Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library


Kingston, Jamaica

Friday, January 18, 1907

Price: 3d


The business centre of Kingston is today a mass of ruins, and practically no portion of the city has been left untouched. At 3:35 on Monday evening we were struck by an earthquake, and within 40 seconds our capital had fallen and over 1,000 persons lay dead and dying on the ground.

The blow has been terrible. Just when we were talking of returning prosperity the hand of adversity has again touched us, and one more we are called upon to fight out way forward. We will do so. We will not allow ourselves to be terrified. We will build Kingston again, and, with God's help, will build it better.

We have not received a setback for another fifty years, as some are saying. Time and again the capitals of Spanish-American countries have been destroyed, but never have the people despaired. We are not made of inferior stuff. We shall recover from this blow as we have recovered from all former ones. The industries of the island are absolutely uninjured. In this and in our energy lies our future hope. We must "work and despair not."



It will be weeks and perhaps months before the story can be told in detail of the almost complete destruction of Kingston by earthquake and by fire on the afternoon of Monday 14th instant.

It is a fearful story and never be amply told.

The first destructive shock occurred at 3:35 p.m. It lasted about thirty seconds. And these few moments served to throw the city into woe and consternation.

When the shock subsided, thousands of buildings had fallen with a terrific roar.

Not so much fallen, perhaps, as crumbled to dust and debris. Huge walls fell in the commercial part of the city. Some from the south went northward; and others from the north toppled over to meet the crash from the opposite side. These walls all tumbling together crushed all who happened to be on the side-walks or in the streets. Hundreds of people were killed instantly in this way and omnibuses, and in one and two instances, street cars were crushed to atoms.

A member of the "Gleaner" staff who fought his way through the office wreckage was one of the first persons on Harbour street after the disaster, looked at the east and to the west, and not a living soul was to be seen. In a moment or two a few figures came struggling through the mass of broken timber and scattered bricks. They were mostly all injured, and blood was flowing freely.

A few thoughtful individuals, although injured themselves, started to rescue several of those who were buried.

But this humane work was interrupted within five minutes by the approach of fire which had before made its appearance to the west of the city.

The fire brigade had been demolished by the earthquake and there were no means of fighting the outbreak; and the fire swept over an area bounded by the sea to the south, Southern Parade to the north, Mark Lane to the east and Orange Street to the west.

Next morning hundreds of bodies were found burned and charred along the principal streets. It is believed that many who had been injured and unable to help themselves were burnt to death by the flames. All these bodies were at once taken up for burial.

With the large number of deaths the supply of coffins soon gave out and the bodies were buried wrapped in sheets and in hastily dug trenches.

Up to this morning bodies were still being recovered.

It is conservatively estimated that the death list will exceed one thousand when all the bodies have been recovered.

On Tuesday morning the military and police authorities took control of the city and a stop was put to petty looting that occurred in some parts of the city. Lines of sentries were stationed in all the streets to prevent indiscriminate ingress and egress.

On Thursday the U. S. warships Missouri and Indiana came into the harbour and at once landed bluejackets, took some of the injured on board for proper care, and placed their stores at the disposal of the Government.

At the hospital, which was overtaxed from the start, the scene has been very busy. On Tuesday and Wednesday Lady Swettenham and Miss Copeland served as cooks at the institution, whilst Mrs. Bourne, Mrs. Bourne and Mrs. Ker and other ladies served as nurses.

The hospital staff was largely augmented for the occasion and considerable pressure still obtains there. Dr. Ker, S.M.O., went to work with the staff doctors, and several district medical officers were brought in, including Dr. Turton, from Stony Hill; Dr. Thomson from Chapelton, Dr. Neish from Spanish Town; and Dr. Campbell, from St. David's. Dr. Edwards, of Gordon Town, who was a patient in the hospital, forgot his own ailments and at once proceeded to join the hospital staff. All hands have been working night and day and yet there are cases still to be attended to.

On Monday night 27 legs were amputated. The same evening several clergymen and priests went over the city ministering to the injured and the dying. The Governor gave the clergy money to provide conveyances to the hospital for the injured.

The Governor and the Colonial Secretary and other officials were also busy in various parts of the city.

There are very few habitable houses in Kingston and Lower St. Andrew and the population is camped on the Race Course, and in the Park and in other open places.



A Jamaica Gazette Extraordinary, published yesterday, says "It is hereby notified for general information, that the S. S. Port Kingston will remain one day longer for commercial purposes."

"It is hereby notified that the Gazette will be published daily for notification of deaths due to the recent Earthquake."

"The Governor announces with great regret that up to noon on the 16th instant, 343 persons had been buried as a result of the Earthquake. It is also ascertained that 3 were killed at Port Royal. The names and places of interment of the dead, so far as ascertained, will be published tomorrow and information is invited in order to make the list of names as complete as possible."



Sigismund Depass, Army and Navy Stores

Wyndham Depass, Army and Navy Stores

Abraham Henriques, Army and Navy Stores

1 Boy

2 Storemen

J. W. Middleton, Merchant

Philip Henriques, Clerk at Middleton's

Mr. Lopez

Isaac S. Brandon, Merchant

D. I. Motta

Dr. Motta

Mr. Priest of the Bee Hive

Mr. Oscar Prendergast, Bee Hive

Mr. E. M. Morrice, Auctioneer

Mr. Barnett Stines, Auctioneer

Edgar DeCordova, Forage Store

R. W. Bradley

B. L. Verley of Messrs. Harvey and Bourke

Bertie DaCosta of C. M. DaCosta

Ernest A. Samuel, Merchant

Lionel M. Mordecai, Merchant

George Harty of J. Wray and Nephew

M. C. Hendricks jnr, J. Wray and Nephew

Jose F. Perez, Consul of Cuba

Juan Fernandez of Machado's, and a number of others whose names are unknown

R. Honiball, Solicitor

W. A. Pain, Secretary Victoria Mutual

A. McDowell Nathan, Merchant

Charles S. Sherlock, Merchant

Sir James Ferguson, Baronet, Deputy Chairman Royal Mail Co.

Capt. T. Constantine, supt. Royal Mail Co.

Capt. Young of the Arno

W. E. Powell of Emanuel Lyons and Son, Ltd.

Herbert Clarke, Emanuel Lyons and Son, Ltd.

Vincent Wray, Emanuel Lyons and Son, Ltd.

Arthur Williams, Emanuel Lyons and Son, Ltd.

Burke, storeman, Emanuel Lyons and Son, Ltd.

Joseph Miller, Emanuel Lyons and Son, Ltd.

Mr. Wilson (manager of Caymanas Estate)

W. Branday of Branday, Edwards and Co.

W. Thwaites, merchant

L. Stribos of Finke and Co.

Gordon Duff

E. Eden, son of W. T. Eden

Alexander Walker

Herbert Tavares

Marcus Delgado

Harold Ritchie

Dr. J. M. Gibb

J. Downes Wylie

George A. Desnoes

A. H. Depass, Government Savings Bank

George Carvalho, Arnold Malabre and Co.

C. B. Weckiser, Arnold Malabre and Co.

H. Isles jnr, Arnold Malabre and Co.

Two storemen, Arnold Malabre and Co.

William Walker, Waterloo restaurant

Samuel Lawton

Mignelito Valdez

Horatio Abrahams, Provision Merchant

E. G. Nixon, of Archibald Munroe's

St. Leo DeLisser, Jamaica Tobacco Co.

Ernest Magnus, late of the Electric Light Co.

Norman Samuel of D. I. Motta's

W. Calnek jnr

James C. Chisholm, foreman Gleaner Co., Ltd.

A. Cockburn, compositor Gleaner Co., Ltd.

Robert Powell, office boy Gleaner Co., Ltd.

O. L. Goffe, of William Wilson's

Carter, jnr, of William Wilson's

Joseph Issa, Syrian merchant

H. Ritchie of Anderson and Jacobsen

Seaford, storeman Anderson and Jacobsen

Alfred Lamos, purveyor Royal Mail Co

Livingstone, Government Savings Bank

King, pressman Government Printing Office

E. Mudon, auctioneer

Wolseley Burke, of Burke Bros., Ltd.

Frank D. McCulloch jr. of Burke Bros., Ltd.

Fred Laing of George and Branday

Joseph Adams, Jamaica Times

Leonard Mudahy, tailor, Church street

H. Maxwell, Post Office

Miss Gordon, Post Office

Miss Weppler, Young and Co

Norman Johnston, secretary Seventh Day Adventists

C. A. Miller, commercial agent

Walter Webster of Nathan Sherlock and Co., Ltd.

Adam Drysdale, carpenter, Myrtle Bank

Hollar, gardener Myrtle Bank

Seymour, footman Myrtle Bank

Campbell, baggage man Myrtle Bank

Hanlan, bell boy Myrtle Bank

C. C. Carvalho, billiard marker Myrtle Bank

Joshua Miller assistant billiard marker Myrtle Bank

John Morrison, boot black Myrtle Bank

Montricle, (Spanish) Myrtle Bank

W. Walker, Commercial agent

Duncan Macdougall

H. E. Borough, merchant

Major W. H. Hardyman, W. I. R.

Lieut. Lamont, W. I. R.

Mrs. Lane, wife of S. M. Lane, W. I. R.

J. Martin of McNish Ltd.

Fred. Magnus, auctioneer


Miss Ida Stewart, Bee Hive

Miss Lockett (sister Dr. Lockett)

Miss S. Henderson (youngest sister of Dr. Henderson)

Mrs. Joseph Milligan

Miss Tennyson, Waterloo House

Mrs. John Delisser, Amy Ville North Street

Mrs. Watson, (office woman, Lascelles deMercado @ Co)

Miss Rachael Michaels

Madame Rosseau

Mrs. Chadderton, Dressmaker

Mrs. Baker

Mrs. T. M. Martin, Murcott Lodge, East Race Course

Miss Ellen May Vaz

Office Woman of C. T. Isaacs

Wife and child of Sergt. Major Sudgeon, W. I. R.

[continued at Gleaner earthquake 2]

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