More of the Earthquake

Since the repeated shocks we experienced during the preceding week (of which some notice was taken in our last number) every mail has brought various other accounts of this awful phenomenon, as felt in different parts of the Western country.  And, from what we already see, there can be no doubt that, when future mails shall arrive, this Earthquake will appear to have extended, in various directions, over a great portion of the continent.  Different conjectures are formed as to the quarter whence it originated, but none of the proofs in which they rest can be admitted as satisfactory criteria, since it known that, according to the cavernous of other structure of the region lying in its range, the concussion will operate with a proportionate force, and be sometimes rebutted so as to deceive the perception with so apparently opposite direction of its course.  Were we to hazard a conjecture of our own, it would be, that the convulsion had its source on the Missouri country; for it well known to some, that, at the distance of about 1300 miles up that river, there exists a volcanic mountain, lying ten computed leagues above its northern bank, and which is frequently in a state of eruption and it is from this cause that pumice stones are so often found floating down that and the Mississippi River.

Earthquakes are commonly classed as vertical and undulatory.  The shocks of the former have been observed to proceed by a noise similar to that of carriages driven over a rough pavement; of the latter, a noise has commonly, if not always preceded them, resembling that of distant thunder, or a storm of wind rushing through a forest.  Persons of observation in this place & concurrent testimony had from elsewhere, sufficiently demonstrate (without recurring to other facts) that at least the first shock of the earthquake felt here and in many other places, was preceded by the latter sound.

It was our intention to have detailed this week, the substance of the several accounts we  have received from various parts concerning this extraordinary Earthquake — but, from the press of matter, it is of necessity reserved for our next; by which time we shall doubtless, have additional facts to state.

Made possible by the Rivers Institute and the
History Department of Hanover College.


How to cite this article:  "More of the Earthquake," Western Spy (Cincinnati, Ohio), 28 Dec. 1811, p. 3, available at