Sunday, August 9, 2015

Reading Outdoors - 18C American Women outside despite random Whirlwinds, & Tornados


Well, it has been a glorious week for reading outdoors, except for a few violent thunderstorms and the occasional tornado warnings. By the way, I had suspected that tornados were usually called whirlwinds in 18C America. As one man wrote in the 1739 Boston Newsletter, "...we had a violent Whirlwind or Tornado (as some call it)." But when I searched, I found mention of 851 tornados in American newspapers from 1733 to 1800. Whirlwinds were noted in the same newspapers 1054 times between 1719 and 1800. I was surprised, since we seldom use the term whirlwind today. The 1st time the English word "tornado" appeared in print was in Richard Hakluyt's (c 1552-1616) Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries in 1589, when W Towerson noted, "We had terrible thunder and lightening, with exceeding gusts of raine, called a Ternado." 




The term "whirlwind" has been used in print since 1340. The journalist from Chronicon Anonymi Cantuariensis: The Chronicle of Anonymous of Canterbury 1346-1365 described The Great Wind of 1362,  "...dreadful storms & whirlwinds such as never been seen or heard before occurred in England, causing houses & buildings for the most part to come crashing to the ground, while some others, having had their roofs blown off by the force of the winds, were left in the ruined state; & fruit trees in gardens & other places, along with other trees standing in the woods & elsewhere, were wrenched from the earth by their roots with a great crash...no one knew where he could safely hide, for church towers, windmills, & many dwelling-houses collapsed to the ground."


1720 Anne Pollard. Anonymous colonial era American Limner.  The background of this painting is so dark, I cannot tell if she is inside or outside, perhaps in one of those dark storms.



1750 Joseph Badger (American Colonial Era artist, 1798-1765) Mrs. Nathaniel Brown (Anna Porter Brown)



1750-1760 Joseph Badger (American Colonial Era artist, 1798-1765)Mrs. John Edwards (Abigail Fowle)



1764 John Singleton Copley (American Colonial Era artist, 1738-1815) Sarah Prince Gill



1789 Ralph Earl (American artist, 1751-1801) Esther Boardman


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