Account of a dreadful hurricane which happened in the island of Jamaica, in the month of October, 1780
Which happened in th Island of JAMAICA,
in the month of October, 1780.-Also of
another in the year following.
An Awful PHÆNOMENON
⟨⟩ 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.
⟨⟩ 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.
Dreadful Hurricane, &c.
Hurricane in Jamaica, October, 1780.
THE most formidable enemy the sugar ⟨⟩ has to encounter, and the principal dread ⟨⟩ those latitudes in which it grows, must, from ⟨⟩ destructive pre eminence, be deemed the ⟨⟩. The fell Tornado, and the burning plains of ⟨⟩ have only sands and deserts to witness their ⟨⟩ fury; but the wind which, from its effects, ⟨⟩ am about to describe, sweeps through the ⟨⟩ of cultivation and expence, and reduces, and ⟨⟩ with a single blast, the independent to distress, ⟨⟩ affluent to want, and the feeling to despair. It ⟨⟩ unpleasant to speak of public calamities, if ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ can come home to ourselves; and it is so ⟨⟩ for those who suffer but little to complain, ⟨⟩ those who suffer much are hardly credited in ⟨⟩ enumeration of misfortunes. The first ⟨⟩ of things is generally magnified; and the ⟨⟩ which removes us from the seat of action, is ⟨⟩ cause of disbelief; and fancy (illegible text) often supposed ⟨⟩ be called in to the aid of truth. But what I am ⟨⟩ to write is a plain and a simple narrative, ⟨⟩ by numbers, and (if so humbled an ⟨⟩ may dare to speak) most awfully felt by ⟨⟩; although I am conscious that my loss was ⟨⟩ like a bubble in the ocean, when compared to ⟨⟩ magnitude of the general mass. The shock ⟨⟩ the suffering parishes sustained, very few (illegible text)tions of those parishes will ever recover. A ⟨⟩ general destruction in the extent of a given ⟨⟩ of land, hath rarely happened; and the ⟨⟩ of 1780, will be ever acknowledged as a (illegible text)tation that descends but once in a century, and ⟨⟩ serves as a scourge to correct the vanity, to ⟨⟩ the pride, and to chastise the imprudence ⟨⟩ arrogance of men.
The following description, which immediately ⟨⟩ naturally arose from the melancholy subject, ⟨⟩ the facts were fresh, and the ruins, as it were, ⟨⟩ my eyes, will not, I trust, be deemed foreign (illegible text)he general tendency of these remarks; and I ⟨⟩ 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.
⟨⟩ destructive hurricane began by gentle and ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ sea began to roar in a most tremendous and ⟨⟩ manner. As yet, we had not any ⟨⟩ of the distress and danger which it was <span style="cursor:help; " title="soon">(illegible text) afterwards our unhappy fortune to encounter: ⟨⟩ although between two and three o'clock in the ⟨⟩, we saw the subordinat buildings begin ⟨⟩ totter and fall around us; yet we did not think ⟨⟩ necessary to provide, at that time, for our ⟨⟩ or future safety. We now observed, with ⟨⟩ emotion and concern, a poor pigeon ⟨⟩ with fruitless struggle, to regain its nest: it (illegible text)tered long in the air; and was so weakened at ⟨⟩ that it was driven away by the wind, and in ⟨⟩ a moment was carried entirely out of sight.
As great events are sometimes the ⟨⟩ of small beginnings, and as simple occurences ⟨⟩ often as striking as great concerns, I could not ⟨⟩ dwelling with commiseration upon what I had ⟨⟩ and of anticipating, in some measure, the loss ⟨⟩ inconvenience, though not the real destruction, (illegible text) what soon afterwards ensued.
A poor discouraged ewe, intimidated by the ⟨⟩ of the night, had found its way into the (illegible text)iant quarter of the house, which, at the time ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ She became a pathetic sufferer in the succeeding ⟨⟩; and he must have been a brute, ⟨⟩ and more deserving of the apellation she bare, ⟨⟩ could have perserved in forcing her from ⟨⟩ seeming protection, or could have been ⟨⟩ that lately, which, from her unwillingness to ⟨⟩, it was natural to think that she at that time ⟨⟩. I must confess, that I tried to dispossess ⟨⟩, but I tried in vain; and I have since reflected, ⟨⟩ her preservation was as dear to her as mine ⟨⟩ to me: and I feel a real comfort in repeating ⟨⟩ exquisitely humane and tender lines of Ovid, ⟨⟩ are so feelingly descriptive of the fate of this ⟨⟩ useful and patient animal.
Every thing claims a kindred in misfortune; it ⟨⟩ like death; but death, alas! to some comes ⟨⟩ late; and to others it comes too early. In a ⟨⟩ time, perhaps, it was the fate of the poor ⟨⟩ creature above discribed, to feel its stroke. ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ have caused, unknowingly, its execution, ⟨⟩ might have feasted upon its flesh. The very idea ⟨⟩ my blood, and brings to my mind the ⟨⟩ of the dreadful situation of Pierre (illegible text)aud.
An act of dire necessity may be certainly excused; ⟨⟩ to destroy (for the gratification of an appetite ⟨⟩ we have in common with brutes) that which ⟨⟩ been used to live in a domestic and in a ⟨⟩ state around us, would argue an insensibility, ⟨⟩ which every feeling mind must naturally ⟨⟩: and I should hope, that there are but few ⟨⟩ who could eat of that kid, which they had ⟨⟩ lick the butcher's hand at the very moment at the knife was about to deprive its innocence of ⟨⟩; and when it supplicated, with an almost ⟨⟩ cry, its preservation of life, and with a (illegible text)andishment so particularly expressive of ⟨⟩ and pity.
From the morning until four o'clock in the ⟨⟩, the wind continued to blow with ⟨⟩ violence from the north and east: but from ⟨⟩ time, having collected all its powers of ⟨⟩, it rushed with irresistable violence from the south; and in about an hour and half after that ⟨⟩, so general and persevering were its ⟨⟩ effects, that it scarcely left a plantain tree, (illegible text), or building, uninjured in the parish. ⟨⟩ about four o'clock, we found it impossible to ⟨⟩ the house against the increasing impetuosity of ⟨⟩ wind, which began to displace the shingles, up(illegible text) the roof, to force the windows, and to gain an ⟨⟩ on every side: and its hasty destruction b(illegible text) too (illegible text)uly proved how soon, and how universally, ⟨⟩ succeeded! We were now driven from the ⟨⟩ above, to take shelter in the rooms below, but there we were followed by fresh dangers, ⟨⟩ stupified by fresh alarms. The demon of ⟨⟩ was wasted in the winds, and not a (illegible text) could escape its malignant ⟨⟩. While ⟨⟩ were looking with apprehension and terror ⟨⟩ us, the roof rafters, plates, and walls of six ⟨⟩ fell in, and immediately above our ⟨⟩ and ⟨⟩ horrid crashes of glasses, furniture, ⟨⟩ floors, occasioned a noise and aproar, that may ⟨⟩ more easily felt, than the weakness of my pen ⟨⟩ possibly describe.
I will not attempt (indeed my abilities and ⟨⟩ are unequal to the task) to awaken the ⟨⟩ of others, by dwelling upon private ⟨⟩, when the losses of many are entitled to ⟨⟩ regard: but egotism may be surely ⟨⟩ in a narrative of this kind, where general ⟨⟩ must in some measure describe individual ⟨⟩, and where what one has felt, has been ⟨⟩ lot of numbers: and where a person has ⟨⟩ seen, and been involved in the same ⟨⟩, it is difficult to keep clear of expressions that do ⟨⟩ immediately apply to, and speak the language ⟨⟩.
The situation of the unhappy negroes who ⟨⟩ in upon us so soon as their houses were ⟨⟩, and whose terrors seemed to have deprived ⟨⟩ of sense and motion, not only very ⟨⟩ augmented the confusion of the time, but very ⟨⟩ added, by their whispers and distress, ⟨⟩ the scene of general suspense, and the ⟨⟩ of hope and alarm. Some lamented by ⟨⟩, the loss of their wives and children, of ⟨⟩ their fears had deprived them; while others ⟨⟩ the downfall of their houses, of which ⟨⟩ had so lately been the unfortunate spectators.
⟨⟩ will be difficult to conceive a situation more ⟨⟩ than what my house afforded from four ⟨⟩ in the afternoon until six o'clock the ⟨⟩ morning. Driven, as we were, from room to ⟨⟩, while the roofs, the floors, and he walls, were ⟨⟩ over head, or falling around us; the wind ⟨⟩ with a noise and violence that cannot even ⟨⟩ be reflected upon without alarm; the rain (illegible text)aring down in torrents; and the night which ⟨⟩ to fall, as it were in a moment, ⟨⟩ dark, and the gloom of which we had not a ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ this time destroyed; and the miserable sufferers ⟨⟩ into the house, and began such complaints ⟨⟩ lamentations as added very considerably to the ⟨⟩, and much increased the almost before ⟨⟩ distresses of the scene. One poor (illegible text)man in particular (if real philanthrophy would ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ her: she snatched it, with all the ⟨⟩ impatience of maternal fondness, from the expectation of asfudden fate: she strained it to ⟨⟩ arms in simple love and unassisted protection, ⟨⟩ flew to deposit her tender burden in the retreat ⟨⟩ distant safety: she flew in vain: the tempest ⟨⟩ her and swept the child, unconscious of ⟨⟩ from her folding arms, and dashed her hopes ⟨⟩ comforts to the ground. She recovered, and to ⟨⟩ bosom restored the pleasing charge: she ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ console her sorrows, our remonstrances (illegible text) strain ⟨⟩ violence, nor our authority suppress her ⟨⟩. She felt like a mother, although an apa(illegible text) might say she did not feel like a Christian. ⟨⟩ a cold and illiberal diftinction! Give a Negro ⟨⟩, and establish him in either the principles ⟨⟩ obedience, or the knowledge of endurance, and ⟨⟩ will not disgrace that tenet which shall be ⟨⟩ by practice. Her lamentations were a(illegible text)ral, and of consequence affecting, and give ⟨⟩ despondency to a night that was already ⟨⟩ miserable to bear an augmentation of sorrow.
The darkness of the night, the howling of ⟨⟩ winds, the growling of the thunder, and the ⟨⟩ flashes of the lightning that darted through ⟨⟩ murky cloud, which sometimes burst forth with ⟨⟩ plenitude of light, and at others hardly gave ⟨⟩ lamination to brighten the terrified aspect ⟨⟩ the negroes; that, with cold and fear, were ⟨⟩ around; the cries of the children who were ⟨⟩ to the weather, and who (poor ⟨⟩ had lost their mothers in the darkness and ⟨⟩ of the night; and the great uncertainty of ⟨⟩ and private situation combined; could not fail ⟨⟩ strike the soul with as deep as it was an ⟨⟩ horror. In the midst of danger, in the a(illegible text) (illegible text) moments of suspence, and when almost sunk by ⟨⟩, we prayed for more frequent lightning to (illegible text) the walls, for more heavy thunder to out-roar ⟨⟩ blafs, in the philosophic consolation that they (illegible text)ght purge the atmosphere, and disperse the ⟨⟩: 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 ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩
When the night was past, and our minds hung ⟨⟩ between the danger we had escaped, and ⟨⟩ anticipation of what we might expect to ensue; ⟨⟩ the dawn appeared as if unwilling to disclose ⟨⟩ devastation that the night had caused; when the ⟨⟩ beams peeped above the hills, and illuminated ⟨⟩ scene around—just God! what a contrast was ⟨⟩ exhibited between that morning and the day ⟨⟩! a day which seemed to smile upon Nature, ⟨⟩ to take delight in the prospects of plenty that (illegible text)ed around, and which produced, wherever the ⟨⟩ could gaze, the charms of cultivation, and the ⟨⟩ of abundance; but which fallacious ⟨⟩, alas! were to be at once annihilated by (illegible text) extensive and melancholy view of desolation ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ augmented by the melancholy exclamation of ⟨⟩ voice, and the energetic expression of every (illegible text)d: some of which were uplifted in acts of ⟨⟩; 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 ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ chide the groans which it was impossible to ⟨⟩. An uncommon silence reigned around: it ⟨⟩ the pause of consternation; it was a dumb oratory, that said more, much more than any ⟨⟩ could utter. The first sounds proceeded from ⟨⟩ mouths of the most patient of Nature’s creatures-from the melancholy cow that had lost its calf, ⟨⟩ with frequent lowings invited its return; from ⟨⟩ mother ewes, that with frequent bleetings ⟨⟩ their lambs, which were frisking out of sight, ⟨⟩ of danger and unmindful of food: ⟨⟩ which solemn and pathetic invitations, after such ⟨⟩ night, the contemplation of such a scene, and ⟨⟩ disposition of the mind to receive pathetic ⟨⟩, came home with full effect to those who ⟨⟩ suffered but who wished not to complain! If ⟨⟩ distresses of the feathered tribe be taken into ⟨⟩ description, their natural timidity. their ⟨⟩ of food, of shelter, and domestic protection, (illegible text) duly considered, trifling as these observations ⟨⟩ appear, they certainly help to swell the ⟨⟩ of distress, to awaken the sigh of sensibility, and ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ with such blasted signs of nakedness and ruin, (illegible text) calamity, in its most awful and deftructive ⟨⟩, has seldom offered to the desponding ⟨⟩ of mankind. The face of the country ⟨⟩ to be entirely changed: the vallies and the ⟨⟩, the mountains and the forests, that were only ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ prospect, as far as the eye could stretch, was ⟨⟩ stricken blank with desolation and with ⟨⟩ 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 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 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 ⟨⟩ seemed impossible to happen, which ⟨⟩ might trifle with, but which reason would ⟨⟩ believe; in short, were I to mention what ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ saw, and what numbers could witness; [(illegible text)uld be afraid to offer them to the serious regard ⟨⟩ my readers, in the dread that I might be thought ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩, during the period, and for a long ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩. They were such as ought to have affected (if ⟨⟩ losses and private sufferings can ever affect (illegible text) stony bosoms of the rapacious, and the icy ⟨⟩ 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. ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ visitations of the shower.
Were I to enumerate private afflictions in this ⟨⟩ of general devastation and despair, I should ⟨⟩ the pathetic pen of that accomplished (illegible text)ter who has given a charm to grief, and a ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ which were, at this unhappy and awful period (illegible text) generally disolved.
When we consider how very soon the gay ⟨⟩ and flattering appearances of life are ⟨⟩; how uncertain are our possessions, and (illegible text) subject to hopes, and how embittered by ⟨⟩, are our pursuits; it is somewhat ⟨⟩, 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 ⟨⟩, to the terrors of the tempest, or the pestil(illegible text) dangers of the calm:-it is astonishing, I again ⟨⟩, 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. ⟨⟩ we look around, and see people who thought ⟨⟩ above the reach of want, and reclining, a(illegible text) a long apprenticefhip of patient industry and ⟨⟩ toil, upon the lap of late-earned ⟨⟩ and honest repose; when we see them (illegible text) the fruits of exertions thus made, and of ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ building upon a foundation so very ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ best, and at the best deceitful! But then to (illegible text) them reduced to this situation, and struggling ⟨⟩ 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 to rescue them from the ⟨⟩ horrors of a gaol;—the accumulation of such ⟨⟩, is more than sufficient to excite ⟨⟩, but not always sufficient, as we find by ⟨⟩ example, to obtain relief.
So sudden an alteration, is enough to shake a ⟨⟩ that has not before been tried; and ⟨⟩ a change is sufficient to excite those complaints ⟨⟩ are caused by disappointment, but which ⟨⟩ be born with patience, and finaly overcome ⟨⟩ calmness and resignation. If (illegible text)meet with ⟨⟩, are we alone unfortunate? If we lose our (illegible text)l, are we the only beggars? How many are ⟨⟩ to penury who cannot work! What numbers ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ has its peculiar triumph, as misery ⟨⟩ reach the grave; for that is the retreat of ⟨⟩, her consummation, and her end.
I can hardly prevail upon myself to believe, that ⟨⟩ united violence of all the winds that rush from ⟨⟩ heavens, blown through one tub, and directed (illegible text) one spot, could have occasioned such destruction, ⟨⟩ in so short a space of time, as that of which I ⟨⟩ an unfortunate witness, and of which I am now ⟨⟩ the feeble recorder. If we even conclude it ⟨⟩ that the ruins of our buildings could have ⟨⟩ occasioned by the concentration of its fury, ⟨⟩ are we to account for some phænomena of ⟨⟩ we were the suffering and (illegible text)ed ⟨⟩? How account for the sudden irruption of ri(illegible text)ers, the lapses of earth, the disunion of rocks, ⟨⟩ fisures of mountains, and for other objects of ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ known to occasion so extensive a devastation; ⟨⟩ the sudden swelling and raging of the sea, we ⟨⟩ reasonably to the heavings of the earthquake; to which likewise the general ruin of ⟨⟩ houses may be in some measure attributed.
I have seen the ruins of Lisbon; and if it ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩. The stench that arose from the ⟨⟩ of the dead bodies, which remained for many ⟨⟩ without interment (and to numbers of which ⟨⟩ rites of burial could not be administered), ⟨⟩ a kind of pestilence, that swept away a (illegible text) at proportion of those who had providentially ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ 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); ⟨⟩ having made free with the rum that was ⟨⟩ in the inundations, began to grow insolent and ⟨⟩; and, by their threats and conduct, ⟨⟩ an alarm which it was found necessary, by exer(illegible text)n and caution, at once to suppress: and what the ⟨⟩, at such a time of general confusion ⟨⟩ dread, might have been, had not the punche(illegible text) been immediately staved, can hardly, even at ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ the curbs of morality and religion to ⟨⟩ them, is a circumstance not to be wondered ⟨⟩ as it is consisent with the common depravity of ⟨⟩ nature; but that those who ought to be a (illegible text)ck upon the licentiousness which they ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ those who can distinguish black from white in the colour of the human skin, but who ⟨⟩ discriminate what is black from white in the ⟨⟩ conduct of man to man. To take advantage ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ must have given rise to many distressing ⟨⟩ pathetic scenes; must upon some occasions have (illegible text)rrowed up the soul, and upon others, have ⟨⟩ a tenderness and pity. Husbands and wives, (illegible text) parents and children, were in many places ⟨⟩ by the terrors of the night and ⟨⟩, as before observed, to meet no more: but ⟨⟩ these dreadful scenes I shall not attempt to ⟨⟩, as their remembrance will survive the ⟨⟩ of my pen, in the melancholy perpetuity (illegible text) domestic afflictions; and which numberless ⟨⟩, more or less, to the destruction of their ⟨⟩, and the discomfort of their lives, will long, ⟨⟩ long, have cause to lament.
I shall never forget the desolate appearance my ⟨⟩ made immediately after this catastrophe, nor ⟨⟩ many circumstances of distress and ⟨⟩ that alternately shocked and softened the mind. ⟨⟩ a poor infant was seen extracted from the ⟨⟩, and its lifeless body confined to the care and ⟨⟩ of its desponding parents; there fat a ⟨⟩ of negroes bewailing with heaviness of heart, ⟨⟩ all the silent eloquence of streaming eyes; and ⟨⟩ out hands, the total destruction of their ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩, without knowing upon what errand they were bent, or where to begin, or how to set about ⟨⟩ restoration of their losses, or by what ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ the way, and consequently did more harm ⟨⟩ good. Some, indeed succeeded in their ⟨⟩ and I should little deserve those comforts I so ⟨⟩ found, in comparison to many others, did I n(illegible text) bear witness to the willing industry and ⟨⟩ application of the tradesmen and other negroes ⟨⟩ were employed in the reparation of the offices, ⟨⟩ in making tight those parts of our temporary ⟨⟩ which were destined to the accommodation (illegible text) ourselves and friends.
Another Hirricane in Jamaica, 1781.
IN addition to the forementioned calamity, ⟨⟩ inhabitants of the island of Jamaica, were ⟨⟩ visited by this dreadful scourge of ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ ward, but soon after veered to different points (illegible text) the compass; before nine it increased to a ⟨⟩ hurricane, and continued to rage till near ⟨⟩ greatest part of the time blowing from the south east, accompanied by a heavy and incessant ⟨⟩ nor did the storm altogether subside till about ⟨⟩ in the morning: 73 sail of vessels, including ⟨⟩ schooners and shallops were on shore ⟨⟩ Russel’s bulks and the wharf of John Vernon, (illegible text) and Co. and several others to the westward of ⟨⟩ town, but being mostly light vessels, the ⟨⟩ part of them either have been, or will be got on (illegible text) ⟨⟩ not without considerable damage. The ⟨⟩ in the harbour is supposed to have risen ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ away; of Messrs: Law and Hargreave’s ⟨⟩, scarce the vestiges remain.-The greatest ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩, 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 ⟨⟩ Key, and suppofed to be totally lost; the ship’s ⟨⟩, excepting four; were providentially saved.
Three vessels were drove ashore in the harbour (illegible text) Martha Brae; the ship Robuck, of New-York, ⟨⟩ sloop Beaver, and a sloop belonging to ⟨⟩; the first is totally lost, the other two will be (illegible text) oft.
The ship Orange Bay, which went ashore near ⟨⟩ Twelve Apostles, contrary to all expectation, ⟨⟩ been got off. A considerable part of the car(illegible text)es of several other vessels, that were drove on ⟨⟩ near that place, has been saved.
His Majesty’s ship Southampton, after having had (illegible text) engagement with a French frigate off Cape ⟨⟩, was by the late storm dismasted and driven to (illegible text)reck Riff, to the leewerd of Port Royal, where ⟨⟩ now remains; the Vaughan and several other ⟨⟩ are gone to her assistance.
The storm very unfortunately proves to have been ⟨⟩ throughout the island, though not equally violent in Westmoreland, St. Ann’s, and St. ⟨⟩ the canes have received considerable damage, ⟨⟩ the plantain walks, together with the ripening ⟨⟩ have been totally destroyed; the other ⟨⟩ particularly those to windward, have suffered in much less degree.
The storm of Wednesday the 1st of August ⟨⟩ done much damage to our shipping; it has ⟨⟩ ashore two ships, the Christina and Juno, a ⟨⟩ vessel of Niel’s, and a brig belonging to Capt. ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ houses and stores are thrown down; all the ⟨⟩ and fine crops of corn are destroyed; the ⟨⟩ are all laid flat, and there is hardly an estate (illegible text) Westmoreland but has suffered in buildings. ⟨⟩ Ulysses. which came here from Kingston w(illegible text) 20,000!. a part of the parliamentary grant to ⟨⟩ sufferers by the storm in October last, has ⟨⟩ drove to sea, together with a brig out of ⟨⟩ and, through the whole parish of St. Elisabeth, ⟨⟩ provisions in general are destroyed, and the ⟨⟩ greatly damaged.
The accounts from Hanover are equally ⟨⟩.
St. Mary’s, St. Ann’s, and Trelawny, have ⟨⟩ suffered very considerabley in their provisions ⟨⟩ canes.
On Sunday last the ship Ulysses,———, ⟨⟩ Esq(illegible text) commander, went into Lucea harbour ⟨⟩ jury masts, with the loss of her bowspring being ⟨⟩ the damage we understand she has sustained.
Letters received from St. Elizabeth ⟨⟩ that the scarcity of provisions for the ⟨⟩ is so great, in consequence of the last storm, ⟨⟩ (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 ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ distress soon after the storm came on.
Edinburgh. Advertiser, Nov. 6, 1781.
Tornado in Scotland, July, 1799.
⟨⟩. The following interesting account of this awful phænomenon, which took place at ⟨⟩, 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 ⟨⟩ there was observed by many people, a little to (illegible text) ⟨⟩-west of Mr. Tod’s house at Whitelaw, (illegible text)ense light coloured cloud of a very uncommon ⟨⟩. It resembled an inverted cone, ⟨⟩ 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) ⟨⟩ could easily have escaped from it. It (illegible text)n at length to whirl round with great rapidity. ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ their tiles.
"Human strength was mere weakness when ⟨⟩ to this war of elements. A stout young ⟨⟩, who had witnessed the scene in the barn-⟨⟩ from an apprehension that the house must ⟨⟩ be tumbled down, run out for safety. The ⟨⟩ 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 ⟨⟩ driven about, some in one direction and some in ⟨⟩, according to the eddy. The horses ⟨⟩ cattle upon the farm exhibited the liveliest ⟨⟩ of alarm and agitation.
"The dwelling house at Whitelaw, in which ⟨⟩ family resided at the time, shook with such ⟨⟩ as to threaten its destruction and theirs. ⟨⟩, however, amidst all the devastation, no ⟨⟩ was materially hurt; and, what renders this ⟨⟩ more remarkable is, that the tiles which were ⟨⟩ from the surrounding offices fell from an ⟨⟩ height, in vast numbers, among the people ⟨⟩ to the storm.
"Before the cloud reached the farm house it ⟨⟩ fortunately divided, and the two parts taking ⟨⟩ directions, only one of them struck the ⟨⟩ Had the whole collected force discharged itself ⟨⟩ once, few, it is probable, would have survived ⟨⟩ relate the particulars.
"There was little rain at Whitelaw either ⟨⟩ 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.