The Johnstown Horror!!!

or, Valley of Death, being A Complete and Thrilling Account of the Awful Floods and Their Appalling Ruin

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Published: 1889
Language: English
Wordcount: 120,675 / 346 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.8
LoC Category:
Downloads: 1,123
Added to site: 2009.01.01 23020
Genre: History

CONTAININGGraphic Descriptions of the Terrible Rush of Waters; thegreat Destruction of Houses, Factories, Churches, Towns,and Thousands of Human Lives; Heartrending Scenesof Agony, Separation of Loved Ones, Panic-strickenMultitudes and their FranticEfforts to Escape a Horrible Fate.COMPRISINGTHRILLING TALES OF HEROIC DEEDS; NARROW ESCAPESFROM THE JAWS OF DEATH; FRIGHTFUL HAVOC BYFIRE; DREADFUL SUFFERINGS OF SURVIVORS;PLUNDERING BODIES OF VICTIMS, ETC.TOGETHER WITHMagnificent Exhibitions of Popular Sympathy; QuickAid from every City and State; Millions of DollarsSent for the Relief of the Stricken Sufferers.

Show Excerpt

efallen, only two were visible above the water. All the rest, if this be true, had been swallowed up or else shattered into pieces and hurled downward into the flood-vexed valley below.

What has become of those twelve thousand inhabitants? Who can tell until after the waters have wholly subsided?

Of course it is possible that many of them escaped. Much hope is to be built upon the natural exaggeration of first reports from the sorely distressed surrounding region and the lack of actual knowledge, in the absence of direct communication. But what suspense must there be between now and the moment when direct communication shall be opened!

Heedless of Fate.

The valley of the Conemaugh in which Johnstown stood lies between the steep walls of lofty hills. The gathering of the rain into torrents in that region is quick and precipitate. The river on one side roared out its warning, but the people would not take heed of the danger impending over them on the other side--the great South Fork


Average Rating of 2.7 from 3 reviews: ***

As indicated in the review by eBookAngel, this narrative is overly sensationalized and quite repetitive, being peiced together apparently from successive newspaper items. After reading other accounts of the flood, it appears that much of the account presented in this book is also fictional, being the work of a 'newsman' under pressure to provide copy designed to sell newspapers. In 1889 as now, exciting stories that sell papers was far more important than accuracy
A much more sober account can be found within the pages of "C.B. Clark's Johnstown City Directory 1889," which may be found online at U.S. City Directories [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.


Very repetitive; semi-interesting for the first few chapters if just from a historical point. The writing style was amusing and quaint. The author tried to make the subject exciting, but after several pages of the same reports, any material gets dull.

I did not finish the book; usually I try to at least do that.

Greg Homer

Written in 1889, this book was the very first to use three exclamation points in the title. Prior to publication of this book, there had not even been a two exclamation point book title.

The year 1822 did see publication of 'What the Hell's Going on in New Guinea???'; the very first three question mark book; written by Lord McAlister Bainbridge (and hopefully available on Manybooks soon).

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