For the Spy


Under the head 'Earthquake,' in last Liberty Hall, the fears of its editors appear to be 'tremblingly alive' to consequences that may result to the good name of their foster town Cincinnati; - - 'We feel it a duty' say they, 'to advert to a publication in the Western Spy of Saturday last, in which it is stated, that for three weeks after the 16th ult. one or more earthquakes were felt every day; and that, with intervals of one or more days, they had been constant down to the 25th inst. during which one occurred and "others were expected!"  They next confidently announce that 11 shocks, only, have been felt here since the earthquake commenced. - - Now, Messrs. Printers, I have no hesitation in appealing to the discerning part of this town for the general truth of your statements and whether they have not, in the aggregate, experienced more than thrice that number of shocks.  Citizens of Cincinnati, and its vicinity, respectable for their number of intelligence, their diligence and accuracy of observation, and not less anxious for 'the truth to be told' than the editors of that paper, all concur (with slight shades of difference inseparable from the peculiarity of the subject) in believing your statements to be generally correct.  But, Messrs. Printers, I well remember, that, at two different times, when yellow fever appeared in N. York and Philadelphia, its existence was strenuously and fatally denied for some weeks together - - aye, and by many of the healing faculty too - - fearful the character of their darling cities might suffer, and themselves become unpopular - - til at length it could no longer be concealed.  Thus were wantonly sacrificed hundreds of lives, which might have been saved by a timely flight from the seat of pestilence - - and thus narrow prejudice, fortified by avarice and self interest, warred against humanity.  Do not imagine, for a moment, that I am impressed with a sense of imminent danger to this town, or its inhabitants, from any convulsions that may threaten it at this time; believing as I do (and as every mortal, blessed with common sense and reflection must believe) that Cincinnati is not 'in the focus of this grand operation.'  Facts already known are opposed to it.

In regard to three words above-"OTHERS WERE EXPECTED"-and which the editors have sneeringly selected and enclosed between double quotation marks, it is only necessary to say that the expectation has been realized.

As the charge of exaggeration, on your part, appears to be one of the objects of the publication in view, let us now see on whose side the exaggeration lies. In Liberty Hall of hte 29th January, there was given an account of the Earthquake as it appeared, on the Mississippi betwen N. Madrid andthe Chickasaw Bluffs, taken from a letter to this place, of which that account professed to be the substance.  Millions of trees are made to start from thebottom of the river during oen of the concussions. - - Now, sirs, I myself have perused that same letter, and can positively affirm the word millions is not to bound throughoutt he whole of it. - - But I am not disposed to cavil.  You ahve alrady published an abscract of that letter, methodically digested and correct in substance.


January 30, 1812

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


How to cite this article:  "For the Spy" Western Spy (Cincinnati, Ohio), 8 Feb. 1812, p. 3, available at