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It will no doubt be readily admitted by both the learned gentlemen whom I have quoted, above, that the atmosphere of the whole earth is connected and forms but one mass and is of various degrees of temperature, and that it is connected with the earth, and that our globe forms but one mass.
If this earth is disturbed, the atmosphere is also disturbed, but the ability to measure the extent of the disturbance, or to ascertain when it takes place in one section of the globe by the peculiar state of atmosphere in another, is the great desideratum.
Since the commencement of the present year, a friend has sent me a copy of Darwin's Observation made during a voyage round the world, in which I find the facts he recorded sustains the views I have expressed as to a connection of convulsions with storms and as to several points being affected at the same time. He has not referred to equilibriums; and it appears was not aware that Hecía, Vesuvius and Ætna, although far apart, had been convulsed simultaneously, for he expressly states he was ignorant of such fact. After my minute observatious had been continued many months, accounts reached here that Mount Hecla, in Iceland, which had been in a state of quiet since 1786, was on the 2d day of September, 1845, terribly convulsed; I then stated in my published observations that I was led to the conclusion from the observations I had made that our atmosphere and earth would be extensively convulsed for a considerable length of time. The following shows that the bold opinion I then expressed has been awfully sustained by facts.
Sept. 2, 1845. Mount Hecla in Iceland, terribly convulsed for the first time since 1786.
Sept. 20, 1845. The northern shore of Lake Ontario, between Port Hope and Colborne, convulsed. The water of the lake on this shore receded rapidly for a few moments and again returned with great force, and increased quantity and thus continued for some time. The shore is bound by a horizontal strata of bituminous fossiliferous lime stone wnich have embeded in it stone of a description that the heat of the lime kilns have no
This locality was once convulsed and immense quantities of bitumen and mud discharged overwhelming every thing living in its waters in one mass of destruction. I examined this locality for several days in 1844, and obtained numerous fossils that had been preserved by the chrystalization of the bitumen.
Nov. 25, 1845. Earthquake at Deerfield, New Hampshire, shook down stone walls, cellar walls, stopped clocks, &c.
Dec. 23, 1845. Earthquake at Memphis, Ten., at half-past 9 P. M.
Jan. 30, 1846. Earthquake at the Belgian Settlement of Santa Tomas, near the equator.
Feb. 28, 1846. Earthquake at Cincinnati at about 8 A. M.
March 18, 1846. Earthquake at Valparaiso, South America.
March 23, 1846. Earthquake at Maysville. Ky., at 20 minutes before 1 A.M. Same day at half-past 7 A. M., Earthquake at the town of Cuba, in the Tsland of Cuba.
April 22, 1846. Earthquake at Catania, in Sicily.
April 28, 1846. Earthquake at Catania, in Sicily, and same day shock of an earthquake was felt at Santa Cruz, south side of the Island of Cuba.
May 30, 1846.
June 16, 1846.
June 21, 1846.
June 25, 1846.
June, 1846. Earthquake at Messenia, in Greece, day of the month not ascertained.
July 10, 1846.
July 29, 1846. Earthquake at Colongne, Prussia and throughout southern Germany at abont 9 P. M.
August 4, 1846. Earthquake at Ningpo and other places in China at about 5 o'clock in the morning.
August 12, 1846. Earthquake at Fincastle in Virginia at between 1 and 2 P. M.
August 14, 1846. Eruption in the Red Sea, in Asia,' at about ten o'clock in the morning, in latitude 15°, 7' North, long. 420,12' east, and on the same day an earthquake entered Tuscany, in Europe, from the sea at about 1 P.M., in latitude, 43°, 43', 11" north, long, 10°, 24', east. These were simultaneous although 2500 miles apart. The difference in longitude makes the difference in time.
August 22, 1846. Earthquake in Iceland, between the continent of America and Europe.
August 25, 1846. Earthquake in many of the seaport and river towns in Maine, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, and in some of the river towns in Vermont, at about 5 o'clock in the morning.
August 27, 1846. Earthquake in Tuscany, in Europe, at about 10 o'clock in the morning.
Sept. 2, 1846. The Mountain Gunong Merrappi, in the Island of Java, in the Eastern Archiphelago, convulsed, and the top of the mountain heated to redness. It had not been agitated for a thousand years before.
Sept. 6, 1846. Trinidad visited by an earthquake, also St. Vincent's and Grenada.
Sept. 10, 1846.
Sept. 12, 1846. Earthquake at Deerfield, New-Hampshire, at about sunset.
Sept. 15, 1846. Earthquake at Cape Haytian, St. Domingo at about 11 o'clock P. M.
Oct. 18, 1846. Earthquake at Boonsborough, Maryland, about 9 P.M.
Oct. 23, 1846.
Oct. 29, 1846.
Oct. 31, 1846.
Oct. 1846. Earthquake at Algiers in Africa. Day of the month not ascertained,
Nov. 12, 1846. Earthquake at Deerfield, N. H., at 20 minutes before 8 P.M.
Nov. 28, 1846.
Dec. 2, 1846.
Dec. 1846. Earthquake at Marseilles, in France, date not ascertained.
January 8, 1847. Earthquake at Grafton Harbor, Colborne, &.c, Upper Canada, at about 3 P. M.
January 14, 1847. Earthquake at Rice Lake, Upper Canada, about 15 miles from Grafton Harbor.
STEAMERS AND EARTHQUAKES. On the 15th of January, the British government steamer Sphynx of 1050 tons burthen, nad 500 horse power was wrecked on a reef of rocks on the Isle of Wight.
The same day the Steamer Sirius, (the first British steamer which crossed the Atlantic) was lost on the Irish coast and 12 persons who attempted to get on shore were drowned.
It will be seen the above that these steamers were lost the day following the earthquake at Rice Lake.
On the 25th and 26th of November the Steamer Atlantic made a dreadful shipwreck in Long Island Sound, and in the above record of earthquakes it will be seen that an earthquake traversed Scotland at a few minutes before 1 A.M., of the 25th of November, making but a few hours difference in time.
From the 19th to 21st of September the Steamer Great Western was perilled in a terrific storm and on the 22d the Great Britain was mysteriously drawn upon the rocks and wrecked. An Earthquake is recorded above, at Cape Haytian on the 15th of the same month.
The Steamer Swallow was mysteriously drawn upon a rock at Athens, in the Hudson River, and stranded, on the 7th of April 1845, and that day and evening three earthquakes in succession convulsed the city of Mexico.
On the 29th of November, 1846, the packet ship Thos. P. Cope, was burnt by ligntning which came down mixed with snow, in long. 65, lat. 41, 15. It will be seen in the above catalogue that an earthquake was felt at Porto Rico the 28th of November, the day previous,
There is reason to apprehend from the above recorded facts. that the silicious points containing metallic ingredients (in the water) become magnetized by the shock of an earthquake and that an iron vessel, or vessel of wood containing large quantities of iron and floating in a dense fluid with a fluid of much lesser density resting upon them, is drawn by the attraction of these points orrocks, so charged directly upon them.
I make the suggestion and at the same time give the above facts as my premises.
RICE LAKE AND GRAFTON HARBOR. In the summer of 1844, my beloved daughter MARY, (whose decease is recorded on the opposite page) and myself visited the very locality which was convulsed on the 8th and 14th of January, as noticed above, and made extensive collections of fossils from the bituminous beds which have there been formed by ancient eruptions. Here she was presented with a volume of the Holy Scriptures imprinted at London in 1599 -248 years ago by a relative residing on the very ground which overlays this bituminous formation, and this very copy of the Sacred Book was at her bedside when the vital spark was passing away to the realms of light and when the ground on which the donor resided was the theatre of a convulsion.
METEORLOGICAL RECORD. I had intended to have presented in this series of the Municipal Gazette now issued from the press, my meteorlogical observations made hourly for the month of August, September, October, November and December, 1846, and January 1847, together with those made hourly at Saltville, Va., by W. P. Milnor, Esq., for the same months, and those made at Syracuse in this State, by L. W. Conkey, Esq., for the same period, compiled under each separate days' date, together with the accounts of earthquakes, thunder-storms, hail-storms, hurricanes, rain-storms, &c., on the same days in various sections of the globe, but the labor of compiling is too great to be accomplished in season for this issue. I shall endeavor to present the entire record in the next number of this paper. Hourly observations are rarely made in this country. The three localities I have named are in salt water districts, and the two latter, I think, were once volcanic.
From the Brooklyn Evening Star of Feb. 12, 1847.
WRITTEX ON THE DEATH OF MRS. MARY S. M. SEAMAN.
By her Friend, JULIA C. RINGWOOD.
(From the New.York Farmer and Mechanic' of Jan. 21.)
Died, at Brooklyn, on the 15th inst., after a painful and lingering illness, Mrs. Mary 8. M. SEAMAN, wife of David K. Seaman, and daughter of Ebenezer and Mary S. Meriam, aged 25 years, 7 months and 24 days.
This afflicted dispensation has removed from the earth one of its loveliest daughters, and shrouded an affectionate circle of relations and friends in mourning: A few months since witnessed the plighted faith and fond vows of this young bride at the altar, and last Sabbath witnessed, before the same holy altar, the hallowed remains of that fair but attenuated furin, prepared for the bridal of Death. But, afflictive and sad as is this dispensation of Providence to the bereaved circle of surviving friends, they are not called to mourn as those who mourn without hope. The departed one was enabled calmly and sweetly to pass down into the dark valley, relying on the merits of her Divine Savior, and cheerfully yielding up her spirit into the hands of Him who gave it. It may be truly said of the deceased, that none knew her but to love and esteem her virtues, and there are none that knew her but will mourn her loss. We sincerely sympathize with our afflicted friend and correspondent, and trust that he will feel that she has but exchanged the affectionate solicitude of an earthly parent for the fullness of her heavenly Father's love.
SHE SLEEPS IN JESUS.
I saw her by the altar stand,
A young and a happy bride ;
To him who was her pride ;
She uttered forth the vow
I seem to hear it now.
Ere joy was changed to gloom :
All shrouded for the tomb;
Her bridal flowers were laid....
Now docked her for the grave.
Came to me by her grave-
And roses soon must fade."
Bright wings to her are given;
And MARY is in Heaven !
Strike music from each string; Thousands of ransomed tongues and hearts
Make Heaven with anthems ring.
Thy home is in the skies;
With our weak earthly eyes-
Our sins on earth forgiven,
And dwell with thee in Heaven,
For the New York Municipal Gazette.
TO E. M.
MARGARETTE MONARY. Feb. 18, 1847.
The last verse of the lines in the first column of page 673, written by “CORNELIA," was misprinted-we reprint the verse corrected.
It hath fled, on its viewless wings of light,
To the Maker who gave it birth ;
Set not your affections on earth!
Esttract from a letter written by DEAR MARY to
her Sister Eliza, dated Cobourg U. C., June 17, 1844.
DEAR SISTER :-Last week I visited PORT HOPE -it is a beautiful place, so many groves in its neighbourhood with pretty white cottages peeping through the trees giving to it a picturesque and romantic appearance; there are also many Church edifices, mostly upon the hills, which add much to the beauty of the place—but there is one draw-back upon the village which sadly mars its prosperity-viz : the numerous distilleries in its neighbourhood—these generate the very spirit of evil which casts the blight of poverty, misery and wretchedness upon many-yes, upon many a family within the reach of the poisonous fluid which those establishments send forth. The very name of this place" Port Hope” ought to banish such destructionists from its borders, for there is little hope of reformation of the drunkard while the machines for making inebriates are tolerated. In my last letter from Cobourg I mentioned that the worm was making ravages among vegetation, but the worm of the “STILL" is a thousand times more destructive, for it not only consumes the staff of life but actually feeds on mortal flesh, and not even satisfied with these but also devours the human mind that yields to its influences."
The waters of Lake Ontario are of great depth and very transparent. About a mile from the shore and four miles west of this place is Gull Island, upon which a light-house has been erected. Mr. S. informs me, that within the last 15 years he has visited it when there was nearly an acre of ground, or more properly speaking rock (for it is all solid rock) visible above the water, and now it is entirely covered even where the rock is highest to the depth of 15 inches.
Extract from a letter written by DEAR Mary to
her Sister Eliza, dated Colborne Upper Canada, May 24, 1844.
DEAR SISTER :-“While we were at Rochester we visited Mount HOPE CEMETRY. The ground itself is beautiful-about one hundred acres enclosed and laid out in good taste-it is the most singular piece of ground I ever saw-indeed it would be difficult to find a place like it-it is a continuous succession of small elevations——the highest of which is called the pinnacle, commands a most beautiful view of the country for miles around. It was Sunday when we visited the Cemetry—on that day no carriages or horses are allowed to be driven through the grounds; all seemed peaceful and quiet-but the birds were warbling so wildly and yet so sweetly, that an imaginative person might almost imagine them the spirits of the departed hovering over their last resting places--the Cemetry itself I can best describe by using the words of * ing of Mount AUBURN. It is THE GARDEN OF GRAVES."
In Colborne there is one well but 11 feet deep ; another close by it was sunk to the depth of 50 feet without reaching water, and a well was sunk at Cobourg to the depth of 150 feet with the same result. There are salt springs to the west of this place a few miles, the water of which is said to produce a pail of salt from four pails of the saline waters. I should think that these springs could be worked to a profit but am not chemist enough to determine this fact,
* when speak
Copy of a note written in September 1846 by DEAR
MARY to her SISTER ELIZA.
DEAR SISTER:-Did MOTHER tell you about our arrangement to visit GREENWOOD ?-perhaps not, well this is our plan-JANE expected her FATHER yesterday, but he did not arrive so we are not sure of all going. David has engaged two horses for one carriage and he has also another carriage for Mr. Marvin, and we expect him over with two more horses, and we wish you to go with us.-David says there will be plenty of room, so will you not go ?
In great haste,
2 EDINBURGH, June 1st, 1846. My Dear Friends : In accordance with a promise I made to you before I left New-York, that I would write a letter to you, I cheerfully comply. I must first beg to be excused for the great deiay of this letter, and assure you that I have only just arrived in Edinburgh the day before yesterday. I believe that it was understood that I was to write when I settled in Scotland, and I have on that account reserved my letter to the present time. I hope that it has not proved any cause of disappointment to you. I remained so long in England after my arrival, and then in Scotland, in parts where it is was utterly impossible to write a definite or satisfactory letter. I hope these unavoidable delays will be sufficient excuse for my not sooner writing by your very kind request.
After I saw you in New-York, (thinking that I was going to be delayed longer than I wished by the Hottinguer,) I went on board a ship for London, to sail that very day, but meeting with some delay I then thought it better to return to my old berth in the Hottinguer, which I did on the day of sailing, and only two hours before. We had a very stormy passage of twenty days, but I was not in the least sick, but enjoyed very excellent health. Before commencing my studies in Scotland, I thought to enjoy a few weeks journey, and remained some time in England, and then went to the west of Scotland.
Though the voyage was most prosperous, yet there was one consideration which obtruded itself-namely: that to revisit my native land, my parents, and my warmest friends. This same ocean, with its billows; these same waves, with their terrific endurance, must be hazarded, and the thousands of miles over the briny deep must be retraced-considerations, which though they inspired hopes, also elicited fear.
The transmission of a stranger from America to a country older in discovery, the site of deeds recorded in ancient and modern history, the birthplace of revolutions, civil and religious, and the early residence of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers. These topics will form Bufficient material for study for the short time of stay in this country, and the time I can devote to these subjects.
Just before coming to Edinburgh, I visited the birthplace and the last resting place of a talented but unlettered bard of Scotland-Burns. There are reflections of a very interesting character connected with this individual-the consideration that the unlettered mind may rise superior to the difficulties and privations of this life, and engrave their names in the book of fame, and in the affections and literature of future generations must be, and is a bright polar star to those on whom fortune has not smiled, and on whose minds literature has not shed its cheering beams. I have employed my leisure in investigating the school system of this country, and I think there is no place where learning is more universal ; it is almost impossible for any class, from the poorest to the richest, to remain in a state of absolute ignorance. I think some of the principles might yet be introduced into America with manifest advantage. Science is no longer a being of the closet and the li. braries of the rich and opulent, holding itself aloof in mysterious abstraction from the general mass of mankind; but it mingles with the common affairs of life, and shines for all, it shines on all. It is found in the smithy and at the forge; it is in the factory, the foundry and the inachine shop; it is in the mine, apon the farm, and in the kitchen ; it now enables the poorest peasant to contemplate the material system, from the planets in the sky to the riches in the bowels in the earth, and make them almost subservient to his own ends. Finally it makes this life a thousand times more comfortable and desirable to the mass of mankind. I do not mean in any way to detract from the praise due to the American system, but I have been particularly struck with the utility and univer. sality of the Scottish system.
I have been endeavoring to ascertain the reason of those unhappy states of social life in which so many of the laboring classes in Great Britain are thrown, and I am happy to state that the accounts received in America of the melancholy destitution of so many in. dividuals, are greatly exaggerated. I am convinced that any executive exaction is not the cause of the
penury of the lower classes; the fluctuations of British The fine white snowy mist has fallen all day driven commerce (and consequent rises and depressions in the by most furious blasts of wind in close succession. price of labor) are the unavoidable causes of the want
This is the first Northwester I have witnessed of employment too often found in this country, and I
worthy of notice this winter-i: is a wind of great am satisfied that as long as there is so vast a manu- strength moving 40 or 50 miles hourly and has been facturing and so proportionably small agricultural area
indeed a wintry storm. exposed to dross residues of foreign markets, there I apprehend an Eastern or South Eastern wind has will be reverses in the state of the manufacturers- swept the Gulph and may have greatly endangered reverses that are beyond the control of the wisest go- southern coasting vessels within the last 60 hours. The Corn law is so nearly expired, that
But my observation of weather has been always of all hope of its recovery by the protectionists is at an
local character never exainining correllative eflects in end. If the principles of free trade so commenced
remote places. should be reciprocated by the United States Govern
The freeze now operates from the air upon the ment, I have no doubt that it would be very beneficial
surface of the ground, the latter having as yet no to the two nations equally, and be the commencement
tendency to abstract heat, but is rather giving out heat
to the air.
I have heretofore stated to you that at the same time an honor to the originator. The real intluence of the
zones of heat and cold in various degrees do extend repeal of the Corn law in Great Britain cannot at
froin the South West toward the North East conpresent be told until it has been in operation, but so trolled to a strong extent by varieties of elevation great a step must have a great effect.
and of the character of the stratified rocky crust of The Oregon notice of the United States has been
the earth. Sometimes these belts are numerous and received, but I believe no step has been taken on it
extending hundreds of miles in length, but they are yet; there has been a rumor that the Boundary has subject to equations with one another and often great been settled, but I think not, as no official account has
circular districts manifest a suddeu collapsing into yet found its way among the people ; 1 hope it may
extreme coldness certain electromagnetic vicissi. be settled in an amicable manner, and I think that
tudes of the air and the terrene superstructure always the British Government have not been behind in attend such extensive changes of temperature. The doing their part to that desirable ond; you may hear
barometer often exhibits evidence that such change of some ultimatum from official quarters by this
is about to happen and the barometrical sinking of The India war has completely closed, and the mercury is as often the result of interior alterapeace is at present restored; there is however some tion of specific weights as of superior atmospheric indication of some rupture somewhere, by the great
variation of pressure. It is these interior effects in and continual preparations for war, with the real ob- the earths crust which upon the approach of an earthject I am unacquainted. A new branch of royalty
quake make the air musky and so often force a light appeared in England last week. I like your weather
shower nf rain and which also disturb the polarizing better than here; it is too rainy, though at present it
action of the needle and the barometrical grade. is very warm and dry. We are so much further east
There is no doubt winds are but demonstrations of that our time is about four and a half hours faster than chemical equations in the sea of atmosphere analoyours, so that we are much earlier risers. The nights
gous to the tide relations of the ocean under gravitaare quite different here to what they are in your coun
ting tendencies. Every wind, every tide, every try, being quite light at ten o'clock in the evening,
storm or earthquake must have its counterpart repreand again at two in the morning, the four hours being sented by greateror less concentrativeness at the antionly twilight. Though I keep myself as easy as pos
podes or elswhere and hence your method of enquirsible, yet I very often wish myself a little nearer
ing into such Physical phenomena will after extended home. I very fortunately found a Canadian in Edin- analysis be admitted to be well founded-many conburgh, who lived quite near my father's, and with
nections will be found to be simultaneous as is the whose friends and neighbors I am well acquainted.
pulsation of the heart throughout the animal body He is the only person with whom I am acquainted in
while other connections occur successively like the Edinburgh, except the professors, and is going to return passage of fluids from one to other parts of the living with me in the spring if we are spared; so you see I
body. have one long year yet to be away, at the end of
The point of interchange between negative and powhich, perhaps, I might be inclined to stay altogether,
sitive polarities of Electro-magnetism is neutral as to but I can assure you that is not my intention now. I
attractions and repulsions and as one or other of am now in the Royal Infirmary in this city, and in the
these states of centrality or dispersion gains ascen. University, This is the most splendid city that I ever
dency over atoms or properties of atoms, so will be saw, abounding with monuments and public buildings,
the sensible developements. Luminosity is one of four or five hnudred years old ; they interest me very
the sequences of excess in either the repletive or the much and call up many associations which I have
privitive states of atoms or properties suddenly inlearned in history and find verified here. This being
duced. The ancients conceived the whole globe to the great site in Scotland where the martyrs suffered possess powers of individualization somewhat analofor the cause of a Protestant church in the time of the gous to those manifested in a living animal. Not one reformation; many popish superstition and cruelty, atom was esteemed to change its condition without and of their victims, still remain, and many of great
inducing instant and consecutive changes in other antiquity. I am very sorry that I have no news of any
atoms both in near contact and remotely siluated. more consequence to the lady readers than the dry And granting the truth of this last position, it is plain details of the news of a foreign country, but in the that in meteorology immense complexity of causation absence of any thing else I was obliged to resort to
exists, so that in judging of weather predictions, we the general news of the country.
can only compare groups of passing phenomena and E. MERIAM.
not all their minor relations, in approximating the truth.
The animal instincts, a part from rational induction, VIRGINIA CORRESPONDENCE.
form the main basis for weather predictions impend.
ing, but, experience and reasoning may extend such WYTHEVILLE, FEBRUARY 3, 1847.
investigations so as to reach conclusions having much E. MERIAM, Esq.
of remote certainty counected with them. It is my Dear Sir:- I wrote you the state of the weather opinion that chemistry has not yet entered its real yesterday. predicting a snow storm. At 8 o'clock, theatre of profitable research. In modern times its P. M., on last night the thermometer was at 56 and votaries may be said to have been chiefly engaged in this morning at 6 A. M. at 50 with the wind from the examining figures of chrystallization without enquirWest-all night it had been from the South West, ing into those simple and complex properties which in a strong gale. At 8 o'clock the wind suddenly force atoms into certain arrangements in preference veered from the North West and has so continued to assuming other configurations. Chemists have yet with increasing force till now 10 P. M.
to examine and compare the non-materialized proAt half-past 7 o'clock this morning the snow began perties which were congenetal with atomic existance, to fall in thin frosty mists the temperature being 35
but which may and do subsist without dependence at 9 o'clock A. M. 25 at 11 o'clock, A. M. and at 3 upon the parental atoms. Properties too, which, not P. M. 20 and at this time 9 o'clock is 18 above zero only attain seperated and peculiar powers for selfFahranheit, and by morning it will be down to 10 conservation, but also, become capable of action upon degrees above zero.
atoms and upon other conclaves of pure properties.
Without enquiries of this cast the philosophic chemist and Physiologist never can develope the true condition of those phenomena representing organic life or those other phenomena called light, gravitation, and Electro-magnetism common to both animated and inanimate states of being.
I write to give you the state of our miserably bad weather and I guess at this time you too have Northwesters roaring over your city-I hope no fires have this day seized on our cities or towns.
Feb. 4th.-Thermometer 5 o'clock A. M., this day, was 8 degrees above zero and at 8 o'clock 12 and at 10 o'clock 14th the Northwest and Northwinds continued all last night—the sky is clear and bright to-day. I suspect this Northwest storm crossed all the region from the lakes Southward to Vicksburgh and was too violent every where for much snow to fall this side of the Mississippi. It is a sequence of the warm and long prevailing gulph winds which encircled the Southern United States and hence it is probable this Northwester has crossed the Blue Ridge and entered upon the ocean at least as far as the line of the Gulph Stream.
TERRIBLE EARTHQUAKE. February 20th.—This day has been memorable in the annals of Valdivia for the most severe earthquake experienced by the oldest inhabitant. I happened to be on shore, and was lying down in the wood to rest myself. It came on suddenly, and lasted two minutes, but the time appeared much longer. The rocking of the ground was very sensible. The undulations appeared to my companion and myself to come from due east, and whilst others thought they proceeded from south west; this shows how difficult it sometimes is to perceive the direction of the vibrations. There was no difficulty in standing upright, but the motion made me almost giddy : it was something like the movement of a vessel in a little cross ripple, or still more like that felt by a person skating over thin ice, which bends under the weight of his body. A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associations: the earth the very emblem of solidity, has moved beneath our feet like a thin crust over a fluid. One second of time has created in the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would not have produced. In the forest, as the breeze moved the trees, I felt only the earth tremble, but saw no other effect. Capt. Fitz Roy, and some officers were at the town during the shock, and there the scene was more striking, for although the houses, from being built of wood, did not fall, they were violently shaken, and the boards creaked and rattled together. The people rushed out of doors in the greatest alarm. It is these accompaniments that create that perfect horror of earthquakes, experienced by all who have thus seen as well as felt their effects. Within the forest it was a deeply interesting, but by no means an awe exciting phenomenon. The tides were very curiously affected. The great shock took place at the time of low water; and an old woman who was on the beach told me that the water flowed very quickly but not in great waves to high water mark. and then as quickly returned to its proper level; this was also evident by the line of wet sand. This same kind of quick but quiet movement in the tide happened a few years since at Chiloe, during a slight earthquake, and created much causeless alarm. In the course of the evening there were many weaker shocks, which seemed to produce in the harbour the most complicated currents, and some of great strength.
March 4th.-We entered the harbour of Conception, while the ship was beating up to the anchorage, I landed on the Island of Quiriquína. The major-domo of the estate quickly rode down to tell me the terrible news of the great earthquake of 20th: “ That not a house in Conception or Talcahuano (the port) was standing ; that seventy villages were destroyed, and that a great wave had almost washed away ihe ruins of Talcahuano; of this latter statement I soon saw abundant proofs, the whole coast being strewed over with timber and furniture, as if a thousand ships had been wrecked. Besides chairs, tables, book-shelves, &c., in great numbers, there were several roofs of cottages which had been transported almost whole. The storehouses at Talcahuano had been burst open,
and great bags of cotton, yerba, and other valuable merchandise, were scattered on the shore. During my walk around the islaud, I observed that numerous fragments of rock, which, from the marine productions adhering to them, must recently have been lying in deep water, had been cast up high on the beach. One of these was six feet long, three broad, and two thick.
The island itself is plainly showed the overwhelining power of the earthquake, as the beach did that of the consequent great wave. The ground in many parts was fissured in north and south lines, perhaps caused by the yielding ot the parallel and steep sides of this narrow island. Some of the fissures near the cliffs were a yard wide. Many enormous masses had already fallen on the beach, and the inhabitants thought that when the rains commenced far greater slips would happen. The effect of the vibration on the hard, primary slate that which composes the foundation of the island, and was still more curious: the superficial parts of some narrow ridges were as completely shivered as if they had been blasted by gunpowder. This effect which has been rendered conspicuous by the fresh fractures and displaced soil, must be confined to near the surface, for otherwise there would not exist a block of solid rock throughoutChiloe, nor is this improbable, as it is known that the surface of a vibrating body is affected differently from the central part. It is perhaps owing to this same reason that earthquakes do not cause quite such terrific havoc within deep mines as would be expected. I believe this convulsion has been more effectual in lessening the size of the island of Quiriqnina than the ordinary wear and tear of the sea and weather during the course of a whole century.
The next day I landed at Talcahuano, and afterwards rode to Conception. Both towns presented the most awful interesting spectacle I ever beheld. To a person who had formerly known them, it possibly might have been still more impressive, for the ruins were so mingled together, and the whole scene possessed so little the air of a habitable place, that it was scarcely possible to imagine its former condition. The earthquake commenced at half past eleven o'clock in the forenoon. If it had happened in the middle of the night, the greater number of the inhabitants, which in this one province amount to many thousands, must have perished, instead of less than a hundred : as it was, the invariable practice of running out of doors at the first trembling of the ground alone saved them. In Conception each house, or row of houses, stood by itself a heap or line of ruins, but in Talcahunao, owing to the great wave, little more than one layer of bricks, tiles, and timber, with here and there part of a wall left standing, could be distinguished. From this circumstance, Conception, although not so completely desolated, was a more terrible, and if I may so call it, picturesque sight. The first shock was very sudden. The mayor-domo at Quiriquina told me, that the first notice he received of it was finding both the horse he rode and himself rolling together on the ground. Rising up, he was again thrown down. He also told me that some cows which were standing on the steep side of the island, were rolled into the sea. wave caused the destruction of many cattle ; on one low island, near the head of the bay, seventy animals were washed off and drowned. It is generally thought this has been the worst earthquake ever recorded in Chiloe; but as the very severe ones occur only after long intervals, this cannot easily be known; nor, indeed, would a much worst shock have made any great difference, for the ruin was now complete. Innumerable sınall tremblings followed the great earthquake, and within the first twelve days no less than three hundred were counted.
After viewing Conception I cannot understand how the greater number of inhabitants escaped unhurt. The houses in many parts fell outwards, thus forming in the middle of the streets little hillocks of brickwork and rubbish. Mr. Rouse, the English consul, told us that he was at breakfast when the first movement warned him to run out. He had scarcely reached the middle of the court-yard when one side of his house came thundering down. He retained presence of mind to remember, that if he once got on the top of that part which had already fallen, lie would be safe. Not being able, from the motion of the ground, to stand, he crawled up on his hands and knees ; and no sooner had ha ascended this little emi. nence, than the other side of the house fell in, the great beams sweeping close in front of his head. With his eyes blinded, and his mouth choked with the cloud
of dust which darkened the sky, at last he gained the street. As shock succeeded shock at the interval of a few minutes, no one dared approach the shattered ruins; and no one knew whether his dearest friends or relations were not perishing in the want of help. Those who had saved any property were obliged to keep constant watch, for thieves prowled about, and at each little trembling of the ground, with one hand they beat their breasts and cried “ misericordia!" and then with the other filched what they would from the ruins. The thatched roofs fell over the fires, and Hames burst forth in all parts. Hundreds knew themselves ruined, and few had the means of providing food for the day,
Earthquakes alone are sufficient to destroy the prosperity of any country. If beneath England the now inert subterranean forces should exert those powers, which most assuredly in former geological ages they have exerted, how completely would the entire condition of the country be changed. What would become of the lofty houses, thickly packed cities, great manufactories, the beautiful public and private edifices. If the new period of disturbance were first to commence by some great earthquake in the dead of the night how terrific wonld be the carnage. England would at once be bankrupt; all papers, records, and accounts, would from that moment be lost. Government being unable to collect the taxes, and failing to maintain its authority, the hand of violence and rapine would remain uncontrolled. In every large town famine would go forth, pestilence and death following in its train.
Shortly after the shock a great wave was seen from the distance of three or four miles, approaching in the middle of the bay, with a smooth outline ; but along the shore it tore up cottages and trees, as it swept onwards with irresistible force. At the head of the bay it broke in a fearful line of white breakers, which rushed up to a height of 23 vertical feet above the highest spring tides, their force must have been prodigious; for at the fort a cannon,
with its carriage, estimated at four tons in weight, was moved fifteen feet inwards. A schooner was left in the midst of the ruins two hundred yards from the beach. The first wave was followed by two others, which in their retreat carried away a vast wreck of floating objects. In one part of the bay a ship was pitched high and dry on shore, and was carried off, again driven on shore, and again carried off. In another part, two large vessels anchored near together were whirled about, and their cables were thrice wound round each other; though anchored at a depth of thirty-six feet, they were for some minutes aground. The great wave must have traveled slowly, for the inhabitants of Talcahuano had time to run up the hills behind the town and some sailors pulled out seaward, trusting successfully to their boat riding securely over the swell if they could reach it before it broke. One old woman with a little boy, four or five years old, ran iuto a boat, but there was no body to row it out, the boat was consequently dashed against an anchor and cut in twain ; the old woman was drowned, but the child was picked up some hours afterwards clinging to the wreck. Pools of salt water were still standing amidst the ruins of the houses, and children making boats with old tables and chairs, appeared as happy as their parents were miserable. It was, however, exceedingly interesting to observe how much more active and cheerful all appeared than could have been expected. It was remarked with much truth that from the destruction being universal, no one individual was humbled more than another, or could suspect his friends with cool. ness—that most grievous result of the loss of wealth. Mr. Rouse and a large party which he kindly took under his protection, lived for the first week in a garden beneath some apple trees. At first they were as merry as if it had been a picnic; but soon afterwards heavy rain caused much discomfort, for they were absolutely without shelter.
In Capt. Fitzroy's excellent account of the earthquake, it is said that two explosions, one like a column of smoke and another like the blowing of a great whale, were seen in the bay. The water also appeared everywhere to be boiling, and it became black, and exhaled a most disagreeable sulphurous smell. Tliese latter circumstances were observed in the Bay of Valparaiso during the earthquake of 1822; they may, I think, be accounted for by the disturbance of the mud at the bottom of the sea, containing organio matter in decay. In the Bay of Callao, during a calin
day, I noticed, that as the ship dragged her cable over the bottom, its course was marked with a line of bubbles. The lower orders in Talcahuano thought that the earthquake was caused by some old Indian woman, who, two years ago being offended, stopped the vol. cano of Autuco. This silly belief is curious, because it shows that experience has thought them to observe that there exists a relation between the suppressed action of the volcanos and the tremble of the ground. It was necessary to apply the witchcraft to the point -where their perception of cause and effect failed and this was the closing of the volcanic vent. This beliet is the more singular in this particular instance, because, according to Captain Fitzroy' there is reason to believe that Autuco was no ways effected.
The town of Concepcion was built in the usual Spanish fashion, with all the streets running at right angles to each other; one set ranging 8. W. by W., and the other set N. W. by N. The walls in the former directions certainly stood better than those in the latter; the greater number of the masses of brickwork were thrown down towards the N. E. Both these circumstances perfectly agree with the general idea of the undulations having came from the S. W. in which quarier subturenean noises were also heard ; for it is evident that the walls running S. W. and N. E. which presented their ends to the point whence the undulations came would be much less likely to fall than those walls which, running N. W. and S. E. must in their whole lengths have been at the same instant thrown out of the perpendicular ; for the undulations, coming from the s. W. must have extended in N. W. and S. E. waves as they passed under the foundations. This may be illustrated by placing books edgways on a carpet, and then, after the manner suggested by Michell, imitating the undulations of an earthquake ; it will be found that they fall with more or less readiness, according as their directions more or less nearly coincides with the line of the waves. The fissures in the ground, generally, though not uniforinly extended in a 8. E. and N. W. direction, and therefore corresponded to the lines of undulation or os principal flexure. Bearing in mind all these circumstances, which so clearly point to the S. W. as the chief focus of disturbance. It is a very interesting fact that the island of S. Maria, situated in that quarter, was, during the general uplifting of the land, raised to nearly three times the height of any other part of the coast.
The different resistance offered by the walls, according to their direction was well exemplified in the case of the Cathedral. The side which fronted the N. E. presented a grand pile of ruins in the midst of which door cases and masses of timber stood up, as if floating in a stream some of the angular blocks of brickwork were of great dimensions, and they were rolled to a distance on the level plaza like fragments of rocks at the base of some high mountain. The side walls running S. W. and N. E., though exceedingly fractured, yet remained standing, but the vast buttresses at right angles to them, and therefore parallel to the walls that fell were in many cases cut clean off, as if by a chisel, and hurled to the ground. Some square ornaments on the copying of these same walls were moved by the earthquake into a diagonal position. A similar circumstance was observed after an earthquake at Valparaiso, Calabra and other places, including some of the ancient Greek temples. This twisting displacement at first appears to indicate a varticose movement beneath each point thus affected ; but this highly improbable. May it not be caused by a tendency in each stone to arrange itself in some particular position with respect to the lines of vibration, in a manner somewhat similar to pins on a sheet of paper when shaken. Generally speaking, arched doorways or windows stood much better than any other part of the building. Nevertheless, a poor lame old man, who had been in the habit, during trifling shocks, of crawling to a certain door way, was this time crushed to pieces.
I have not attempted to give any detailed description of the appearance of Concepcion, for I feel that it is quite impossible to convey the mingled feelings which I experienced. Several of the officers visited it before me, but their strongest language failed to give a just idea of the scene of desolation. It is a bitter and humiliating thing to see works which have cost man so much time and labour overthrown in one minute, yet compassion for the inhabitants, was almost instantly banished by the surprise in seeing a
state of things produced in a moment of time which subterranean connection between those two points. one was accustomed to attribute to a succession of Chiloe, about 340 southward of Concepcion, appears ages, in my opinion, we have scarcely beheld, since to have been shaken more strongly than the intermeleaving England, any sight so deeply interesting. diate district of Valdivia, where the volcano of Villari
In almost every severe earthquake, the neighbour- ca was noways effected. Whilst in the Cordillera in ing waters of the sea are said to have been greatly front of Chiloe, two of the volcanoes burst forth at the agitated. The disturbance seems generally, as in the same instant in violent action. These two volcanoes, case of Conception, to have been ot'two kinds ; first at and some neighboring ones, continued tor a long time the instance of the shock the water swells high up on in eruption, and ten months afterwards were again inthe beach with a gentle motion, and then as quietly Aluenced by an earthquake at Concepcion. Some men retreats. Secondly, some time afterwards, the whole cutting wood near the base of one of those volcanoes, body of the sea retires from the coast and then returns did not perceive the shock of 20th, although the whole in waves of overwhelming force. The first movement surrounding province was then trembling; here we seems to be an immediate consequence of the earth- have an eruption relieving and taking the place of an quake affecting differently a fluid and a solid, so as earthquake as would have happened at Concepcion, that their respective levels are slightly deranged, but according to the belief of the lower orders, if the vol. the second case is a far more important phenomenon. cano of Antuco, had not been closed by witchcraft. During most earthquakes, and especially during those Two years and three-quarters afterwards Valdivia and on the West coast of America. It is certain that the Chili were again shaken, more violently than on the first great movement of the waters has been a retire. 20th, and an island in the Chonos Archiphelago was
Some authors have attempted to explain this permanently elevated more than eight feet. It will by supposing that the water retains its level whilst the give a better idea of the scale of these phenomena, if the land oscillates upwards ; but surely the water (as in the case of the glaciors) we suppose them to close to the land even on a rather steep coast, would have taken place at corresponding distances in Europe partake of the motion of the bottom: moreover, as then would the land from the North Sea to the Mediturged by Mr. Lyell, similar movements of the sea erranean have been violently shaken, and at the have occurred at islands far distant from the chief same instant of time a large tract of the eastern line of disturbances, as was the case with Juan Fer- coast of England would have been permanently elenandez, during this earthquake, and with Madeira vated, together with some out lying islands, a train of during the famous Lisbon shock. I suspect (but the volcanoes on the coast of Holland would have burst subject is a very obscure one) that a wave, however forth in action, and an eruption taken place at the produced first draws the water from the shore on bottom of the sea, near the northern extremity of which it is advancing to break, I have observed that Ireland ; and lastly, the ancient rents of Auvergne this happens with the little waves from the paddles of Cantal and Mount d'Or, would each have sent up to a steamboat. It is remarkable, that whilst Talcahuano the sky a dark column of smoke, and long have reand Callao, near Lima, both situated at the head of mained in fierce action. Two years and three-quarlarge shallow bays, have suffered during every severe ters afterwards, France, from its centre to the Euglish earthquake from great waves Valparaiso seated Channel, would have been again desolated by an earthclose to the edge of prefoundly deep water, has never quake, and an island permanently upraised in the been overwhelmed, though so often shaken by the Meditterranean. severest shocks. From the great wave immediately following the earthquake, but sometimes after the
The space from under which volcanic matter on the interval of even half an hour, and from distant islands
on the 20th was actually erupted, is 720 miles in being affected similarly with the coasts near the focus
one line, and 400 miles in another line at right angles of the disturbance. It appears that the wave first
to the first; hence, in all probability a subterranean rises in the ofliing; and as this is of general occurrence
lake of lava is here stretched out, of nearly double
the area of the black sea. From the intimate and the cause must be general. I suspect we must look to the line where the less disturbed waters of the
complicated manner in which the elevatory and erupdeep ocean join the water nearer the coast, which
tive forces were shown to be connected during this has partaken of the movements of the land, as the place
train of phenomena, we may confidently come to the where the great wave is first generated. It would
conclusion that the forces which slowly add by little also appear that the wave is larger or smaller accor
starts uplift continents, and those which at successive ding to the extent of shoal water which has been agi
periods pour forth volcanic matter from open orifices, tated together, with the bottom on which it rested.
are identical. From many reasons, I believe that the The most remarkable effect this earthquake was
frequent quakings of the earth on this line coast are
caused by the rendings of the strata necessarily conthe permament elevation of the land ; it would probably be far more correct to speak of it as the cause.
sequent on the tensions of the land when upraised, There can be no doubt that the land around the bay of
and their injections by fluidified rock. This rending Concepcion was upraised two or three feet; but it
and injection would, if repeated often enough (and deserves notice, that owing to the wave haviug oblite
we know that earthquakes repeatedly affect the same rated the old lines of tidal action on the sloping sandy
areas in the same manner), from a chain of hills; and shores I could discover no evidence of this fact,
the linear island of St. Mary which was upraised
thrice the height of the neighboring country, seems to except in the united testimony of the inhabitants, that one little rocky shoal now exposed was formerly
be undergoing this process. I believe that the solid covered with water. At the island of S. Maria,
axis of a mountain differs in its manner of formation about 30 miles distant, the elevation was greater ;
from a volcanic hill only in the molten stone having on one part Captain Fitzroy found beds of putrid
been repeatedly injected instead of having been remuscle-shells still adhering to the rocks, ten feet above
peatedly ejected. Moreover I believe that it is imhigh water mark, the inhabitants bad formerly dived
possible to explain the structure of great mountain
chains, such as that of the Cordillera, where the strata at low water spring tides for these shells. The elevation of this province is particularly interesting,
capping the injected axis of Plutonic rock, have been from its having been the theatre of several other
thrown on their edges along several parallel and neighviolent earthquakes, and from the vast numbers of
boring lines of elevation excepton this view of the rocks sea shells scattered over the land up to a height of
of the axis having been repeatedly injected, after intercertainly 600, and I believe of 1000 feet. At Val
vals sufficiently long to allow the upper parts or wedges
to cool and become solid; for if the strata had been paraiso, as I have remarked, similar shells are found at a height of 1300 feet ; it is hardly possible to
thrown into their present highly inclined, vertical, doubt that this great elevation has been affected
and even inverted positions by a single blow, the very by successive small uprisings, such as that which
bowels of the earth would have gushed out, and instead accompanied or caused the earthquake of this year,
of beholding abrupt mountain axis of rock solidified and likewise by an insensible slow rise which is
under great pressure, deluges of lava would have certainly in progress on some parts of this coast.
flowed out at innumerable points in every line of ele
EARTHQUAKES. other, and a volcano burst forth under water close to These convulsions have been very numerous during the last few the shore. These facts are remarkable because this
months. The Brooklyn Evening Star, which has published my
meteorlogical observations for a considerable length of time, fur. island during the earthquake of 1751, was then also nishes the most conclusive evidence that earthquake disturbaffected more violently than other places at an equal
ances, however distant, are indicated on Brooklyn Heights by
observations made and published almost simultaneously with the distance from Concepcion, and this seems to show somo happening of the distant disturbance.