaven. La Pari ere. . JL BACIlELOIf SOLILOQUY. IAW York Morning Journal. To call, or not to call, that it the questions Whether 'tis betu-r.ia or mind, to suffer The sneers sod scoaiugi of my married cronies Or to take arms no more against the maidens ' And by proposinar end thru . To ro to eau Oaoe more; and, by a call, to say we end The heartache and the many single shocks Which bachelor's r-cei re t is a consummation ' Not to be sneezed at. To caii to gsao To gaze! p reliance be wooed; ay, there's tba . catch: For when we've wooed and won, what cares may come If we then shade off our single coil Mast kive us psum: There's the rspect ' Which every mrried man must give his wife; -For who would bear the lashings of her tongue, ' . The broomstick's whack, the mother-in-law's contumely, . The pan?s of uncooked grub, the meal's delay, . The uwolence of servants anl the burns That kindling of the kitchen Ore makes, When he himself might his contentment take By stari. g single? Who would babies lug. -And grunt bii. filling them -rich pareeorio. But that the dread ot somethln-; afterward That crushing curtain lecture, from whose talk No attuned uu eecmpee. bothers us all. And makes us rather bear our single woes Than rush to horrors that we know not of 1 Thus leap-jrear does' make cowards of us sH. And thus the bachelor's New Year's resolution,1 -' Ne'er to wrd. is strecg-theoed if he doesn't rau. And artful schemes of deep, designing "slils. With this regard, are beautifully foiled. And leave no breach-ot-promiso action. IVTritt for tk ComricT-Journal. InQ :ae desert Tra dying alone. And the well and tue paloi tree are gone, Hut an angt4 is near, and softly I hear The ripple ot waters fall (aiot oa my ear. And the ncd of mr soul was answered in thee, Wita fritnlship as pure as friendship cmli be; And the bare yellow, sands put on the sweet . guise i Of myrtle and rose, in the light of thine eyes. Those shadowless eves! may they ever contain A tenderness born of tne pity for pain; . And the solace they give in life's lonely hoar, should tears ever come, may t&ay misa not tta power, . . When others are busy and lavish of blame. Thy tXMom's indulgence I sueuUy claim. For the surface alone thru vision may see, . Cut my heart and my soul are naked to thee.. The one Is a mirror that ever win hold Keinombrnnce of thee m a tablet of gold.- And the other will ber, if souls tenr die. Thine image uncliauged to ice home in the try. X&i. JtSMS JOXiS lYTXlXOHag. Tresie-Krait Laxative Is delicious to take and at once corrects all frrez- ' ulanties of tne (tver. Ktomach and bowels. Nota-Uur so good for eossupauon, biiiotwoeea, haed- aQoe,etc. tverjtXKly iusiit. boUevrjrhere at --4 anl Ijo psr box. - specious this gan I was to my with man, chant parties wered: - botue known Then him, be ' Mr. Gen. and reliable and. And looked This bear, tion,- woman raving Mr. "I been a you, any Catherine lien. -Williams, the killing r We found of far possessed at old and known was politically John-ton. the the Felix father 1833. and f u.ti organ.' wished being was might with twice sympathizer in affair, coir-eides and as " Mf. at the hiur Green-vilie him where in I gone. it who and Several into day and and Gen. street, late not that and the came to my prominent my I and asked M. bad town fruit, with day and Miss Mrs. did bad camp leading latter vule. tery Mrs. that have asked been start see baif Gen.