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In Their Own Words

September 08, 1804

Hurricane Described in Journal

Although he did not use the word, Reuben King described what was clearly a hurricane in his journal from Darien:

“I worked in the yard it rained very hard but my work was such that I was obliged to work in the rain the wind blew from N an[d] N.E. about twelve O.C. the wind increased and blew very hard about 2 O.C. it threatened destruction to all the houses in Darien it Still increased broke and blew up trees tore of[f] the roofs of Some Small houses and others blew down at about 4 O.C. the wind abated and the Storm appeared to be nearly over but in about 30 Minnutes the wind shifted in to the S.E. and blew more violent than before and to appearance bid total Destruction - The tide at Sun Set was four feet higher than it was ever Known before at which time it aught to have been more than half ebb - My tan house blew down at about Sun Set and every thing seamed to be going to destruction - the tide was over my tan vats at least 3 feet the tide and waves washed away almost every thing that was in thare reach wharfs boats lumber of every description went a drift every thing was in confusion The inhabitants with terror in thare countinance stood waiting the terable event - I lent my assistance to those who seemed to be the most in nead and I think I may Safely add that I did all in my power to save and preserve all that I could - at about midnight the wind abated”

Source: Virginia Steele Wood and Ralph Van Wood, ed. The Reuben King Journal, 1800-1806. Savannah, Georgia, The Georgia Historical Society, 1971, p. 90.

Note: This hurricane struck St. Simons Island and Darien, traveled up the coast of Georgia, then through South Carolina and North Carolina, before heading back out to sea - only to turn back and strike New England. Over 500 deaths and many thousands of dollars in damage were caused by this hurricane.