Gulf Tidal Wave Strikes Galveston in 1900

After the Great Storm of 1900 passed over Cuba, it pushed the warm waters of the Gulf toward Galveston in a deep, undulating swell (a vast, crestless wave).

Moving at around 50 miles per hour, the swell's leading edge struck the rim of Galveston Island, effectively causing the mass of moving water to back up.

When the hurricane caught up with the swells, a massive storm surge exploded over the island which was barely 8½ feet above sea level. With no effective barrier between them and the sea, the people of Galveston—together with their homes and other buildings—were doomed.

The illustration in this lithograph depicts an artistic impression of the moment when the hurricane and the backed-up mass of water came together to form a massively destructive force. Its title is:

Galveston's Awful Calamity - Gulf Tidal Wave, September 8th 1900

The Library of Congress also provides a summary of the drawing, including descriptions of the inset pictures:

Print shows the destruction caused by a hurricane and tidal wave to Galveston, Texas, wreckage to buildings, survivors, and the bodies of victims; also shows vignettes at the corners and across the bottom:

“Drays employed carrying the bodies to barges for burial in the Gulf” (top left), “2650 dead bodies burried [sic] in the Gulf” (top right), “Bodies incinerated in lieu of burial” (bottom right), “Shooting ghouls, found despoiling the dead” (bottom left), and at center, “View of ruins, Avenue ‘L’ west, Ruins of Sacred Heart Church, cor [corner] 13' [13th] & Broadway, and First Baptist Church ruins, cor. 22' [corner of 22nd] & Winnie st's [streets].

Click on the image for a full-page view.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 27, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Sep 01, 2017

Media Credits

Lithograph, published by Kurz & Allison, in 1900. Online via the Library of Congress; reproduction number LC-DIG-pga-05845 (digital file from original print).


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Gulf Tidal Wave Strikes Galveston in 1900" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 27, 2017. Dec 07, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips