The Last Big One: Accounts from 1857
Most 19th century California newspapers which are preserved today can be tracked down using the following web databases:
The sources of the non-newspaper historic accounts on this website are as follows:
- Reminiscence by Mr. Bell, ca. 1905 (as retold by geologist Harry R. Johnson, in a letter to H.O. Wood, May 22, 1944):
H.O. Wood (1955), The 1857 earthquake in California, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 45, p. 63.
- Reminiscence by John Barker:
California Federated Women's Clubs, History and Landmarks Section (1913), Historic Facts and Fancies, San Francisco.
- Diary of Caroline Barnes Crosby, daily entry for January 9, 1857:
Original held in Vault Ms. B-89, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City; transcript also held in the California Room at the San Bernardino Public Library.
- Reminiscence by Augusta J. Crocheron, 1885:
A.J. Crocheron (1885), California memories, The Contributor, Vol. 6, pp. 371-372.
A more complete collection of historic accounts from the 1857 earthquake can be found in:
D.C. Agnew and K.E. Sieh (1978), A documentary study of the felt effects of the great California earthquake of 1857, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 68, pp.1717-1729. (See appendix on microfiche.)
A few additional sources can be found in:
A.J. Meltzner and D.J. Wald (1998), Foreshocks and aftershocks of the great 1857 California earthquake, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-465, 115 pp.
Click on a location below to view first-hand accounts of the 1857 earthquake.
Several maps show the above locations.