Galveston and the Great Storm of 1900 - MEMORY OF THE DISASTER

MEMORY OF THE DISASTER (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People Film Geography Social Studies STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Disasters

This image, entitled “Shooting Vandals at Work on the Dead Bodies in Galveston after the Disaster,” is from The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror, Written by the Survivors, edited by John Coulter and published, in 1900, by E. E. Sprague. It appears at page 236 of the book which is online, via Project Gutenberg. Click on the image for a better view.


Thanks to the generosity of the Henry Rosenberg family, Galveston has a fantastic Library. Thanks to the Rosenberg Library staff, the memory of the people who endured the disaster is kept alive.

Through a Night of Horrors, a book edited by two Rosenberg Library specialists, is not for the faint of heart. From it we hear "Voices From the 1900 Galveston Storm." What those voices have to say is both gut-wrenching and heart-breaking:

It was determined to load the dead on barges, tow them to sea and cast them into the deep. Ben C. Stuart

If you were caught stooping [looting], you might be shot. There was one man that when they took him he had his pockets full of ears and fingers. He didn't take time to take the earrings out of ears, he just cut a piece off.  Of course by that time the fingers would be swollen.  He just cut the fingers off and stuffed then in his pocket.  He would have been shot, but his wife was pregnant and she begged for him. So they didn't shoot him.   Ellen Edwards Nilson

The story of Galveston's tragedy can never be written.  Galveston! the beautiful Island city is hardly recognizable today.  Ida Smith Austin

I had been conscripted to help bury or burn the dead.  It was too gruesome to describe.  Harry I. Maxson

It's a sight I hope I shall never see again.  Destruction and desolation; wreckage strewn everywhere, chaos, and that voice still ringing in my ears:  "Save me, save me!"  Arnold R. Wolfram

The sea ran as high in the streets of the town as it did in the Gulf.  The wind blew from 120 to 130 miles an hour.  There were two thousand in the hotel that night, if it had gone you can guess the rest.  One hour more of that wind would have killed every person on the Island.  Walker W. Davis

The people of Galveston are making a brave and gallant fight for life.  Winifred Black

...all he found left at the site of their house was a hatchet!  Henry Cortes

All the survivors of Galveston's great storm were left with memories so horrible they could never forget the night of September 8th.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Sep 09, 2019

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"MEMORY OF THE DISASTER" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2002. Feb 17, 2020.
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