The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: February 24

WILLIAMSBURG, February 24, 1774.
Last Monday, about two o'Clock, a smart Shock of an Earthquake was felt at Westover, the Seat of the Honorable William Byrd, Esq; which shook the Dwelling House very much. It was likewise felt in this city the same Day by a few People, and on the Wednesday Night following there was a violent Tremor of the Earth. And by a Gentleman from Richmond we learn that the Shock was severely felt in that Town, at the same Time it was observed at Westover, accompanied by a loud Noise like Thunder; and at Petersburg and Blandford the Motion of the Earth was still greater, many Houses having been moved considerably off their Foundations, and the Inhabitants so much alarmed as to run out of Doors. The same Gentleman says, that the Earthquake, he heard, had been much greater up the Country. Extract of a Letter from Fredericksburg, February 23. On Monday last, about two o'Clock after Noon, we felt a small Shock of an Earthquake, which lasted about Half a Munite. It shook the Glasses on the Tables, etc. and terrified the Inhabitants greatly, but no bad Consequences attended it.

Virginia Gazette (Purdie Dixon) February 24, 1774

About this entry:

This was the first recorded earthquake in Virginia. It centered near Petersburg and was felt over a distance of 58,000 square miles. Since then, 300 earthquakes have been recorded in or near the boundaries of Virginia.

Sources: Virginia. Dept of Mines

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