Galveston Hurricane

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mon HUM 121 September 17, 2015 A Weekend in September The Galveston hurricane of 1900 wreaked havoc before the eyes through the memories of its survivors. John Edward Weems interviewed many survivors of this deadly hurricane before he penned this work many years ago. His narrative covered individual stories interwoven during the time-line of the approaching storm, its full-force assault on the island, and the storm's aftermath. Daisy Thorne's story stands out. Just a few blocks from the beach, she lived with her mother; while she enjoyed the summer break from her role as schoolteacher, she prepared her trousseau for her upcoming wedding. As the storm approached, neighbors came to their sturdier building to wait it out. The severity of…show more content…
A few days after the storm, Daisy wrote, “I feel that I have been given a marvelous blessing,” she observed, “to have been brought so close to the infinite and to see how small finite things are.” Mr. Weems does a good job of setting the stage for the storm, addressing the weather observation methods of the day and the things learned from this hurricane. His technique of telling the individual stories, intermeshing them along during the hours of the disaster, made it very real and personal. The cold numbers were: first estimates – 1,000 dead, final numbers were never known – between 6,000 and 12,000, with 8,000 being the most cited figure, and all this from one city. He also goes on to explain what measures were taken by Galveston to ensure this deadly outcome not be repeated – the seawall which you see there today, and a raising of the island topography itself, by pumping more sand atop it. It was a fascinating telling of a horrible disaster, and the resiliency of…show more content…
Nearly a century after its passing, the storm remains the standard against which the ferocity and destructiveness of all others are measured. Two thirds of Galveston's buildings were washed away at a cost that was never fully calculated. More than 6,000 people were killed. And in the collective memory of a region where depredations by wind and water are accepted as part of life, the weekend of September 8, 1900, is the ultimate example of the terror and violence a hurricane can bring. John Edward Weems's account of the Galveston hurricane was written more than two decades ago, when many of the survivors were still living and available for interviews. This book is based on numerous conversations and correspondence with these survivors as well as a careful examination of contemporary documents and news reports. In direct, economical prose Weems recreates that fateful weekend as experienced by those who actually were there. The result is a narrative that develops a pace and force as irresistible as the hurricane that inspired it, and a work that is a model of historical

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