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A Full Description of the Great Tornado in Chester County, Pa.   By:

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In the book I recently finished reading, Richard Darlington takes us on a gripping journey through the devastating Great Tornado that struck Chester County, Pennsylvania. Darlington's meticulous documentation of this natural disaster provides a vivid account of the chaos, destruction, and human resilience that unfolded in the wake of this cataclysmic event.

One of the most commendable aspects of this book is Darlington's thorough research and attention to detail. From the initial weather conditions leading up to the tornado's formation, to the aftermath and efforts of the community to rebuild, the author leaves no stone unturned. He provides a comprehensive understanding of the meteorological factors that led to the formation and intensity of the tornado, offering readers a chance to delve deeper into the scientific aspects of this awe-inspiring phenomenon.

What sets this book apart from others of its kind is Darlington's ability to personalize the stories of those affected by the tornado. Through extensive interviews and testimonies, he brings to light the human experiences of those who witnessed the terrifying sight of the tornado as it tore through the county, leaving immense devastation in its wake. The stories of survival, resilience, and the collective efforts of the community to support one another are deeply moving and create a profound connection with the reader.

Darlington's writing style is engaging and captivating, making it difficult to put the book down. He skillfully weaves together various accounts, scientific explanations, and historical context, ensuring a well-rounded narrative. His ability to balance the technical aspects of the tornado with the emotional experiences of both survivors and rescuers showcases his talent as a historian and storyteller.

One minor critique is that the book occasionally delves too deeply into technical aspects, potentially overwhelming readers who may not have a strong background in meteorology or related fields. However, Darlington does his best to simplify these concepts or provide explanations to accommodate a broader readership.

Overall, Richard Darlington's A Full Description of the Great Tornado in Chester County, Pa. is a poignant and informative account of a natural disaster that shook a community to its core. His meticulous research, personal storytelling, and engaging writing style make this book a must-read for anyone interested in the raw power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit.

First Page:



RICHARD DARLINGTON, Jr., Principal of "Ercildoun Seminary."

West Chester, Pa.: F. S. Hickman, Printer & Publisher. 1877.

The unprecedented destruction of property by the tornado which passed through the western part of our county on the first of July last, created in the minds of many a desire to have a full account of the movement, conduct, and origin of the storm cloud, together with such scientific explanation as would throw some light upon this remarkable phenomenon. After some weeks had elapsed, I gave the subject considerable attention, and have prepared this pamphlet, which I trust will meet some of the wants of intelligent inquirers upon this subject, and will also be the means of enabling the people to have a better knowledge of the loss sustained by those living along the route of the storm. This account has been prepared at the suggestion of a number who are interested in the subject.

R. D.

West Chester, Aug. 15, 1877.


The Summer of 1877 has been remarkable in some localities for the severity of its storms. These, in several instances, have partaken of the character of tornadoes. Mt. Carmel, in Illinois, was nearly destroyed about the 20th of June last; Pensaukee, in Wisconsin, was nearly ruined on the 8th of July, and Pittston, in Massachusetts, suffered terribly from a tornado on the same day... Continue reading book >>

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