that touched our ancestors' lives


Fires Floods Tornadoes Train Wrecks

  Home Earthquakes Hurricanes Ship Wrecks Explosions More...



South Carolina Disasters
Disasters by Location
Disasters by Type
South Carolina Genealogy
Search South Carolina Birth, Death, Marriage and other records
Vital Records, searchable by surname. Find your ancestors.
Search Historic Newspapers Online
Find your ancestors in over 1000 old newspapers from the 1700s-1900s
Search US Federal Census Records for Your Ancestors
Searchable by surname and location, index and images, 1790-1930
Social Security Death Index
Search SSDI records on millions of Americans, updated frequently
Search Historical Documents
Find Your Ancestors in City Directories, Civil War & Revolutionary War Records, Naturalization Records
Obituary Collection

Search full-text obituaries from newspapers across the country

South Carolina Old Photos
Old Photos & Genealogy Blog
Search Over One Million Family Photographs
Search Civil War Documents, Revolutionary War Records, Naturalization Records, City Directories & more 
 Try Footnote for FREE!




Search South Carolina Records Search birth, death & marriage records, immigration & ships passenger lists, census images, genealogy & history books at for your ancestors. Free Trial for all records

Orangeburg, South Carolina Tornado

May 6, 1861

Fearful tornado

--A correspondent of the Charleston Mercury gives the following description of a tornado which occurred in the neighborhood of Orangeburg, South Carolina, on the 6th instant:

It began about half-past 4 o'clock, going from West to East. It first broke out in its fury upon the plantation of L. C. Glover, Esq., doing much damage to the fences, and very seriously injuring one of the negroes Rapidly passing from this locality, it rushed in its desolating course successively over the plantations of R. T. H. Legare, J. J. Andrews, H. Ellis and H. Wannamaker, tearing the fences to pieces and ripping up the crops most frightfully. It next swept through the plantation of Mrs. John O'Cain utterly destroying all the buildings upon her place, crippling one little negro, and throwing Mr. George H. Pooser about one hundred feet, literally covering him with lumber. It next passed to the plantation of Dr. J. G. Jenkins, and here the work of devastation was most complete. The doctor's dwelling and out-buildings were entirely new and well arranged, but so utter was the destruction wrought in a moment by the furious whirlwind, that scarcely a vestige of any of the houses remain. Two of his negroes were instantly killed, and he himself, his wife and child, and two negroes, were badly bruised and wounded.

The hurricane next passed over the plantation of Jno. Rickenbacker, Esq., destroying all his negro houses, and wounding one or two of his negroes. It then passed over Four-Hole Swamp, but what damage it has occasioned beyond is not yet ascertained.

The course of the gale which I have indicated extends for a distance of twenty-five miles, and the width of the path of the whirlwind was about a quarter of a mile. The roar of the tempest was frightful. When first seen, the whirlwind was red, but soon afterwards it became very black. Its power was wonderful, and it bore heavy fragments of Dr. Jenkins's houses more than two miles from the site of the houses. In traversing the wood it twisted up and prostrated the largest pine trees in every direction, and in one instance it tore up a stone wall entire, leaving it with its foundations highest.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond, VA 13 May 1861


Search for more information on the Columbia Tornado and other disasters in the  Historic Newspapers Collection.  The number of newspapers on line has recently doubled - search over 1000 different newspapers. Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.

Search for ancestors in Columbia, SC among billions of names at Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.

South Carolina Census 1790-1890 Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.


South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research Vol. 1-20 Read it on line!  Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.

South Carolina Marriages 1641-1965 Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.

South Carolina Old Photos

Revolutionary War Records
Civil War Records
Naturalization Records
and More...