J[ohn] M. Vanderbilt


John Muir


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00958 [3]severe weather for the past two months, unusually so in the large proportion of rainy days and gales of wind from South east. On the 26th of October this whole section was visited by a frightful cyclone followed by successive shocks of earthquake some of them being severe enough to stop clocks, ring the church bell in Sitka, overturn pictures & other objects hanging and standing in rooms & causing terror both among whites and Indians nothing like it was known before, that is so severe. We gathered reports from [Takoo?] to [illegible] & [Cross?] Sound, everywhere it was severe, doing considerable damage in the Indian settlements & destroying large number of trees. We had nine hours warning by the actions of our barometer & so 00958 [4]took refuge in what we supposed to be a perfect harbor, Fresh Water Bay about ten miles below [Point Augusta?] (Cross Sound) in Chatham Straits we laid there with both anchors down & steam up, when it came it struck us suddenly with terrific force and we were compelled to to steam at full speed to keep from being torn form our anchors & dashed on the rocks — our barometer went down to 28.44 as Sitka the bar went to 28.18 — At Chileat many of the Indian houses were unroofed, graves & monuments blown or knocked down while the Indians were temped by the rumblings that sounded like the discharge of heavy [illegible]. Large tracts of trees were blown down, we received no damage at any of our posts. At Ho[illegible] a large number of canoes were destroyed, houses blown down and one


Sitka, Alaska

Date Original

1880 Nov 20


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 20 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0358

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Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Page Number

Page 2


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