The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 400
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400 THE STORM'S MURDEROUS FURY.
sufferers, many of whom were more dead than alive when brought
into the shelter. Early in the storm when people dragged themselves
or swam to the convent and asked for protection an attempt
was made to keep a register of the unfortunates.
Their register reached nearly a hundred names and then the
storm-driven humans began to arrive at the shelter in crowds of
twenty and thirty. They were taken in through the windows and
some were dragged through five feet of water into the basement,
which long since had been abandoned, by ropes from treetops and
snatched from roofs and other wreckage as it was hurled in the
maddening torrents through the convent yards.
LIVING TO TAKE PLACES OF THE DEAD.
Within this religious home and in cells of the nuns four babies
came into this world. Four mothers who had braved the treacherous
elements and were snatched from the jaws of tragic death lay
on cots in the nuns' cells and four little innocents came into this
world of sorrow where the world looked the blackest. Truly it
could not be said that the quartette of precious ones first saw the
light of day in the cell of a nun on this eventful night. It was the
darkest and most terrible night in the lives of their mothers, and
2yet the mingled sadness and joy attending the birth of these
angels was beyond the power of man to describe.
Mother Joseph, in speaking of the incidents of the night
within the convent walls, said she believed it was the first time in
the history of the world that a baby had been born in a nun's cell
in a convent. And they were christened, for no one expected to
live to see the light of day, and it was voted that these jewels
should not leave the world they had just entered without baptism.
Regardless of the religious belief of the parents, a house dedicated
to God and charity had afforded shelter to the storm-victim mothers,
and they felt in their hearts that the good sisters should administer
the baptism, which is administered in time of great danger,
the presence of clergymen not being required.
The names of the mothers and the children could not be
learned, with the exception of Mrs. William Henry Heldeman, who
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Lester, Paul. The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/458/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .