Cynthia McKanzie - AncientPages.com - In 1811, a great bright comet appeared in the skies. It was visible the naked eye for around 260 days. In the USA, the comet was named Tecumseh's Comet and the Europeans called it “Napoleon's Comet”.
The last time the comet had been witnessed was during the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, 3,065 years before. The arrival of the Tecumseh’s comet was followed by the New Madrid earthquakes, the biggest earthquakes in American history, events that are linked to the Black Sun prophecy.
Great Comet of 1811. Credit: Public Domain
From December 16, 1811, through March of 1812 there were over 2,000 earthquakes in the central Midwest, and between 6,000-10,000 earthquakes in the Bootheel of Missouri where New Madrid is located near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
In the known history of the world, no other earthquakes have lasted so long and resulted in so much damage as the New Madrid earthquakes.
Tecumseh’s Comet And The Prophecy Of The Black Sun
Tecumseh was an important Native American mystic, warrior and military leader of the Shawnee. He is today remembered as a great hero who fought for freedom.
His name ominously meant “Shooting Star” or “He who walks across the sky.” Tecumseh’s brother, who was a religious leader, known as “The Prophet,” had predicted a solar eclipse in 1806. William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana was worried the Prophet was becoming too popular and challenged him to produce a miracle. The Prophet announced another solar eclipse occur and so it did, on September 17, 1811.
A painting of Tecumseh, the Shawnee leader of a tribal confederacy that opposed the U.S. Artist unknown
It should be added that the Prophet had been in contact with astronomers who told him the solar eclipse would take place that year. A “Black Sun” was said by the Indians to predict war, and the war was launched by Governor Harrison in November. Wars with the Indians and the British would rage until 1813. After the day of the “Black Sun” Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet attracted even more followers. Read more about Tecumseh – one of the greatest Indian leaders.
On November 6, 1811, Governor Harrison attacked Prophet’s Town with over 1,000 men and this was the beginning of the Tecumseh’s War. Tecumseh was at the Shawnee and Delaware Indian villages near Cape Girardeau, 50 miles north of the epicenter at New Madrid, when the first earthquake hit on December 16, 1811.
The Biggest Earthquakes In American History
The first earthquake was a magnitude 7.7 on the Richter scale, but some have suggested it was much higher. Six hours later a second quake of equal force hit the same area again. These were no ordinary earthquakes. Sounds of distant thunder and loud explosions accompanied the earthquakes. The epicenter was probably located a little distance from present-day New Madrid.
The Great Comet of 1811, as drawn by William Henry Smyth, an English naval officer, hydrographer, astronomer and numismatist. Credit: Public Domain
The earthquakes felt strongly across 130,000 square miles and moderately for a total of nearly 3 million miles. The effect was devastating and widespread. The upheaval was so violent it created Reelfoot Lake fifteen miles south of New Madrid and drowned the inhabitants of an entire Indian village along the Mississippi. The river amazingly “ran backward” for several hours, which may have been a tsunami-like event exacerbated by the eruption of groundwater for miles along the shore, which caused a rapid rise of the water level in the riverbed.
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The shock waves from the first earthquake were felt all the way to the East Coast and north to Quebec.
The earthquakes were felt as far away as the White House, and it’s said that church bells in Boston rang on their own. Shortly before the first earthquake, people reported strange behavior by animals. Many animals were nervous and frightened. Domestic animals became wild, and wild animals became tame. Snakes came out of the ground from hibernation. Flocks of ducks and geese landed near people.
As the earthquakes continued, Tecumseh traveled back to Prophet’s Town, but couldn’t arrive until February 1812. Tecumseh survived the earthquakes but was later killed in Canada in 1813.
On February 7, a third major earthquake struck the region. After the February 7 earthquake, boatmen reported that the Mississippi actually ran backwards for several hours. As many as 2,000 tremors, large and small, were noted.
Sadly, there is virtually no written history of what Native Americans experienced during this horrible natural disaster. Local Indians had an oral history of major earthquake events occurring within the memories of their elders, but geologists say that nobody in their tribes would have ever experienced anything remotely like this.
The New Orleans Steamboat Survived The Earthquakes
One written account of the first terrible weeks of the disaster comes from the maiden voyage of the steamship New Orleans, the first steamship to ply the waters of the Mississippi. The New Orleans set out from Pittsburgh on October 20, 1811, bound for New Orleans. Captain Nicholas Roosevelt had brought along his young wife, their two-year-old daughter, and a Labrador dog.
On December 16, the steamboat was anchored near Owensboro, Kentucky, about 200 miles east of New Madrid, Missouri. Their dog, Tiger, insisted on staying in the cabin with them instead of sleeping on the deck. Without realizing it, they were heading straight towards the epicenter of the greatest earthquake in American history.
Floating in the middle of the Ohio River they were protected from the earthquake tremors shaking the land. The danger they had to face was the falling trees, disappearing islands, and collapsing river banks. After entering the Indian Territory on December 18th, they were chased by Indians who figured the “fire canoe” had caused the earthquake, but they managed to escape capture by outrunning them.
1911 replica of Steamboat New Orleans. The entire crew and the dog survived the horrible earthquakes. Image credit: UIUC
Thousands of trees were floating on the waters of the Mississippi as they approached New Madrid on December 19th, three days after the earthquake. They found that the town of New Madrid had been destroyed. They didn’t dare to stop and pick up a few survivors, for fear of being overrun, and they were without supplies. Most alarming was the fact that they had not seen a boat ascending the river in three days. They saw wrecked and abandoned boats.
It was undoubtedly almost a miracle that they survived and kept ongoing. They tied up at one island, and the island sank during the night. Their dog, Tiger, alerted them to oncoming tremors. On December 22, they encountered the British naturalist John Bradbury on a boat at the mouth of the St. Francis River, who told them the town of Big Prairie was gone.
The entire crew, including the dog, survived. They arrived at New Orleans on January 10, 1812, safe and sound, after traveling 1,900 miles from Pittsburgh on the first steamboat to travel the western waters.
The Prophet's Black Sun prophecy made many wonder whether it was all just a coincidence... Image credit: Garry Fabian Miller
At the time of the earthquakes, about four thousand inhabitants were living in the region where the Great Quakes hit, with about half of those in and around New Madrid. If a similar natural disaster happened I modern times, with our high population density and complex infrastructure, severe damage would be assured throughout the mid–Mississippi Valley, with inevitable chaos and destruction.
Three of the earthquakes are on the list of America’s top earthquakes: the first one on December 16, 1811, a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale; the second on January 23, 1812, at 7.8; and the third on February 7, 1812, at as much as 8.8 magnitude.
The Great Comet of 1812, Tecumseh Comet was so large that it has been estimated to have been over a million miles across, almost fifty percent larger than our own Sun.
The prophecy of the Black Sun was followed by devastating earthquakes. These events still make many wonder whether the Prophet predicted the future., or if it was all just a coincidence.
Written by Cynthia McKanzie – AncientPages.com Staff Writer
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