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The Great Natchez Tornado of 1840

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Location: Natchez, Mississippimap
Surname/tag: Natchez_Mississippi, Tornadoes
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History and Circumstances

  • Date: 7 May 1840
  • Location: Natchez, Mississippi
  • Victims: Fatalities: 317, Injuries: 109
  • Damage: $1,260,000
  • Cause: Tornado


On May 7, 1840 the second worst tornado in U.S. history hit Natchez, Mississippi, a city on the Mississippi River, about 150 miles north of New Orleans. It was a mile-wide tornado that no one was prepared for. In 1840 there was no National Weather Service, no means of communication and no warnings to be sounded.

The tornado hit the Natchez-Under-the-Hill area, destroying stores, houses and boats that were either tied along the river or traveling in the river, drowning most of the crews and passengers. Steamboats and riverboats at Natchez Landing were also hit. The Prairie, the St. Lawrence, and the steamboat Hinds were among the destroyed or heavily damaged boats. "Of one hundred and twenty flat-boats, which lay at the landing, all were lost except four, and very few of the men employed on board were saved."[1]


Whether because of the year, the fact that the crews aboard the boats were completely lost, or because many were from out of town, a great majority of the persons drowned could never be identified. Some of the victims are listed below:[1]


  • William Stubbs, Louisville
  • John Ervin, Louisville
  • David McGowan, New York
  • C. Butler, New York
  • Andrew Filer, New York
  • Absalom Wilson, New York
  • A Terry, New York
  • D. Garsford, New York
  • M. Dunn, New York
  • E. Booker, New York
  • B. Floney, New York
  • C. Carter and two children, New York
  • W. Williams and wife, St. Louis
  • E. McFaul, Boston
  • James Orr, Natchez
  • Y. Budhim, Ind.
  • Thomas Rodgers, Cairo, Ill.
  • D. Ewing, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • M. Dinwiddie, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • W. Johnston, wife sad two children, of Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • C. Phelps, Ind.
  • G. Phillips, Ind.
  • Dr. Brady, Ind.
  • Marcus Austin, New Amsterdam, Ind.
  • M. Tooley, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • B. Shreve, Ky.
  • Miss Margaret Haskell, Ky.
  • Mrs. Watkins, Ohio
  • Mrs. Jones, Louisiana
  • Mrs. Dwight and daughter, Wis.
  • Miss Hardy, Ill.
  • Mrs. Walters and infant, Vicksburg
  • Duncan Sherman, Ala.
  • John Root, Ala.
  • C. Y. Bunner, Ala.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Great Natchez Tornado, "Natchez, MS Great Natchez Tornado, May 1840," article on gendisasters.com.

See Also: FreeSpace pages

The goal of this project is to have a space to remember the victims (both identified and unidentified) of the tornado that hit Natchez, Mississippi on 7 May 1840.

Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Rhonda Zimmerman .

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Research victims of the tornado
  • Organize their names on the page
  • Collect accurate sources for the victims

Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

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