The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 80

through a cablegram to give $Io,ooo for the distressed. The announcement
was greeted with applause.
The tidal wave along the Texan coast will rank among the
most disastrous in history. History is deficient in the record of
such tragedies in human life, but the records are written in physical
geography, and are found in the conformation of shore lines,
here and there, around all the continents. It is impossible to estimate
the number of lives lost through inundations since mankind
began, for purposes of commercial intercourse, the development of
seaports. Doubtless the total would run into the hundreds of
thousands, and might reach into millions.
Geology is quite sure that the rough Norwegian coast, pierced
at intervals of every few miles with the fiords or estuaries which
penetrate in many instances leagues into the land, tell the story of
many cataclysms such as that which has just occurred along the
northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Science, however, taking no
note of the traditions or folklore of a people, antedates all human
life on the Scandinavian peninsula in setting the time when this
great rising of the sea against the land took place.
Scientists are agreed on putting the formation of the Norwegian
shore lines as far back as the glacial period. But in the
songs of the skalds, as late as the reign of Harold Hardrada, there
are allusions to the valor of olden heroes over whom the seas had
swept, but whose spirits rode upon the winds which blew the Norman
galleys to other shores. In the Norway of the present day
there are traditions, handed down through countless generations,
from the remotest antiquity, telling how, but not when, the seas
came in.
One of the oldest and prettiest traditions in the world is that
which tells of a submerged city somewhere on the Scandinavian
coast, the minarets and towers of which poets can see reflected in
the waters at sunset, and the bells of which musicians, with ears

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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~; ( accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .