The Historical Spectator.

A Storm in Colonial Boston

A description of a storm in Boston in 1743 also gives us a very vivid description of what Boston’s waterfront was like in the 1740s, when it was a thriving city, well established for more than a century, but still a British possession.

Saturday 22. Last night arose a violent N.E. storm, which continued all the next Day;——at Noon the Wind blew in prodigious Gusts, with the greatest fierceness, and which over-flow’d most of our Wharves; and came up into several Streets higher than has been known for above these Twenty Years past; so that vast Damage was done to the Wharves and Shipping; some Vessels that got loose, were drove a shore higher up than ever was known before, and several; small Vessels were cast upon the Wharves, and Boats floated into the Street: A Store-House with Salt was carried off a Wharff near the Long Wharff, & with a Sloop was drove quite up into a Ship-Yard. Great Quantities of Staves, Shingles, Boards, Plank, Timber, Tar, Turpentine, Cord-Wood, &c. were floated off the Wharves and scatter’d about all Parts of the Shore: The Tide floating into many Houses and Stores, and filling the Cellars, did much Damage to what was therein. ’Tis impos­sible to enumerate all the Particulars of the terrible Effects of this Storm, or estimate the Damage sustain’d by it.

That same Day a Boat with four Men in it over-set below the Castle, and they were all drowned.

Burials in the Town of Boston this Month, 47 Whites, 5 Blacks. Baptized in the Churches 29.

——The American Magazine, October, 1743.