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New Madrid Earthquake

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Source: Centennial History of Missouri (THE CENTER STATE) One Hundred Years in the Union, By Walter B. Stevens, 1921
Transcribed by: Candi Horton ©2008

A colony from New Jersey came into Upper Louisiana as early as 1788. They laid out the city of New Madrid with wide streets and parks on plans which aroused the astonishment of the French fur traders. Immigrants came from the Atlantic coast. New Madrid was in a fair way to become the chief city of the Mississippi Valley. Colonel George Morgan of New Jersey was the moving spirit. At a time when the Spanish governor general was encouraging immigration, Morgan went to New Orleans and obtained a large grant of land. General James Wilkinson of the United States Army, who was carrying on secret negotiations with the Spanish officials, made charges against Morgan and prompted the governor general to cancel the concession. Spanish soldiers were sent to New Madrid. Morgan went back to the states.
General Firman A. Rozier said that the New Madrid earthquake followed immediately after the appearance of a great comet. Perhaps the most accurate description of the earthquake was given by S. P. Hildreth:

"The center of its violence was thought to be near the Little Prairie, twenty-five or thirty miles below New Madrid, the vibrations from which were felt all over the valley of the Ohio, as high up at Pittsburg. The first shock was felt on 16th of December, 1811, and was repeated at intervals, with decreasing violence until some time  in the month of February following. New Madrid having suffered more than any other  town on the Mississippi from its effects, was considered as situated near the focus from whence the undulation proceeded. From an eye witness, who was then about forty miles below that town in a flatboat, on his way to New Orleans with a load of produce, and who narrated the scene to me, the agitation which convulsed the earth, and the waters of the river, filled every living creature with terror. The first shock took place in the night, while the boat was lying at the shore in company with several others. At this period there was danger apprehended from the southern Indians, it being soon after the battle of Tippecanoe; and for safety several boats kept in company for mutual defense in the  case of an attack. In the middle of the night there was a terrible shock and jarring of the boats, so that the crews were all awakened, and hurried on deck with their weapons of defense in their hands, thinking the Indians were rushing on board. The ducks, geese, and other aquatic birds whose numberless flocks were quietly resting in the eddies of the river, were thrown into the greatest tumult, and with loud screams expressed their alarm in accents of terror. The noise and commotion became hushed, and nothing could be discovered to excite apprehension, so that the boatmen concluded that the shock was occasioned by the falling of a large mass of the bank of the river near them. As soon as it was light enough to distinguish objects, the crews were all up, making ready to depart. Directly loud roaring and hissing was heard, like the escape of steam from a boiler, accompanied by the most violent agitation of the shores and tremendous boiling up of the waters of the Mississippi in huge swells, and rolling the waters below back on the descending streams, and tossing the boats about so violently that the men with difficulty could keep on their feet. The sandbars and points of the island gave way, swallowed up in the tumultuous bosom of the river; carrying down with them the cottonwood trees, crashing and cracking, tossing their arms to and fro as if sensible of their danger while they disappeared beneath the flood. The water of the river, which the day before was tolerably clear, being rather low, changed to a reddish hue, and became thick with mud thrown upon from its bottom, while the surface, lashed violently by the agitation of the earth beneath, was covered with foam, which, gathering into masses the size of a barrel, floated along on the trembling surface. The earth opened in wide fissures and closing again threw the water, sand and mud in large jets higher than the tops of the trees. The atmosphere was filled with a  thick vapor, or gas, to which the light imparted a purple tinge, altogether different in appearance from the autumnal haze of Indian summer, or that of smoke.

Startling Effects on the River
"From the temporary check of the current, by the heaving of the bottom, the sinking of the banks and sandbars into the bed of the stream, the river rose in a few minutes five or six feet, and impatient of the restraint again rushed forward with redoubled impetuosity, hurrying along the boats now set loose by the horror-struck boatmen, as in less danger on the water than at the shore where the banks threatened every moment to destroy them by the falling earth, or carry them down in the vortex of the sinking masses. Many boats were overwhelmed in this manner and their crews perished with them. It required the utmost exertion of the men to keep the boat, of which my informant was the owner, in the middle of the river, as far from the shores, sandbars, or islands as they could. Numerous boats were wrecked on the snags and old trees thrown up from the bottom of the river where they had quietly rested for ages, while others were sunk or stranded on the sandbars or islands.
"At New Madrid several boats were carried by the reflux of the current into a small stream that puts into the river just above the town and left on the ground by the returning water, a considerable distance from the river. A man who belonged to one of the company boats was left for several hours on the upright trunk of an old snag in the middle of the river, against which his boat was wrecked and sunk. It stood with the roots a few feet above the water, and to these he contrived to attach himself; while every fresh shock threw the agitated waves against, and kept gradually settling the tree deeper in the mud at the bottom, bringing him nearer and nearer to the deep, muddy waters which to his terrified imagination seemed desirous of swallowing him up. While hanging here calling with piteous shouts for aid, several boats passed by without being able to relieve him, until finally a. skiff was well manned, rowed a short distance above him, and dropped down close to
the snag from which he tumbled in as she passed by.
"The scenes which occurred for several days during the repeated shocks were horrible. The most destructive took place in the beginning, although they were repeated for many weeks, becoming lighter and lighter until they died away in slight vibrations, like the jarring of steam in an immense boiler. The sulphureted gases that were discharged during the shocks tainted the air with their noxious effluvia, and so strongly impregnated the water of the river to the distance of one hundred and fifty miles below, that it could hardly be used for any purpose for a number of days. New Madrid, which stood on a bluff fifteen or twenty feet above the summer floods, sunk so low that the next rise covered it to the depth of five feet. The bottoms of several lakes in the vicinity were elevated so as to become dry land and have since been planted with corn."

The New Madrid Claims.
Senator Linn in a letter to the Senate committee on commerce wrote of the earthquake:

" The earth rocked to and fro, vast chasms opened, from whence issued columns of  water, sand and coal, accompanied by hissing sounds, caused, perhaps, by the escape of pent-up steam, while ever and anon flashes of electricity gleamed through the troubled clouds of night, rendering the darkness doubly horrible. The day that succeeded this night of terror brought no solace in its dawn. Shock followed shock, a dense black cloud of  vapor overshadowed the land, through which no struggling ray of sunlight found its way to cheer the desponding heart of man. Hills had disappeared, and lakes were found in their stead. One of these lakes formed on this occasion is sixty or seventy miles in length, and from three to twenty in breadth. It is in some places very shallow; in others from fifty to one hundred feet deep, which is much more than the depth of the Mississippi river in that quarter. In sailing over its surface in a light canoe, the voyager is struck with astonishment at beholding the giant trees of the forest standing partially exposed amid a waste of waters, branchless and leafless. But the wonder is still further increased on casting the eye on the dark blue profound, to observe canebrakes covering the bottom, over which a mammoth species of testudo is seen dragging its slow length along, while countless myriads of fish are sporting through the aquatic thickets."

Recovery from the effects of the shock was slow. Timothy Flint, in his "Recollections," said that in 1819, eight years after the earthquake, the New Madrid district, "one so level, rich, and beautiful, still presented the appearance of decay. Large and beautiful orchards, left unenclosed, houses uninhabited, deep chasms in the earth, obvious at frequent intervals—such was the face of the country, although the people had for years become so accustomed to frequent and small shocks, which did no essential injury, that the lands were gradually rising in value, and New Madrid was slowly rebuilding with frail buildings, adapted to the apprehensions of the people."

Speculation in Certificates.
Congress passed an act to help the residents of New Madrid. Under the provisions, the owner of land that had been damaged by the earthquake was given a right to locate a like number of acres in any other part of Missouri territory subject to entry. The government was imposed upon. There were taken out 516 certificates. Most of the earthquake sufferers had sold their claims for a few cents an acre. The certificates were passed from person to person. Only a score of those who held the land at the time of the earthquake actually located other lands. Most of the certificates passed into the hands of speculators and were for sale. One man had thirty-three ; another had forty ; a third had twenty-six. People who had never seen New Madrid bought these certificates and located land with them in various parts of Missouri. Later it developed that some of these certificates had been obtained by perjury. H. W. Williams, the. expert in Missouri land titles, stated that 142 of the New Madrid claims were fraudulent, being granted to persons on lands they had never owned. Holders of the claims, good and bad, went to the best localities in Missouri and filed on land, in some cases attempting to make the New Madrid claims apply on land
already entered. Litigation over these claims afflicted two generations of Missourians.

The Scientific Theories
Professor W. J. McGee, who was one of the division chiefs at the St. Louis World's Fair, and a scientist of wide repute, made a study of earthquakes. He held to the theory that the New Madrid earthquake will repeat itself. He ranked that earthquake as "the most stupendous in history" and explained :
"It was caused by sediment carried down to the delta of the Mississippi river until the weight of the deposit broke the back of the valley, so to speak; and that condition will recur from time to time, as long as water flows."
But the professor quieted immediate apprehension with the expert opinion that from five to ten centuries will elapse between these shocks in the Mississippi Valley, of such magnitude as the New Madrid series.

It is difficult to realize how much sediment the Mississippi river carries to its delta. If one passes down the river and into the Gulf, he may get some idea of what the deposit is like. At the point where the river debouches, the shore line bulges into the Gulf for miles, and upon both sides of it is the delta, wholly made by the river mud. So vast a deposit has its effect. It is approximately 400 feet below St. Louis and 300 feet below the Sunken Lands. Whenever the weight becomes too great, the backbone of the valley snaps at the weak point. When this happens the crust of the earth rises in some places, slips down in others, grinds, wrenches, turns topsy-turvy. How long the intervals are between breaks we have no means of knowing. The valley has been settled but a little more than 1oo years. Anything that occurred before the whites came into it would not be known except as the geologist could detect it in the disturbance of the earth. If I were guessing, which a scientist dislikes to do, I would say that between the great quakes in the New Madrid district there is an interval of from 500 to ' 1,000 years. It may be less than that, and it may be more. One cannot tell. We could, if we tried, estimate the weight of the deposit at the mouth of the river, but, inasmuch as we do not know what the breaking point up the river is, we should gain nothing by such an estimate, and it is therefore not worth making.
"The only respect in which any other earthquake in history is to be mentioned in the same breath with that in the Mississippi Valley is in the loss of life. Seismic phenomena that would have destroyed the city of London and probably killed more than half the people in it killed almost no one and did not destroy more than $50,000 worth of property. It dropped about half of the town of New Madrid into the river. Beyond that, it killed only a few boatmen and an occasional pioneer. Some stock which had been grazing on high prairie land drowned when the earth suddenly subsided and the river rushed in and covered it over. People for the most part lived in log houses, which do not easily shake to pieces, so that even this most common cause of death in an earthquake was not present when the Sunken Lands were made. Indeed, it barely became historical at all. Had it occurred a century before we should either not have heard of it at all, or had but the most
meager accounts of what occurred."

Old Settlers' Experiences.
Dr. Berry, of Southern Illinois, many years ago, collected from the oldest settlers reminiscences of the New Madrid earthquake period. He gave these reminiscences to the Illinois Historical Society. One of the stories he told was of the experience of a family which had a plantation bell mounted on a post, after a custom of the period. This bell rang whenever there was an earthquake tremor. The family took warning and ran from the house when the bell rang. The settler who gave his recollections as a boy to Dr. Berry said that during, the period from December I5th to the middle of March, including the New Madrid earthquake, the bell rang almost every day. Some days it rang continuously for hours. The old settler said he was aroused so often at night by the ringing of the bell that he became as "spry as a cat" in jumping from his bed and out of the window.
The scientists of Johns Hopkins University years ago carried on a series of experiments in the Mississippi Valley below St. Louis and determined that occasional little tremors originated in the vicinity of New Madrid and radiated outward from 100 to 300 miles.

The Thirty Miles' Flight.
Colonel John Shaw of Marquette county, Wisconsin, was visiting near New Madrid the winter of the earthquake.
He said that on February 7, 1812, he felt the most severe shock. Nearly two thousand people fled from their houses.
They went to Tywappity hill, thirty miles north and seven miles back from the river :

 "This was the first high ground above New Madrid, and here the fugitives formed an encampment. It was proposed that all should kneel and engage in supplicating God's mercy, and all simultaneously. Catholics and Protestants, knelt and offered solemn prayer to their Creator. About twelve miles back toward New Madrid a young woman about seventeen years of age, named Betsy Masters, had been left by her parents and family, her right leg having been broken below the knee by the falling of one of the weight poles of the roof of the cabin, and, though a total stranger, I .was the only person who would consent to return and see whether she still survived. Receiving a description of the locality of the place, I started and found the poor girl upon a bed as she had been left, with some water and cornbread within her reach. I cooked up some food for her and made her condition as comfortable as circumstances would allow and returned the same day to the grand encampment. Miss Masters eventually recovered. In abandoning their homes on this emergency, the people stopped only long enough to get their teams and hurry in their families and some provisions. It was a matter of doubt among them whether water or fire would be most likely to burst forth and cover all the country. The timber land around New Madrid sunk five or six feet, so that the lakes and lagoons, which seemed to have their beds pushed up, discharged their waters over the sunken lands. "Through the fissures caused by the earthquake were forced up vast quantities of a* hard, jet-black substance which appeared very smooth, as if worn by friction. It seemed a very different substance from either anthracite or bituminous coal. This hegira, with all its attendant, appalling circumstances, was a most heartrending scene and had the effect to constrain the most wicked and profane earnestly to plead to God in prayer for mercy.
In less than three months most of these people returned to their homes, and though the earthquakes continued occasionally with less destructive effects, they became so accustomed to the recurring vibrations that they paid little or no regard to them, not even interrupting or checking their dances, frolics and vice."


Scientific Investigations.
In 1911, on the occasion of the centennial of the earthquake, Walter Williams wrote of the investigation made by scientists:

" The convulsion occurred contemporaneously with one of the most fatal earthquakes of South America, when the towns of Guayra and Caracas were laid in ruins. Humboldt, the great geographer, has remarked that the shocks of New Madrid are the only examples on record of the ground having quaked almost incessantly for three months at a point so far remote from any active volcano. The shocks were most violent in the part of the region called the Little Prairie, to the northward, as far as the mouth of the Ohio river. Some shocks were felt in South Carolina. Although the country was thinly settled and most of  the houses built of logs, the loss of life was considerable.
"The cause of the New Madrid earthquake has never been definitely determined. "Several authors,' writes L. Bringier, 'have asserted that earthquakes proceed from volcanic causes. But, although this may be often true, the New Madrid earthquake must have had another cause. Time, perhaps, will give us some better ideas as to the origin of these extraordinary phenomena. It is probable that they are produced in different instances by different causes and that electricity is one of them. The shocks of the earthquake of New Madrid produced emotions and sensations resembling those of a strong galvanic battery. The New Madrid earthquake took place after a very long succession of very heavy rains, such as had never been seen before in that country." "
L. Bringier, an engineer of Louisiana, was on horseback near New Madrid in 1811 when some of the severest shocks were experienced. As the waves advanced he saw the trees bend down and often the instant afterward, when in the act of recovering their position, meet the boughs of other trees similarly inclined so as. to become interlocked, being prevented from righting themselves again. The transit of the waves through the woods was marked by the crashing noise of countless branches first heard on one side and then on the other. At the same time powerful jets of water, mixed with sand, mud and bituminous coaly shale, were cast up with such force that both horse and rider might have perished had the undulating waves happened to burst immediately beneath them. Circular cavities, called sink holes, were formed where the principal fountains of mud and water were thrown up.

An International Inquiry

" Sir Charles Lyell, president of the Geological Society of London, visited the New Madrid earthquake region in 1846. He described one of the sink holes as a nearly circular hollow, ten yards wide and five feet deep, with a smaller one near it. He observed scattered about the surrounding level ground fragments of black bituminous shale, with much white sand. Within a short distance he found five more of these 'sand bursts' or 'sand blows,' as they are sometimes termed, and a mile farther west of New Madrid a more conspicuous sink hole. This sink hole was a striking object, interrupting the regularity of a flat plain,
the sides very steep and twenty-eight feet deep from the top to the water's edge. The water standing in the bottom was said to be originally very deep, but had grown shallow by the washing in of sand and the crumbling of the bank, caused by the feet of cattle coming to drink. Many wagon loads of mud had been cast up out of this hollow."
"The British geologist investigated Eulalie lake, which was destroyed by the earthquake shock. The bottom of the lake was about 300 yards long by 100 yards in width and chiefly composed of clay, covered with trees. The trees in the lake bottom were cottonwood, willow, honey locust and other species. On the surrounding higher ground, which was elevated twelve or fifteen feet, were the hickory, the black and white oak, the gum and other trees of ancient date. Lake Eulali? was formerly filled with clear water and abounded in fish until it was suddenly drained by the earthquake. In the clay bottom Sir Charles traced the course of two parallel fissures by which the water escaped. They were separated from each other by a distance of about eight yards and were not yet entirely closed. Near their edges much sand and coal shale lay scattered, which were thrown out of them when they first opened. This black, bituminous shale belonged to the alluvial formation and is found in digging wells fifteen feet deep or sometimes nearer the surface. It was probably drifted down at a former period by a current of the Mississippi river from the coal fields farther north. " More striking monuments of the earthquake were found by Sir Charles Lyell in the territory farther to the westward. Skirting the borders of a swamp called the Bayou St. John, he observed a great many fallen trees and others dead and leafless, but standing erect. 'After riding some miles,' said Sir Charles, 'I found my way to a farm, the owner of which had witnessed the earthquake when a child. He described to me the camping out of the people in the night when the first shocks occurred and how some were wounded by the falling of chimneys and the bodies of others thrown out of the ruins. He confirmed the published statements of- inhabitants having availed themselves of fallen trees to avoid being engulfed in open fissures, and he afterward heard that this singular mode of escape had been adopted in distant places between which there was no communication, and that even children threw themselves on the felled trunks. My acquaintance took me to see several fissures still open, which had been caused by the undulatory movement of the ground, some of them jagged, others even and straight. I traced two of them continuously for more than a half mile and found that a few were parallel, but on the whole they varied greatly in direction, some being ten and others forty-five degrees west of north. I might easily have mistaken them for artificial trenches, if my companion had not known them within his recollection to have been as deep as wells. Sand and black shale were strewed along their edges. Most of them were from two to four feet wide, and five or six feet deep, but the action of rains, frosts and occasional inundations, and, above all, the leaves of the forests blown into them every autumn in countless numbers have done much to fill them up.'"

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Here's what was written in a PA newspaper 

Taken From the Centinel, Gettysburg, PA; February 12, 1812

At New Madrid, (Louisiana Territory) the shocks have been uncommonly violent  throwing down chimneys and houses, and compelling one-third of the inhabitants to remove from the place to the adjacent hills, and the remainder to encamp in tents in open fields. The earth was so convulsed, as to tender it difficult for one to keep their perpendicular position, the motion being estimated at about 12 inches, to and fro. The shocks were accompanied with a partial darkness, a tremendous noise and sulphureous smell.

Sixty-seven shocks have been witnessed, in all, which have split and cracked the earth in an hundred places in the neighborhood. During the violent shocks, the people, their yells and shrieks, discovering their extreme alarm, and upon one of those occasions, a lady was known to fait and never recover!

The face of the country below, about Little Prairie, has almost entirely changed; large lakes having been converted into dry land, and fields into lakes the banks of the river fallen in  mills destroyed, and the earth cracked in every direction. The St. Francis was, at one time very low at another overflowing the surrounding country. At Little Prairie, the Mississippi is said to have formed an eddy and resented a rerregade motion, and in 15 or 20 minutes afterwards resumed its course, and rose about 5 feet.

SEVEN Indians are said to have been swallowed up in one of those apertures in the earth, one of whom only made his escape, who states, that this calamity was foretold by the Shawanne Prophet, for the destruction of the whites.  Lexington Statesman.


Ashville, N.C.) December 19

To the Editors of the Raleigh Star.

Gentlemen, - I take the liberty to transmit the following account of an earthquake, which happened on the night between the 15th and 16th instant. For several nights previous, the Aurora Borealis brilliantly illuminated the the sky with its trembling coruscations; the late appearance of a splendid comet, and the bloodlike color of the sun for several days, had alarmed a great many superstitious people. They talked of war, and when the news of governor Harrison�s dear bought victory arrived, it brought to their recollection all those appearances, which are still believed (as these are now) to have been the awful procurers of that bloody war, by which we gained our independence.

On Monday morning, about one o�clock, the inhabitants of this place were routed from their peaceful slumbers by a dreadful sound. Some Waggoner's, who were up at the time it began, said it resembled, but was louder, than if 100 wagons were driven at full speed down the mountain. This gave us a considerable alarm: The timid took to prayer, expecting every moment (as they lay) to hear the sound of the last trumpet. The more courageous ventured to open their doors, to discover what occasioned the noise. � A sudden trembling of the earth caused fresh terror and alarm, from which we had not time to recover, when we felt a violent shock, which lasted about three minutes, and was attended with a hollow rumbling noise, and ended with a dreadful crash, leaving behind a strong sulphurous stench.

For the remainder of the night all was still and calm, but was spent by us in trembling anxiety. When the wished for morning came we were happy to find no lives were lost; but while some of us were in the street, congratulating each other on our happy escape we were again alarmed by a much louder noise than we had heard before. It was quickly followed by a more violent shock, which gave the earth an undulating motion, resembling the waves of the sea. Two of those who were standing with me were thrown off their feet, the rest of us with difficulty kept from falling, while two or three cows that were near us were unable to stand, and testified their fears by their loud bellowing, which with the cries of the women and children, and the terror that was depicted in the countenances of the men, presented a scene of horror I am unable to describe.

It is somewhat strange that its effects were more violent in the valley than on the mountains; a graveyard in a valley near this place had several vats displaced � the edges of some were raised three feet above their former level, others were moved partly round, and let in a zigzag manner. It would far exceed the bounds of this letter to describe all the phenomenon produced by this awful convulsion of nature; rock moved, hills shook, houses shattered, &c.

A wonderful change has taken place in the manners of the people. I believe so many fervent prayers never were put up in this place as on that fearful night and morning. I hope what has been done may product a revival in religion.

I have just seen a gentleman from Knoxville, who passed Sunday night with Mr. Nelson at the warm springs: from his account, his situation was more terrifying than ours. For several hours previous to the shock, the most tremendous noise was heard from the neighboring mountains. At intervals it was quiet, but would begin with so much violence, that each repetition was believes to be the last groan of expiring nature. The shock at that place did but little damage, except to a few huts that were built near the springs for the accommodation of invalids. The fulminating of the mountains was accompanied with flashes of fire seen issuing from their sides. Each flash ended with a snap, or crack, like that which is heard on discharging an electric battery but so times as loud. This induced him to believe the Earthquake was caused by the electric fluid.

In the morning it was observed that a large stream of warm warm (temperature by Feh. 142 degree) issued from a fissure in a rock, on the side of the mountain, which had been opened the preceding night. While they were examining it, another shock was felt, which lasted two minutes. Although a perfect calm, the tops of the trees appeared to be greatly agitated, the earth shook violently, and the water of the warm springs, at that time overflowed by French Broad River, was thrown up several times to the height of thirty or forty feet.

Several masses of stone were loosed from their ancient beds, and precipitated from the summits and sides of the mountains. One in particular, well known to Western travelers by the name of the Painted Rock, was torn from its base, and fell across the road that leads from hence to Knoxville� it has completely blocked up the passage for wagons. A great many people, who were moving westerly, are to a pitiable situation at this inclement season, being unable to proceed until a new road is made round the rock, (no easy task). In this they are cheerfully assisted by the neighbors.

I have been for three months in these dreary regions, examining a mine of Cobalt. The ore is rich. It abounds with Arsenick. In May we intend to calcine the ore and prepare it for exportation, or perhaps manufacture it into Smak. The mine is within a few miles of Mackeysville.

Extract of a letter to the Editors of the Baltimore Federal Republican, dated West River, Jan. 23

This morning at about 9 o'clock a friend of mine captain Franklin, Miss Webster and myself had just sat down to breakfast, when Capt. F. observed "What's that! An Earthquake!" at the same instant, we felt as if we were in the cabin of a vessel, during a heavy swell. This sensation continued from one to two minutes, possibly longer, - For although I had the presence of mind to take out my watch, I felt too sick to observe accurately its duration. The feeling was by no means tremulous, but a steady vibration. A portrait about four feet in length, suspended from the ceiling by a hook and staple, and about five eights of an inch from the side wall, vibrated at least from eighteen inches to 2 feet each side, and so very steady, as not to touch the wall.

My next neighbor and his daughter felt the same sensation about the same time. The latter supposed it a gout in his dead. The daughter got up and walked to a window, supposing the heat of the fire had caused what she considered a faintness. Two others that I have seen, mentioned to have felt the same, but none of them had thought of an earthquake.

The two last being mechanics and up late, mentioned that they were much alarmed about 11 o'clock last night, by a great rumbling, as they thought, in the earth, attended with several flashes of lightening, which so lightened their house that they could have picked up the smallest pin, one mentioned that the rumbling and light was accompanied by a noise like that produced by throwing a hot iron into snow, only very loud and terrific, so much so, that he that he was fearful to go out to look what it was, for he never once thought of an earthquake.

 I have thrown together the above particulars, supposing an extract may meet with corroborating accounts, and afford some satisfaction to your readers.

P.S. The lightening and rumbling noise came from the fourth. I have just heard of its being felt in several other houses, but not any particulars more than related.

Chillicothe, Feb. 1

Earthquake Again

On Monday last another slight trembling of the earth was felt at this place. These frequent concussions have caused very considerable alarm in the town and neighborhoods; and are considered, by many, to forebode some awful calamity. The shock which was severely felt here, on the 23rd ult., has, we believe, been as extensively felt as those on the 16th and 17th of December. At Marietta and Washington (Ky.) it was accompanied by a rumbling noise. The Courier, printed at Louisville, (Ky) states, that several chimnies were broken off, the clocks stopped, glasses thrown off the tables, and it is said, by some, that fissures, in the ground, several yards long, and an inch and an half wide, were discovered in the street, near the market house.

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