Remarkable Events

It is observed, that many persons, who probably have read but little and have had still less experience of the extraordinary phenomena of nature, are disposed to think a good deal incorrectly respecting those uncommon events which distinguished the year 1811, viz. the Comet and the Earthquakes.  As these have been experienced before, since the settlement of the western country, many are led to consider them, if not as new events, yet as something much more infrequent and ominous than an acquaintance with history will justify.  It is not wished to detract from the interest and solemnity of those events, but a knowledge of the truth can never be hurtful.  The repetition, indeed, of these astonishing phenomena ought to inspire us with more profound awe, while at the same time it is calculated to divest us of the superstitious distraction of ignorance.

The following list is selected from one of the most copious and best approved Chronolgical tables which have appeared.  The Table embraces all remarkable events, such as wars, &c., &c. but the limits of a newspaper can admit but a few, (and those greatly abbreviated) which will be confined to what we may call elemental phenomena, principally Earthquakes and Comets, to which may be added instances of pestilence.  The list will chiefly regard former times, that is, the times since authentic history commenced (the earlier part of which was extremely imperfect) and will not descend within our own memory.


B.C. or years before Christ.

2352    The world is destroyed by a deluge, which continued 377 days.

1961    The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed by fire from heaven.

1503    The deluge of Deucalion.

  720    The first record of an eclipse of the moon.

  430    A plague over the known world.

  373    A great earthquake in Peloponnesus, Greece.

  315    Rhodes almost destroyed by an inundation.

[The list continues with about 100 more events, mostly in the common era.]

1775    An extraordinary dark day.

1779    A most extraordinary eruption of Vesuvius.

1780    Jan 14—cold at Glasgow, Scotland [16?] degrees below 0.

            A dreadful hurricane in the Leeward Islands, Oct. 9—and an extraordinary storm in

1783    Most violent earthquakes in Italy and Sicily.  Those of the 5th and 7th of February, and
28th of March were the most violent, and destroyed every building throughout Calabria,
not leaving one stone upon another. 40,000 persons perished.  The sun was obscured by a kind of fog during the whole summer.

 A volcanic eruption in Iceland, surpassing all things of the kind recorded in history; the burning lava spouted two miles high, and continued thus for two months.

A large meteor appeared in Europe, whose tract was observed more than 1000 miles.


Here the list will be closed with the words of the excellent Cowper, who wrote soon after the last mentioned events, and referring to them, observes—


“Fires from beneath, and meteors from above,

Portentous, unexampled, unexplained,

Have kindled beacons in the skies, and th’ old

And crazy earth has had her shaking fits

More frequent, and foregone her usual rest.




She quakes at His approach:  her hollow womb

Conceiving thunders, thro’ a thousand deep

And fiery caverns, roars beneath His foot;

The hills move lightly and the mountains smoke

For he has touched them.

The rocks fall headlong and the vallies rise,

The rivers die into offensive pools,

And charg’d with putrid vapors, breathe a gross

And mortal nuisance into all the air.

What solid was, by transformation strange,

Grows fluid, and the fix’d and rooted earth

Tormented into billows, heaves and swells,

Or with vertiginous and hideous whirl

Sucks down its prey insatiable.”

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


How to cite this article:  "Remarkable Events," Liberty Hall (Cincinnati, Ohio), 29 Jan. 1812, p. 2, available at