October 1815: Late Gale, Tornado, Hurricane

“There is no Topick of Conversation here, but the devastations of the Hurricane on the 23d of Septr. the day of the Equinox. The details you will See in the Newspapers. Though I have suffered as little as any body, yet an hundred Cord of Wood, ranging Timber and Ship timber, have been blown down besides a great number of valuable Apple Trees on my Farm at Mount Wollaston. Light Buildings Fences and Fruit Trees have Suffered here at home in proportion. But none of these things affect me like the Accident unfortunately befallen my Brother. A Barn of his blown over, and his Activity at 77 years of Age could not be restraind from assisting his Son and his Workmen in taking down the Fragments of the ruins when part of the roof fell and crushed him to the Ground. He Still lives and We hope for his recovery. But he is not out of Danger. Almost deaf for many Years, blind of one Eye and now confined to his bed, he still talks and laughs.

The late Gale, Tornado, Hurricane, call it what you will exceeded any Thing ever known in this Country in the merory of any Person now living. It was far more violent than that in the night between 6th. and 7th. of October 1804. You and I, in 1778 Saw heard and felt a more violent Hurricane, for Several days and nights, on board the Boston Frigate in the Gulph Stream. But I find that a Good Ship commanded by Experienced Officers, obeyed by hardy seamen, can Scudd away before Winds And Waves that would level Houses and Forests on Shore.

There is a temporary calm in our Ocean and Atmosphere of Politicks: but Something or other will Soon occur to kick up a Dust, and conjure up a Breeze. Never fear a stagnation of Air or Water in our Climate.”

— John Adams writes to his son John Quincy Adams, October 1815.

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