"The night of the 18th was a terrible one on this part of the island; there was a great hurricane with an earthquake; the total destruction of the place was threatened; many houses were blown away to splinters; those more substantially built were thrown down, and the roofs carried away with their contents. Few in Port-au-Prince escaped being more or less injured; that of Archibald Kane, in which I am, is among
those that suffered the least ; yet nearly all the roof covered with slates has been carried away. As it rained heavily, I was greatly exposed. I had at the time a high fever, and the rain fell upon me in torrents; my beloved companion, John Hancock, a most kind and faithful attendant on me by night and by day, removed me, (for I was too feeble to help myself,) to a corner of the house that remained a little sheltered from the weather; but considerations about myself were absorbed in feelings for the mass of the inhabitants, whose distress was great. All the vessels in the port were sunk, thrown on their beamends, or cast high up on the shore. The water ran through the streets in torrents, and brought down from the mountains, houses, horses, cattle, &c; men and women, children in their cradles, were rescued a short distance only before they reached the sea. The devastation by the hurricane has extended to a considerable distance. Leogane is nearly destroyed; very few houses are left at Jacmel, and the shipping is gone; but the destruction throughout the country is not less than in the towns, and many lives have been lost. When Petion was told of the overthrow of a great part of his buildings, his first inquiry was, `Is the library safe? Being told it was, he said, `Blessed be the Lord for this merciful preservation!' He had lately placed in it a considerable number of valuable books, that he wished should supersede the many deistical and immoral ones they had before."
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