At New Madrid, (Louisiana Territory) the shocks have been uncommonly violent—throwing down chimnies 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 render 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, & sulphureous smell. Sixty-seven shocks have been witnessed, which have split and cracked the earth in an hundred places in the neighborhood.  During the violent shocks, the people, by their yells and shrieks, discovering their extreme alarm, and upon one of those occasions, a lady was known to faint & 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 presented a retrograde 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 Shawaone Prophet [the Shawnee Tenskwatawa], for the destruction of the whites.
Lexington Statesman

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How to cite this article:  "Earthquake" Centinel (Gettysburg, Penn.), 12 Feb. 1812, p. 3, available at