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In Their Own Words

August 31, 1886

Reaction to Earthquake Recorded in Journal

John Girardeau Legare of Darien, Georgia recorded the reaction to the great earthquake which devastated Charleston, S.C. on this date, but could be felt across a signifcant portion of Georgia as well:

“…Earth-quake. - At 9:25 o’clock p.m. we had the severest earthquake within the memory of man in these parts. It lasted about one minute. The people in these parts were more frightened than hurt. Some thought the final judgment had arrived, while others thought that ghosts had visited them. Those undressed ‘stood not in the order of their going’ but left their beds or houses as they were. It will be long remembered by those who felt it. The sensation experienced is peculiar and by no means pleasant. No great damage was done here, but Charleston, S.C. was wrecked by it and many persons were killed or wounded there. The Charleston & Savannah railroad was badly torn up and twisted. …”

Source: Buddy Sullivan, ed. The Darien Journal of John Girardeau Legare, Ricegrower, The University of Georgia Press, Athens & London, 2010, p. 36.