Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City) - 1663 - The Great Earthquake (Quebec)
February 5: Just before the Great Earthquake, Quebec was in carnival, orgies, drinking bouts, and dances, not to speak of some things more serious, which may offend chaste ears and are better passed over in silence than mentioned. Heaven and earth have spoken to us many times during this year.
February 5, 5:30P.M.: A great earthquake, centered near the mouth of the Saguenay River, shook the whole country, and some people thought the world was about to end. The priests used this natural phenomenon as a sign to align the people with their beliefs and values. Father (I)-Jerome Lalemant (1593-1673) wrote: "Mountains were swallowed up, forests were changed into great lakes, rivers disappeared, thunder rumbled beneath our feet, which belched forth flames." The Savages say: "All the woods were drunken." Pikes and lances of fire were seen, waving in the air. At Three Rivers: The first and severest of all the shocks began with a rumbling like that of thunder, the house were shaken like tree tops during a storm, amid a noise that made people think there was a fire crackling in their garrets. Both shores of the St. Lawrence River for 300 miles are strewn with uprooted trees. The first shock lasted 1/ 2 hour and was felt beyond Ville-Marie (Montreal) to Acadia and New England. The after shocks continued for more than 6 months, well into August, some suggested until September 9. Not a person lost his life or even his earthly possessions.
The shocks which continued for months and, in September (some say December, see note end 1663), an eclipse of the sun are used by Father Jerome Lalemant to a revival of piety. Lalwmant also used this natural phenomena to terrorize the Savages.
www.telusplanet.net/ public/ dgarneau/ french18.htm
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