Account of a dreadful hurricane which happened in the island of Jamaica, in the month of October, 1780

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Account of a dreadful hurricane which happened in the island of Jamaica, in the month of October, 1780  (1799) 

AN ACCOUNT

OF A

DREADFUL

Hurricane,

Which happened in th Island of JAMAICA,
in the month of October, 1780.-Also of
another in the year following.
AND OF
An Awful PHÆNOMENON
CALLED A
Tornado,

which took place, in the parish of Ednam in Berwickshire, this present year, 1799. To the great terror of the Spectators who beheld its alarming afpect.

⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢⇢

DUNBAR
Printed for and Sold by G. MILLER at whose Shop may be (illegible text), a variety of Small Histories, Sermons &c. Catechisms, Ballads, Childrens Books and Pictures.
WHOLESALE and RETAIL.

Account of a dreadful hurricane which happened in the island of Jamaica, in the month of October, 1780 - Headpiece.png

AN ACCOUNT

OF A

Dreadful Hurricane, &c.

Hurricane in Jamaica, October, 1780.

THE most formidable enemy the sugar cane has to encounter, and the principal dread in those latitudes in which it grows, must, from its destructive pre eminence, be deemed the hurricane. The fell Tornado, and the burning plains of Africa have only sands and deserts to witness their malignant fury; but the wind which, from its effects, I am about to describe, sweeps through the regions of cultivation and expence, and reduces, and almost with a single blast, the independent to distress, the affluent to want, and the feeling to despair. It is unpleasant to speak of public calamities, if those calamities can come home to ourselves; and it is so common for those who suffer but little to complain, that those who suffer much are hardly credited in the enumeration of misfortunes. The first impression of things is generally magnified; and the difference which removes us from the seat of action, is the cause of disbelief; and fancy (illegible text) often supposed to be called in to the aid of truth. But what I am about to write is a plain and a simple narrative, experienced by numbers, and (if so humbled an individual may dare to speak) most awfully felt by myself; although I am conscious that my loss was only like a bubble in the ocean, when compared to the magnitude of the general mass. The shock which the suffering parishes sustained, very few (illegible text)tions of those parishes will ever recover. A more general destruction in the extent of a given proportion of land, hath rarely happened; and the hurricane of 1780, will be ever acknowledged as a (illegible text)tation that descends but once in a century, and that serves as a scourge to correct the vanity, to humble the pride, and to chastise the imprudence and arrogance of men.

The following description, which immediately and naturally arose from the melancholy subject, when the facts were fresh, and the ruins, as it were, before my eyes, will not, I trust, be deemed foreign (illegible text)he general tendency of these remarks; and I will be, I hope, excused, if I endeavour to awaken (illegible text) recollection of calamities past, particularly as in (illegible text)e calamities the poor negroes had likewise their (illegible text)ion of disappointment and affliction.

This destructive hurricane began by gentle and almost unperceptible degrees, between twelve and (illegible text) o'clock, on the morn of the 3d of October, and (illegible text)he year 1780. There fell, at first, a trifling (illegible text), which continued, without increase, untill ten o'clock; about which time the wind arose, and the sea began to roar in a most tremendous and uncommon manner. As yet, we had not any presenment of the distress and danger which it was <span style="cursor:help; " title="soon">(illegible text) afterwards our unhappy fortune to encounter: and although between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, we saw the subordinat buildings begin to totter and fall around us; yet we did not think it necessary to provide, at that time, for our present or future safety. We now observed, with some emotion and concern, a poor pigeon endeavoured with fruitless struggle, to regain its nest: it (illegible text)tered long in the air; and was so weakened at last that it was driven away by the wind, and in almost a moment was carried entirely out of sight.

As great events are sometimes the consequence of small beginnings, and as simple occurences are often as striking as great concerns, I could not help dwelling with commiseration upon what I had seen and of anticipating, in some measure, the loss and inconvenience, though not the real destruction, (illegible text) what soon afterwards ensued.

A poor discouraged ewe, intimidated by the terrors of the night, had found its way into the (illegible text)iant quarter of the house, which, at the time of her retreat, must have been wholly neglected; (illegible text) to which it was afterwards, as our last resort, (illegible text) unfortunate destiny to repair. She lay with pati(illegible text) cold, and fearful trembling, amidst the joists, (illegible text) and cuffs that were incessently dealt around her. She became a pathetic sufferer in the succeeding calalamity; and he must have been a brute, indeed and more deserving of the apellation she bare, who could have perserved in forcing her from such seeming protection, or could have been envious that lately, which, from her unwillingness to move, it was natural to think that she at that time enjoyed. I must confess, that I tried to dispossess her, but I tried in vain; and I have since reflected, that her preservation was as dear to her as mine was to me: and I feel a real comfort in repeating those exquisitely humane and tender lines of Ovid, which are so feelingly descriptive of the fate of this most useful and patient animal.

Every thing claims a kindred in misfortune; it feels like death; but death, alas! to some comes too late; and to others it comes too early. In a short time, perhaps, it was the fate of the poor meek creature above discribed, to feel its stroke. I might have caused, unknowingly, its execution, and might have feasted upon its flesh. The very idea chills my blood, and brings to my mind the remembrance of the dreadful situation of Pierre (illegible text)aud.

An act of dire necessity may be certainly excused; but to destroy (for the gratification of an appetite which we have in common with brutes) that which has been used to live in a domestic and in a cherished state around us, would argue an insensibility, from which every feeling mind must naturally revolt: and I should hope, that there are but few people who could eat of that kid, which they had then lick the butcher's hand at the very moment at the knife was about to deprive its innocence of existence; and when it supplicated, with an almost human cry, its preservation of life, and with a (illegible text)andishment so particularly expressive of tenderness and pity.

From the morning until four o'clock in the afternoon, the wind continued to blow with increasing violence from the north and east: but from that time, having collected all its powers of devastation, it rushed with irresistable violence from the south; and in about an hour and half after that period, so general and persevering were its accumulated effects, that it scarcely left a plantain tree, (illegible text), or building, uninjured in the parish. At about four o'clock, we found it impossible to secure the house against the increasing impetuosity of the wind, which began to displace the shingles, up(illegible text) the roof, to force the windows, and to gain an entrance on every side: and its hasty destruction b(illegible text) too (illegible text)uly proved how soon, and how universally, it succeeded! We were now driven from the appartments above, to take shelter in the rooms below, but there we were followed by fresh dangers, and stupified by fresh alarms. The demon of destruction was wasted in the winds, and not a (illegible text) could escape its malignant devastation. While we were looking with apprehension and terror around us, the roof rafters, plates, and walls of six apartments fell in, and immediately above our heads and the horrid crashes of glasses, furniture, and floors, occasioned a noise and aproar, that may be more easily felt, than the weakness of my pen can possibly describe.

I will not attempt (indeed my abilities and language are unequal to the task) to awaken the sensibility of others, by dwelling upon private misfortunes, when the losses of many are entitled to superior regard: but egotism may be surely allowed in a narrative of this kind, where general companions must in some measure describe individual sufferings, and where what one has felt, has been the lot of numbers: and where a person has indentically seen, and been involved in the same destruction, it is difficult to keep clear of expressions that do not immediately apply to, and speak the language oneself.

The situation of the unhappy negroes who poured in upon us so soon as their houses were destroyed, and whose terrors seemed to have deprived them of sense and motion, not only very particularly augmented the confusion of the time, but very considerably added, by their whispers and distress, to the scene of general suspense, and the fluctuations of hope and alarm. Some lamented by anticipation, the loss of their wives and children, of which their fears had deprived them; while others regretted the downfall of their houses, of which they had so lately been the unfortunate spectators.

It will be difficult to conceive a situation more terrible than what my house afforded from four o'clock in the afternoon until six o'clock the ensuing morning. Driven, as we were, from room to room, while the roofs, the floors, and he walls, were rumbling over head, or falling around us; the wind blowing with a noise and violence that cannot even now be reflected upon without alarm; the rain (illegible text)aring down in torrents; and the night which seemed to fall, as it were in a moment, uncommonly dark, and the gloom of which we had not a single ray to enliven, and the length of which we (illegible text) not either spirits or resolution, by conversation, (illegible text) cheer! The negro huts, as; before observed, were at this time destroyed; and the miserable sufferers rushed into the house, and began such complaints and lamentations as added very considerably to the discomforts, and much increased the almost before unspeakable distresses of the scene. One poor (illegible text)man in particular (if real philanthrophy would not disdain to make a discrimination of colour, (illegible text)s, in a very particular and sensible manner, en(illegible text)ed to pity. Her child and that a favourite, was (illegible text)arly buried in the ruins of her house that fell around her: she snatched it, with all the inconsiderate impatience of maternal fondness, from the expectation of asfudden fate: she strained it to her arms in simple love and unassisted protection, and flew to deposit her tender burden in the retreat of distant safety: she flew in vain: the tempest reaching her and swept the child, unconscious of danger from her folding arms, and dashed her hopes and comforts to the ground. She recovered, and to her bosom restored the pleasing charge: she endeavoured to sooth it with her voice; but it was (illegible text) she felt it, and she found it cold: she screamed, (illegible text) lamented, and she cursed: nor could our sympathy console her sorrows, our remonstrances (illegible text) strain her violence, nor our authority suppress her execrations. She felt like a mother, although an apa(illegible text) might say she did not feel like a Christian. What a cold and illiberal diftinction! Give a Negro religion, and establish him in either the principles of obedience, or the knowledge of endurance, and he will not disgrace that tenet which shall be recommended by practice. Her lamentations were a(illegible text)ral, and of consequence affecting, and give additional despondency to a night that was already too miserable to bear an augmentation of sorrow.

The darkness of the night, the howling of the winds, the growling of the thunder, and the partial flashes of the lightning that darted through the murky cloud, which sometimes burst forth with a plenitude of light, and at others hardly gave sufficient lamination to brighten the terrified aspect of the negroes; that, with cold and fear, were trembling around; the cries of the children who were exposed to the weather, and who (poor innocents) had lost their mothers in the darkness and confusion of the night; and the great uncertainty of general and private situation combined; could not fail to strike the soul with as deep as it was an unaccustomed horror. In the midst of danger, in the a(illegible text) (illegible text) moments of suspence, and when almost sunk by despair, we prayed for more frequent lightning to (illegible text) the walls, for more heavy thunder to out-roar the blafs, in the philosophic consolation that they (illegible text)ght purge the atmosphere, and disperse the storm: but alas! they were but seldom seen, or (illegible text)ly heard, as if afraid of combining the influence (illegible text)ight with the destruction of sound, and of rais(illegible text) upon the ground of terror, the superstructure of despair!

When the night was past, and our minds hung suspended between the danger we had escaped, and the anticipation of what we might expect to ensue; when the dawn appeared as if unwilling to disclose the devastation that the night had caused; when the sun beams peeped above the hills, and illuminated the scene around—just God! what a contrast was here exhibited between that morning and the day before! a day which seemed to smile upon Nature, and to take delight in the prospects of plenty that (illegible text)ed around, and which produced, wherever the eye could gaze, the charms of cultivation, and the promise of abundance; but which fallacious appearances, alas! were to be at once annihilated by (illegible text) extensive and melancholy view of desolation and despair, in which the expectations of the mo(illegible text)ate, and the wishes of the sanguine, were to be (illegible text)oon ingulphed. The horrors of the day were much augmented by the melancholy exclamation of every voice, and the energetic expression of every (illegible text)d: some of which were uplifted in acts of execration; some wiped the tears that were flowing from (illegible text) eye: while some, considering from whence the (illegible text)tation came, were seen to strike their breasts, as if to chide the groans which it was impossible to refrain. An uncommon silence reigned around: it was the pause of consternation; it was a dumb oratory, that said more, much more than any tongue could utter. The first sounds proceeded from the mouths of the most patient of Nature’s creatures-from the melancholy cow that had lost its calf, and with frequent lowings invited its return; from the mother ewes, that with frequent bleetings recalled their lambs, which were frisking out of sight, unconscious of danger and unmindful of food: and which solemn and pathetic invitations, after such a night, the contemplation of such a scene, and the disposition of the mind to receive pathetic impressions, came home with full effect to those who has suffered but who wished not to complain! If the distresses of the feathered tribe be taken into the description, their natural timidity. their uncertainty of food, of shelter, and domestic protection, (illegible text) duly considered, trifling as these observations may appear, they certainly help to swell the catalogue of distress, to awaken the sigh of sensibility, and to teach us that their existence, and their end are (illegible text) the hands of the same Creator.

The morning of the 4th of October presented (illegible text) with a prospect, dreary beyond description, and (illegible text) most melancholy beyond example; and deformed with such blasted signs of nakedness and ruin, (illegible text) calamity, in its most awful and deftructive moments, has seldom offered to the desponding obsevations of mankind. The face of the country seemed to be entirely changed: the vallies and the plains, the mountains and the forests, that were only the day before most beautifully clothed with every v(illegible text)are, were now despoiled of every charm; and an expected abundance and superfluity of gain, (illegible text) a few hours succeeded sterility and want; and every prospect, as far as the eye could stretch, was visibly stricken blank with desolation and with horror. The powers of vegetation appeared to be an on (illegible text) suspended; and instead of Nature and her works, the mind was petrified by the ſeeming approach of fate and chaos. The country looked as if it had been lately viſited by fire and the ſword, as if the Tornado had rifled Africa of its sands, to deposst their contents upon the denuded bosom of the hilis; as if Æina had ſcorched the mountains, and a volcano had taken possession of every height. The trees were up rooted, the dwellings deſtroyed; and in ſome places, not a stone was left to indicate the uſe to which it was once applied. Those who had houses, could hardly diſtinguiſh their ruins and the proprietor knew not where to fix the situation of his former possessions. The very beasts of all descriptions, were conſcious of the calamity: the birds, particularly the domeſtic pigeons, were most of them deſtroyed; and the fish were driven from thoſe rivers, and those seas, of which they had before been the peaceful inhabitants. New ſtreams arose, and extenſive lakes were ſpread, where rills were ſcarcely feen to trickle before; and ferry-boats were obliged to ply, where carriges were uſed to travel with safety and convenience. The roads were for a long time impassible among the mountains, the low lands were overflowed, and numbers of cattle were carried away by the depth and impetuosity of the torrents; while the boundries of the different plantations were sunk beneath the accumulated preſſure of the innundation.

To give you at once a more general idea of this tremendous hurricane, I shall observe, that not a single house was left undamaged in the parish; not a single set of works, trash-house, or other subordinat building, that was not greatly injured, or entirely deſtroyed. Not a ſingle wharf, ftore houſe, or shed, for the depoſit of goods, was left sanding: they were all fwept away at once by the billows of the sea; and hardly left behind, the traces of their foundations. The negro houses were, and I believe without a single exception, universally blown down: and this reflection opens a large field for the philanthropist, whose feelings will pity, at least, those miseries which he would have been happy to have had the power to relieve. Hardly a tree, a shrub, a vegetable, or a blade of grass an inch long, was to be seen standing up and uninjured, the ensuing morning: nay, the very bark was whipt from the logwood-hedges, as they lay upon the ground; and the whole prospect had the appearance of a desert, over which the burning winds of Africa had lately past.

At Savanna-la Mar, there was not even a vestige of a town (the parts only of two or three houses having in partial ruin remained, as if to indicate the situation and extent of the calamity): the very materials of which it had been composed, had been carried away by the resistless fury of the waves, which finally completed what the wind began. A very great proportion of the poor inhabitants were crushed to death, or drowned, and in one house alone, it was computed that forty, out of one and forty souls, unhappily and prematurely perished. The sea drove with progressive violence for more than a mile into the country; and carried terror, as it left destruction, wherever it passed. Two large ships and a schooner were at anchor in the bay, but bere driven a considerable distance from the shore, and totally wrecked among the mango-trees upon land.

Were I to dwell upon the numberless singularities of accidents that this dreadfnl storm occasioned, both among the mountains and on the plains over which is passed; were I to mention its particularities and caprices, and the variety of contingencies which seemed impossible to happen, which imagination might trifle with, but which reason would scarcely believe; in short, were I to mention what I myself saw, and what numbers could witness; [(illegible text)uld be afraid to offer them to the serious regard of my readers, in the dread that I might be thought to insult their understandings, and to advance as (illegible text)ion, what it would be very difficult, indeed, to (illegible text)dit as truth.

The distesses of the miserable inhabitants of Savanna-la-Mar, during the period, and for a long time after the cessation; of the storm, must have (illegible text)eeded the most nervous, as they would have (illegible text)passed the most melancholy powers of description. They were such as ought to have affected (if public losses and private sufferings can ever affect (illegible text) stony bosoms of the rapacious, and the icy bowels of the interested), they were such, I say, as (illegible text)uld almost have melted the unfeeling, and have (illegible text)end the obdurate: but, alas! they could not, in (illegible text) many instances, divert the rigid purpose, and (illegible text)hold the rigorous hard of the man of business. Those who the day before were possessed, not only (illegible text) every domestic comfort, but of every reasonable (illegible text)ury of life, were now obliged to seek for shelter (illegible text) on a board; and were exposed, in sickness and (illegible text)iction, unsheltered and unprovided, to the noisy (illegible text)rusions of the wind and the cold, and the frequent visitations of the shower.

Were I to enumerate private afflictions in this scene of general devastation and despair, I should enquire the pathetic pen of that accomplished (illegible text)ter who has given a charm to grief, and a dinity to suffering, in the tender pages of Emma (illegible text)rbet: and who could so well have expressed (illegible text) corresponding sentiment, by flowing language, (illegible text)d glowing truth, those mighty sorrows which the father endured for the death of a son, which (illegible text) wife sustained for the loss of her husband, and (illegible text) all those minor ties of consanguinity, and friendship which were, at this unhappy and awful period (illegible text) generally disolved.

When we consider how very soon the gay pursuits and flattering appearances of life are designed; how uncertain are our possessions, and (illegible text) subject to hopes, and how embittered by disappointments, are our pursuits; it is somewhat extraordinary, that we should be so much attached (illegible text) the world, should entrust the sun-fsine of our d(illegible text) and without suspicion of a change, to every cl(illegible text) should commit our present happiness to the inst(illegible text)lity of climate, to the vicissitudes of cold and heat, to the terrors of the tempest, or the pestil(illegible text) dangers of the calm:-it is astonishing, I again repeat, that we should repose all our comforts, (illegible text) all our expectations, upon a world so full of mo(illegible text)cation, disappointment, and affliction; when (illegible text) must be conscious that we must so soon leave (illegible text) world and all its empty delusions behind. When we look around, and see people who thought themselves above the reach of want, and reclining, a(illegible text) a long apprenticefhip of patient industry and persevering toil, upon the lap of late-earned independentcy and honest repose; when we see them (illegible text) the fruits of exertions thus made, and of comforts thus enjoyed, in one fatal and destructive (illegible text) our,—w(illegible text) an awful lesson does this reflection awaken in (illegible text) minds! and how much does it not warn us against building upon a foundation so very precarious at best, and at the best deceitful! But then to (illegible text) them reduced to this situation, and struggling with infirmities, without the vigour of youth, or (illegible text) exertions of manhood—without shelter from weather, protection from power, or meat (illegible text)ink to comfort the calls of declining nature, or (illegible text)terest enongh to rescue them from the impending horrors of a gaol;—the accumulation of such misfortunes, is more than sufficient to excite compassion, but not always sufficient, as we find by melancholy example, to obtain relief.

So sudden an alteration, is enough to shake a philosophy that has not before been tried; and such a change is sufficient to excite those complaints which are caused by disappointment, but which may be born with patience, and finaly overcome by calmness and resignation. If (illegible text)meet with affection, are we alone unfortunate? If we lose our (illegible text)l, are we the only beggars? How many are reduced to penury who cannot work! What numbers perish without help, or are entombed alive without (illegible text) and yet how many emerge from distress and (illegible text)ant, by a manly fortitude, and steady perserverance (illegible text) conduct! The hand of power may oppress; but innocence has its peculiar triumph, as misery cannot reach the grave; for that is the retreat of Virtue, her consummation, and her end.

I can hardly prevail upon myself to believe, that the united violence of all the winds that rush from the heavens, blown through one tub, and directed (illegible text) one spot, could have occasioned such destruction, and in so short a space of time, as that of which I was an unfortunate witness, and of which I am now become the feeble recorder. If we even conclude it possible that the ruins of our buildings could have been occasioned by the concentration of its fury, how are we to account for some phænomena of which we were the suffering and (illegible text)ed spectators? How account for the sudden irruption of ri(illegible text)ers, the lapses of earth, the disunion of rocks, the fisures of mountains, and for other objects of the sublime and terrible, which have changed and disfigured the face of the country? How accoun(illegible text) for the hollow roarings of the sea, and for the instability of the climate for many months before and for the dreadful pauses that were observed to take place, before the buildings were entirely over turned? It can hardly be doubted but that heaven and earth were combined in compleating our destruction. One element alone has been hardly ever known to occasion so extensive a devastation; and the sudden swelling and raging of the sea, we may reasonably ttribute to the heavings of the earthquake; to which likewise the general ruin of our houses may be in some measure attributed.

I have seen the ruins of Lisbon; and if it would not almost amount to folly to compare, in th(illegible text) place, great things with small, I should say that the destruction there, great and melancholy as it was, could only have been, by comparison of buildings and extent of population, more dreadful than that calamity which I have now the presumption to describe. The earthquake at Lisbon happened in the morning; and although it almost universally affected its buildings, yet the productions of the earth received, in consequence, but little damage whereas the hurricane in Jamaica continued throughout the night, which has its particular terrors, independentiy of water, and of wind; and not only blew down every thing within its sweep, but sprea desolation through the country round; and I am apt to believe, that the peculiar distresses of the unhappy sufferers of Savanna la-Mar, must have equalled every thing (I still mean by comparison that is to be met with in the most melancholy annals of human misfortunes.

To this calamity, another unfortunately succeeded; and the consequences of which were still more fatal to the lives of those who had survived the storm. The stench that arose from the putrefacation of the dead bodies, which remained for many weeks without interment (and to numbers of which the rites of burial could not be administered), occasioned a kind of pestilence, that swept away a (illegible text) at proportion of those who had providentially escaped the first destruction. Almost every person (illegible text) the town and neighbourhood was affected; and (illegible text) faculty were rendered incapable through, (illegible text)ness, to attend their patients, many of whom perished from the inclemency of the weather, from (illegible text)nt of attendance, or supply of food: and to add (illegible text) the general apprehension, the negroes poured down in troops to the scene of devastation (and, I (illegible text) sorry to observe, that many white people were (illegible text)ected, opon the spot, of promiscuous plunder); and having made free with the rum that was floating in the inundations, began to grow insolent and unruly; and, by their threats and conduct, occasioned an alarm which it was found necessary, by exer(illegible text)n and caution, at once to suppress: and what the consequences, at such a time of general confusion and dread, might have been, had not the punche(illegible text) been immediately staved, can hardly, even at this distance of time, be reflected upon without (illegible text)rrour.

That the unenlightened negroes should be led to (illegible text)under, when they could it with safety, and without the curbs of morality and religion to restrain them, is a circumstance not to be wondered at, as it is consisent with the common depravity of human nature; but that those who ought to be a (illegible text)ck upon the licentiousness which they themselves perhaps have taught, should stand forward to (illegible text)vest misery of its last support, and even plunder (illegible text)ury itself of its utmost farthing, is a reflection upon those who can distinguish black from white in the colour of the human skin, but who cannot discriminate what is black from white in the integral conduct of man to man. To take advantage of misfortune, in the time of public calamity and private affliction, and to raise a superstructure, however small, upon the ruins of others; is what, alas has been too often justifed without chastisement and enjoyed without shame: and if those who are in authority over negroes, and to whom they are taught to look up for the theory as well the practice of integrity, shall set an example of worldly injustice, of rapacity and plunder-the negro who follows this infamous example, unconscious of wrong, is neither a principal, nor an accessary, altho he may possibly be convicted of both; while the real delinquent, who grows rich from infamy, is suffered to escape without trial, and consequently without a punishment. I must therefore from facts conclude, that a reformation in practical manners must begin with the white people in the colonies, before any inhumane institutions for the relief of the slaves can either be carried into full, or even into partial effect; and this preliminary I shall hereafter endeavour to support by corollaries drawn from fact and experience.

The congratulations of the morning that succeeded the dreadful visitation which has been the subject of these pages, were such as seemed the spontaneous effects of what the bosom felt from the relief of supereminent dangers: the sad occasion seemed to create new ideas in the mind, and to give pangs to feeling, of which the heart was before unconscious. Many people thought that the day of final judgement was come; and felt it as it was then too late to reflect upon danger: for danger, which implies uncertainty, would then have been a appeasing idea, inasmuch a chance is a contrast to (illegible text)ual despair. It is the natural providence of man to (illegible text)ffer; it is an appendage of his condition: but it requires a somenthing more to learn to submit, and (illegible text) patient submission, without complaint, to bear.

It is natural to suppose that the storm above described must have given rise to many distressing and pathetic scenes; must upon some occasions have (illegible text)rrowed up the soul, and upon others, have introduced a tenderness and pity. Husbands and wives, (illegible text) parents and children, were in many places separated by the terrors of the night and separated, as before observed, to meet no more: but upon these dreadful scenes I shall not attempt to dwell, as their remembrance will survive the description of my pen, in the melancholy perpetuity (illegible text) domestic afflictions; and which numberless families, more or less, to the destruction of their hopes, and the discomfort of their lives, will long, very long, have cause to lament.

I shall never forget the desolate appearance my house made immediately after this catastrophe, nor the many circumstances of distress and commiseration that alternately shocked and softened the mind. Here a poor infant was seen extracted from the ruins, and its lifeless body confined to the care and lamentations of its desponding parents; there fat a group of negroes bewailing with heaviness of heart, and all the silent eloquence of streaming eyes; and streached out hands, the total destruction of their little fortunes, in the wrecks of their houses, the (illegible text)n of their effects, and the demolition of their (illegible text)ounds; while others ran confusedly here and there, without knowing upon what errand they were bent, or where to begin, or how to set about the restoration of their losses, or by what philosophy to console their minds.

There wre many who wished to be employed (illegible text) rendering our situations more comfortable, but who, from want of method, and from that hu(illegible text) which is its constant attendant, were always in the way, and consequently did more harm than good. Some, indeed succeeded in their exertions and I should little deserve those comforts I so soon found, in comparison to many others, did I n(illegible text) bear witness to the willing industry and unremitting application of the tradesmen and other negroes who were employed in the reparation of the offices, and in making tight those parts of our temporary dwellings which were destined to the accommodation (illegible text) ourselves and friends.

Another Hirricane in Jamaica, 1781.

IN addition to the forementioned calamity, the inhabitants of the island of Jamaica, were again visited by this dreadful scourge of Humanity within less than a twelvemonth after it happened—as appears from the following extract.

Kingston, Aug. 4, 178(illegible text)

About eight o’clock on Wednesday evening, (illegible text) st inst (illegible text) a hard gale of wind came on from the south ward, but soon after veered to different points (illegible text) the compass; before nine it increased to a perfect hurricane, and continued to rage till near eleven; greatest part of the time blowing from the south east, accompanied by a heavy and incessant rain, nor did the storm altogether subside till about two in the morning: 73 sail of vessels, including sloops, schooners and shallops were on shore between Russel’s bulks and the wharf of John Vernon, (illegible text) and Co. and several others to the westward of the town, but being mostly light vessels, the greatest part of them either have been, or will be got on (illegible text) though not without considerable damage. The water in the harbour is supposed to have risen between four and five feet perpendicular, the plank(illegible text) of the wharfs in general being torn up, and (illegible text)ny heavy articles that were upon them entirely caried away; of Messrs: Law and Hargreave’s wharf, scarce the vestiges remain.-The greatest part of the returned fleet being at Port Royal, the (illegible text)unts from thence are still more deplorable, two (illegible text)ded ships being either sunk or overset, and 24 (illegible text) on shore between Salt Ponds and Musquito (illegible text)nt.

Many houses and piazzas in this town were blown down, and two negroes found drowned in the (illegible text)eets, in which torrents of water for several hours (illegible text) down with great rapidity.

His Majesty’s ship Pelican was drove upon Moutnt Key, and suppofed to be totally lost; the ship’s company, excepting four; were providentially saved.

Three vessels were drove ashore in the harbour (illegible text) Martha Brae; the ship Robuck, of New-York, the sloop Beaver, and a sloop belonging to Kingston; the first is totally lost, the other two will be (illegible text) oft.

The ship Orange Bay, which went ashore near the Twelve Apostles, contrary to all expectation, has been got off. A considerable part of the car(illegible text)es of several other vessels, that were drove on shore near that place, has been saved.

His Majesty’s ship Southampton, after having had (illegible text) engagement with a French frigate off Cape Francais, was by the late storm dismasted and driven to (illegible text)reck Riff, to the leewerd of Port Royal, where she now remains; the Vaughan and several other vessels are gone to her assistance.

The storm very unfortunately proves to have been general throughout the island, though not equally violent in Westmoreland, St. Ann’s, and St. Mary's, the canes have received considerable damage, and the plantain walks, together with the ripening corn, have been totally destroyed; the other parishes, particularly those to windward, have suffered in much less degree.

Montego Bay

The storm of Wednesday the 1st of August has done much damage to our shipping; it has drove ashore two ships, the Christina and Juno, a small vessel of Niel’s, and a brig belonging to Capt. Alex. Hamilton, is totally lost, and himfelf and ma(illegible text) drowned; M’Kay’s wharf is carried away: Drs Pin(illegible text)ney and Ruecastle, Messrs. Blake and Ingles’s mess houses and stores are thrown down; all the provision and fine crops of corn are destroyed; the canes are all laid flat, and there is hardly an estate (illegible text) Westmoreland but has suffered in buildings. The Ulysses. which came here from Kingston w(illegible text) 20,000!. a part of the parliamentary grant to the sufferers by the storm in October last, has been drove to sea, together with a brig out of Bluefield, and, through the whole parish of St. Elisabeth, the provisions in general are destroyed, and the canes greatly damaged.

The accounts from Hanover are equally unfavourable.

St. Mary’s, St. Ann’s, and Trelawny, have all suffered very considerabley in their provisions and canes.

On Sunday last the ship Ulysses,———, Thomaas Esq(illegible text) commander, went into Lucea harbour under jury masts, with the loss of her bowspring being all the damage we understand she has sustained.

Letters received from St. Elizabeth mentioned that the scarcity of provisions for the negroes is so great, in consequence of the last storm, that (illegible text)y of the inhabitants are obliged to purchase (illegible text) at the exhorbitant price of a bit for six ears, (illegible text)ly to keep their slaves from perishing until (illegible text)r provifions can be procured.

(illegible text) is yet impossible to say what number of lives (illegible text) been lost in this dreadful calamity; but they (illegible text)t be numerous; in one plantain boat only, (illegible text) persons perished; as did the crew of the Ruby’s (illegible text) at Port Royal, in endeavouring to assist a vessel in distress soon after the storm came on.

Edinburgh. Advertiser, Nov. 6, 1781.

Tornado in Scotland, July, 1799.

TOrnado. The following interesting account of this awful phænomenon, which took place at Whitelaw, in the parish of Ednam, Berwickshire, (illegible text)e 3d curt we copy from the Kelso Mail.

The weather through the day had been calm, (illegible text) soft showers. At seven o’clock in the evening there was observed by many people, a little to (illegible text) South-west of Mr. Tod’s house at Whitelaw, (illegible text)ense light coloured cloud of a very uncommon appearance. It resembled an inverted cone, reaching from the ground to a considerable height in the (illegible text)iphere. Its motion towards the house was slow (illegible text) majestic, a person of no great agility on seeing (illegible text) approach could easily have escaped from it. It (illegible text)n at length to whirl round with great rapidity. accompanied with a loud rattling noise. The effect (illegible text) amazing power was first exhibited upon a large (illegible text) of straw in the barn yard, which it raised in (illegible text) mass to a considerable height in the air. A (illegible text)n of timber, lying flat on the ground, was hurled from it’s place several feet; and it will be thought (illegible text)ft to exceed credibility when it is mentioned, (illegible text) this beam was thirty-three feet long! Small (illegible text)es were heaped together in mounds as if by (illegible text)od. The farm offices were materially injured; some of them, indeed, were almost entirely stript of their tiles.

"Human strength was mere weakness when opposed to this war of elements. A stout young fellow, who had witnessed the scene in the barn-yard from an apprehension that the house must necessarily be tumbled down, run out for safety. The resistless enemy, however, lifted him over a wall (illegible text) feet high, and carried him forwards for thirty (illegible text) forty yards!-Several of the servants were forcibly driven about, some in one direction and some in another, according to the eddy. The horses and cattle upon the farm exhibited the liveliest symptoms of alarm and agitation.

"The dwelling house at Whitelaw, in which a family resided at the time, shook with such violence as to threaten its destruction and theirs. Providentially, however, amidst all the devastation, no person was materially hurt; and, what renders this the more remarkable is, that the tiles which were torn from the surrounding offices fell from an immense height, in vast numbers, among the people exposed to the storm.

"Before the cloud reached the farm house it has fortunately divided, and the two parts taking different directions, only one of them struck the buildings. Had the whole collected force discharged itself at once, few, it is probable, would have survived to relate the particulars.

"There was little rain at Whitelaw either immediately before or after the whirlwind; but in (illegible text) adjacent country, to the north and east, owing, (illegible text) supposed, to the violent concussion of the clou(illegible text) there was a torrent of rain, and in some places h(illegible text) for a few minutes, as had not been observed in memory of man.—Edinburgh Weekly Journal, No. (illegible text)

Printed by G. Miller: Dunbar.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.