The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12
Presented by Professor Urmi Engineer, Department of History, Murray State University
The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest earthquakes in American history. They occurred in the central Mississippi Valley, but were felt as far away as New York City, Boston, Montreal, and Washington D.C. President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. Church bells rang in Boston. 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. These massive earthquakes destroyed homes and altered the environment, most dramatically in reversing the flow of the Mississippi River for a brief time. The earthquakes shaped settlement patterns among Native Americans, influenced U.S. policies in the American West, and served as a catalyst for religious revival and scientific research.
Engineer holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She previously held postdoctoral fellowships at Colby College and the University of Pittsburgh’s World History Center. She approaches world history from an ecological and cross-cultural perspective. Her research focuses on disease and ecology in the Atlantic, and draws connections between the Southern United States, the colonial Caribbean, and South Asia. She teaches courses on ecology, food, health, slavery, and world history.
June 23, 2016 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.
For more information call 270-442-2510 ext. 117 or visit mclib.net/evenings