Historical Reprints History Earthquake and Fire

Earthquake and Fire

Earthquake and Fire
Catalog # SKU1945
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Charles Morris


Earthquake and Fire

The San Francisco Calamity

A Complete And Accurate Account
Of The Fearful Disaster Which Visited
The Great City And The Pacific Coast,
The Reign Of Panic And Lawlessness,
The Plight Of 300,000 Homeless People
And The World-Wide Rush
To The Rescue.

Told By Eye Witnesses
Including Graphic And Reliable Accounts
Of All Great Earthquakes And Volcanic Eruptions
In The World's History, And Scientific Explanations
Of Their Causes.

Edited By
Charles Morris

Earthquake and famine, fire and sudden death-these are the destroyers that men fear when they come singly; but upon the unhappy people of California they came together, a hideous quartette, to slay human beings, to blot from existence the wealth that represented prolonged and strenuous effort, to bring hunger and speechless misery to three hundred thousand homeless and terror-stricken people. The full measure of the catastrophe can probably never be taken.


The summary cannot be made amid the panic, the confusion, the removal of ancient landmarks, the complete subversion of the ordinary machinery of society. When chaos comes, as it did in San Francisco, and all the channels of familiar life are closed, and human anguish grows to be intolerable, compilation of statistics is impossible, even if it were not repugnant to the feelings. And when order is once more restored, after the lapse of many weeks, months and perhaps years, the details of the calamity have merged into one undecipherable mass of misery which defies the analyst and the historian. It is the purpose of this book faithfully to record the story of these awful days when years were lived in a moment and to preserve an accurate chronicle of them, not only for the people whose hearts yearn in sympathy to-day, but for their posterity.

Other frightful catastrophes the world has known. The earthquake which dropped Lisbon into the sea in 1755, and in a moment swallowed up twenty-five thousand people, was perhaps more awful than the convulsion which has brought woe to San Francisco. When Krakatoa Mountain, in the Straits of Sunda, in 1883, split asunder and poured across the land a mighty wave, in which thirty-six thousand human beings perished, the results also were more terrible.

The whirlwind of fire which consumed St. Pierre, in the Island of Martinique, and the devastation wrought by Vesuvius a few days previous to that at San Francisco, need not be used for comparison with the latter tragedy, but they may be referred to, that we may recall the fact that this land of ours is not the only one which has suffered. But since the western hemisphere was discovered there has been in this quarter of the globe no violence of natural forces at all comparable in destructive fury with that which was manifested upon the Pacific coast. The only other calamity at all equalling it, or surpassing it, was the Civil War, and that was the work of the evil passions of man inciting him to slay his brother, while Nature would have had him live in peace. The earthquake in San Francisco, which crumbled strong buildings as if they were made of paper, would have been terrible enough; but afterward came the horror of fire and of imprisoned men and women burned alive, and now to it was added the suffering of multitudes from hunger and exposure.

Public attention is fixed on the great city; but smaller cities had their days and nights of destruction, horror and misery. Some were almost destroyed. Others were partly ruined, and beyond their borders, over a wide area, the trembling of the earth toppled houses, annihilated property and transformed riches into poverty. The cost in life can be reckoned. The money loss will never be computed, for the appraised value of the wrecked property conveys no notion of the consequences of the almost complete paralysis, for a time, of the commercial operations by means of which men and women earn their bread.

When the weakness and the folly and the sin of men bring woe upon other men, there are plenty of texts for the preacher and no scarcity of earnest preachers. But here is a vast and awful catastrophe that befell from an act of Nature apparently no more extraordinary than the shrinkage of hot metal in the process of cooling. The consequences are terrifying in this case because they involve the habitations of half a million people; but, no doubt, the process goes on somewhere within the earth almost continuously, and it no more involves the theory of malignant Nature than that of an angry God.

If we contemplate it, possibly we may be helped to a profitable estimate of our own relative insignificance. We think, with some notion of our importance, of the thousand million men who live upon the earth; but they are a mere handful of animate atoms in comparison with the surface, to say nothing of the solid contents, of the globe itself. We are fond of boasting in this latter day of man's marvelous success in subduing the forces of Nature; and, while we are in the midst of exultation over our victories, Nature tumbles the rocks about somewhere within the bowels of the earth, and we have to learn the old lesson that our triumphs have not penetrated farther than to the very outermost rim of the realms of Nature.

A few weak, almost helpless, creatures, we millions of men stand upon the deck of a great ship, which goes rolling through space that is itself incomprehensible, and usually we are so busy with our paltry ambitions, our transgressions, our righteous labors, our prides and hopes and entanglements that we forget where we are and what is our destiny. A direct interposition from a Superior Power, even if it be hurtful to the body, might be required to persuade us to stop and consider and take anew our bearings, so that we may comprehend in some larger degree our precise relations to things. The wisest men have been the most ready to recognize the beneficence of the discipline of affliction. If there were no sorrow, we should be likely to find the school of life unprofitable.

For one thing, the school wherein sorrow is a part of the discipline is that in which is developed human sympathy, one of the finest and most ennobling manifestations of the Love which is, in its essence, divine. In human life there is much that is ignoble, and the race has almost contemptible weakness and insignificance in comparison with the physical forces of the universe.

But man is superior to all these forces in his possession of the power of affection; and in almost the lowest and basest of the race this power, if latent and half lost, may be found and evoked by the spectacle of the suffering of a fellow-creature.



Chapter I. San Francisco and Its Terrific Earthquake.
  The Early Days of San Francisco.
  The Character of the City.
  The Foundations of the City.
  The Bane of the Earthquake.
  The Great Disaster of 1906.
23~ Rescuers And Fire-Fighters.
  The Horror of the People.
  official Record of the Earthquake.
  Freaks of the Earthquake.
  Skyscrapers Earthquake Proof.

Chapter II. The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City.
  The Resistless March of the Flames.
  The Care of the Wounded.
  Fire Attacks The Mint.
  The Palaces On Nob's Hill.
  A Vivid Fire Picture.
  The Landmarks Consumed.
  The Fire Under Control.

Chapter III. Fighting the Flames With Dynamite.
  Fighting The Flames.
  The Struggle Against The Fire.
  A New Supply of Explosives.
  The Savers of the City.

Chapter IV. The Reign of Destruction and Devastation
  An Editor's Narrative.
  Wreck And Ruin.
  The Ruin of Chinatown.
  Loss To Art And Science.
  The Danger From Thirst.
  How Looting Was Hindered.
  Stories By Sightseers.
  Death For Slight offense.

Chapter V. The Panic Flight of a Homeless Host.
  The Panic In The Slums.
  The Flight For Safety.
  The Exodus From The Burning City.
  The Wild Rush To The Ferries.
  Scenes of Humor And Pathos.
  The Golden Gate Camp.

Chapter VI. Facing Famine and Praying for Relief.
  The Food Question Urgent.
  Food For The Hungry.
  Water For The Thirsty.
  The Camps In The Parks.
  Comedy And Pathos In The Bread Line.
  The Exodus From San Francisco.
  Worship In The Open Air.

Chapter VII. The Frightful Loss of Life and Wealth.
  Estimates of the Death List.
  Burying The Dead.
  Victims Taken From The Ruins.
  The Free Use of Rifles.
  The Loss In Wealth.
  Looters In Chinatown.

Chapter VIII. Wonderful Record of Thrilling Escapes.
  Misery Drives Some Insane.
  Society Folks Compelled To Camp.
  Terrible Scene At The Ferry.
  Great Singers Escape.
  Teddy's Picture Proves "Open Sesame."

Chapter IX. Disaster Spreads Over the Golden State
  The Destruction of Santa Rosa.
  The Stanford University.
  The Earthquake At Other Cities.
  At The State University.

Chapter X. All America and Canada to the Rescue
  Right of Way For Food Trains.
  Cargoes of Supplies.
  The Sympathy of the People Awakes.
  Foreign offers of Aid.
  Enterprise In San Francisco.
  The Problem of the Chinese.

Chapter XI. San Francisco of the Past
  Agriculture Brings New Wealth.
  A Peculiar Yet Delightful Climate.
  A Mixture of Races.

Chapter XII. Life in the Metropolis of the Pacific
  The 'Frisco Restaurants.
  The Famous Poodle Dog.
  The Bohemian Club.
  The Wickedest And Gayest.
  An All-Night Town.

Chapter XIII. Plans to Rebuild San Francisco.

Chapter XIV. The Earthquake Wave Felt Round the Earth.
  Widespread Earth Tremors.
  Records of Foreign Observations.

Chapter XV. Vesuvius Devastates the Region of Naples.
  The Rivers of Lava.
  The Crisis of the Eruption.
  A Reign of Terror.
  Disasters At San Giuseppe And Naples.
  The Eruption Resumed.
  Scenes of Horror.
  An American Observer.
  The King At The Front.
  The Canopy of Dust.
  The Heroes of the Observatory.

Chapter XVI. The Great Lisbon and Calabrian Earthquakes.
  The Great Lisbon Earthquake
  Water Adds To The Destruction
  Wide-Spread Destruction
  Characteristics of the Lisbon Earthquake
  Earthquakes In Calabria
  Most Calamitous of the Landslips
  Immense Destruction

Chapter XVII. The Charleston and Other Earthquakes of the United States.

Chapter XVIII. The Volcano and the Earthquake, Earth's Demons of Destruction.
  The Wind Is A Demon In Chains
  The Subterranean Powers
  Ancient Awe of Volcanoes
  Rarity of Ancient Accounts
  General Description of Eruptions
  Great Outflows of Lava
  often Rest For Long Terms of Years

Chapter XIX. Theories of Volcanic and Earthquake Action.
  Enormous Force Displayed
  Volcanic Cones Have Similar Curvatures
  Lava Varies Very Much In Liquidity
  The Volcano A Safety Valve
  Eruptions of Quiet Type
  Mountains Blow Their Heads off
  Cause of Earthquakes
  The Radius of Disturbance.
  Transmissions of Vibrations
  Floating Pumice

Chapter XX. The Active Volcanoes of the Earth.
  Number of Active Volcanoes
  Asiatic Inland Volcanoes
  Volcanoes of the Pacific
  Thian Shan And Hawaiian Volcanoes
  Volcanoes Parallel To Mountain Chains
  Areas of Upheaval And Subsidence

Chapter XXI. The Famous Vesuvius and the Destruction of Pompeii.
  Buried Cities Excavated.
  Pliny's Celebrated Description
  The Voyage To Stabiae
  Death of Pliny The Elder
  Pliny's Second Letter
  Fear Versus Composure
  Dion Cassius On The Eruption
  Lake Avernus
  How Pompeii Impresses Its Visitors
  Streets And Houses of Pompeii
  Value of the Discovery of Pompeii

Chapter XXII. Eruptions of Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli.
  The Birth of Monte Nuovo
  Lava From Vesuvius
  Great Eruption of 1767
  Padre Torre's Narrative
  Breislak On The Eruption of 1794
  Strange Effects
  Hardihood of the People
  Mount Etna
  Similarity In Etna's Eruptions
  The Eruption of 1669
  Villages And Cities Buried
  The Stones Ejected
  Etna In 1819
  Effect of the Eruption
  The Lipari Volcanoes
  Hoffman At Stromboli

Chapter XXIII. Skaptar Jokull and Hecla, the Great Icelandic Volcanoes.
  Volcanoes In Iceland
  Dreadful Floods
  A Torrent of Lava
  Enormous Quantity of Lava
  Eruption of Mount Hecla
  Later Outbreaks
  Electric Phenomena

Chapter XXIV. Volcanoes of the Philippines and Other Pacific Islands.
  Eruption of Galung Gung
  The Luzon Volcanoes.
  Bulusan And Taal
  Volcanoes In The Southern Islands
  The Great Eruption of Tomboro
  The Volcanoes of Japan
  Hot Springs Near Hakone Lake
  Bandaisan's Work of Terror
  Mr. Norman's Narrative
  The New Zealand Volcanoes
  The Pink And White Terraces
  Tarawera In Eruption
  The Antarctic Volcanoes

Chapter XXV. The Wonderful Hawaiian Craters and Kilauea's Lake of Fire.
  The Island of Hawaii
  A Volcanic Island Group
  Crater of Haleakala
  Miss Bird In The Crater of Kilauea
  Mr. Ellis Visits The Lake of Lava
  Mauna Loa In Eruption
  The Eruptions of 1859 And 1865
  The Lava Flow of 1880
  Kilauea In 1840
  The Sinking of Kilauea's Fire-Lake
  The Goddess Pele

Chapter XXVI. Popocatapetl & Other Volcanoes of Mexico & Central America.
  Sulphur From The Crater
  The Volcano Jorullo
  Effect On The Rivers
  Eruptions In Nicaragua

Chapter XXVII. The Terrible Eruption of Krakatoa.
  Awful Premonitions
  Far-Reaching Destruction
  A Graphic Description of the Eruption
  Detonations Heard For Many Miles Away
  Series of Atmospheric Waves
  Sir Robert S. Ball's Description
  An Extraordinary Noise
  A Constant Wind
  Extraordinary Red Sunsets
  The Red Sunsets Described

Chapter XXVIII. Mount Pelee and its Harvest of Death.
  A Peaceful Scene
  A Graphic Description By A Sufferer.
  The Fateful Eighth of May
  A Tale of Sudden Ruin
  Heat Caused Explosions
  The Cooper's Story.
  Consul Ayme's Statement
  A Woman's Experience On The "Roraima"
  Captain Freeman's Thrilling Account
  Awful Results
  The "Etona" Passes St. Pierre
  Chief Engineer Farrish's Story
  Captain Cantell Visits The "Roddam"
  The Vivid Account of M. Albert
  What Happened On The "Horace"
  Great Flashes of Light
  Ashes Rained On The Ship
  The Engine Became Choked
  Mate Scott's Graphic Story
  Prepared To Trust To Luck
  The Strange Experience of the "Nordby"
  Fiery Stream Contained Poisonous Gases

Chapter XXIX. St. Vincent Island and Mont Soufriere in 1812.
  Descendants of Original Indian Population
  The Appearance of the Soufriere
  The Eruption of 1812
  The Terrible Earthquake At Caracas
  The Mountain Stones A Herd-Boy
  Barbados Covered With Ashes
  Kingsley's Visit To Saint Vincent
  Black Sunday At Barbados
  Incidents At Barbados

Chapter XXX. Submarine Volcanoes and their Work of Island Building.
  An Eruption Described
  Building Up of An Island By Submarine Volcanoes
  How An Island Grew
  In The Icelandic Seas
  Off The Coast of Alaska

Chapter XXXI. Mud Volcanoes, Geysers, and Hot Springs.
  The Great Mud Volcano of Sicily
  The Mud Volcano of Java
  The Geyser Is A Water Volcano
  Eruption Can Be Induced By Artificial Means
  Geysers of the United States
  The Yellowstone Geysers
  A Description of the Geyser At Work
  The Mammoth Hot Springs

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