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2020-11-09 06:30:28
Griswold, Charles
[Detailed Letter by a Local Doctor Describing the Great Camanche Tornado of June 1860, and Its Aftermath]
Fulton, Il, 1860. Very good.. [6]pp., with original transmittal envelope. Previously folded; a few short separations along folds. Accomplished in a neat, legible hand. A vivid firsthand account of the catastrophic loss caused by one of the worst tornadoes to hit the Midwest during the 19th century. The storm that spawned the monster tornado began near Fort Dodge, in central Iowa, on the afternoon of June 3, 1860, and hit the towns of Camanche, Iowa, and Albany, Illinois, on either side of the Mississippi River, early that evening. Both towns were flattened, and over fifty people died on the Iowa side of the river during the initial destructions alone. The present letter was written by a doctor from Fulton, Illinois, named Charles Griswold, a graduate of Yale Medical School and a somewhat recent immigrant to the Midwest, and describes the aftermath of the tornado to his sister in Centerbrook, Connecticut. It was compiled over the course of two days directly after the tornado struck, when Griswold took a steamboat the eight miles down river from Fulton to assist in the relief efforts. It reads in part:"The two towns are almost literally blown to pieces and demolished.... It is perfectly appalling. Scarcely a whole house standing in either place, and nearly all blown flat, broken into kindling wood, scattered in every direction and more effectively demolished than any house you ever saw town down by powder or human hands.... A two-story house in Camanche had its lower story taken from under, and the upper story with roof dropped down upon the foundations. A hotel in … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: McBride Rare Books [United States]
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