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Volcanoes and History
Cascade Range Volcanoes - "Volcanoes and History"

Rev. Samuel Parker, A.M.

1831 Eruption of Mount St. Helens and a volcanic Mount Hood
(Published in 1838)


Excerpt from:
Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains, under the Direction of the A.B.C.F.M., Performed in the Years 1835, '36, and '37; Containing a Description of the Geography, Geology, Climate, and Productions; and the Number, Manners, and Customs of the Natives, with a Map of Oregon Territory, by Rev. Samuel Parker, A.M., published by the Author, Ithaca, N.Y., 1838.

Eruption of Mount St. Helens
August 1831

and a
Volcanic Mount Hood

   [p.209]     ... There are several regularly formed craters, but these, presenting themselves in depressions or in cones, are rendered obscure by the lapse of time. That volcanoes have existed there can be no doubt; but that they have been in active operation recently is more uncertain. There was an uncommonly dark day at Fort Vancouver, and in its vicinity, in August, 1831, which some have though must have been caused by smoke for an eruption of a volcano. The whole day was nearly as dark as night, except a little red, lurid appearance, which was perceptible until near night. Lighted candles were necessary through the day. The atmosphere was filled with smoke, ashes, and leaves, some of the latter were scorched, and the ashes were very light, like the white ashes of wood; all having the appearance of being produced by great fires, and yet none were known to be in any part of the whole region around. The day was perfectly calm without any wind. For a few days after, the fires out of doors were noticed to burn with a bluish flame, as though mixed with sulphur. There were no earthquakes. By observations, which were made after the atmosphere became clear, it was thought the pure, white, perpetual snow upon Mount St. Helens was discolored, presenting a brown appearance, and therefore it was concluded, that there had been upon it a slight eruption. The Indians say they have seen fires in the chasms of Mount Hood. Tilki, the first chief of La Dalle Indians, who is a man of more than ordinary talents, said he had frequently seen fires in the fissures of rocks in the last named mountain. ...


Digital version of Rev. Parker's publication was found at the
Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University (2007).


 


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