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Last Day Tokens

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    AURORA IN 1789

    In a work called “Percy Aneedotes,” we have an account of the aurora as witnessed in Virginia inLDT 22.3

    1789: “On that day I stopped in Portsmouth to spend the evening at a house where there was a large party of both sexes. All at once our ears were assailed by loud murmurs outside. We rushed to the door, and were much astonished to find the whole population of the place in the street, the greater part of them on their knees, and uttering the loudest lamentations. Attracted by the brilliancy of the heavens, I raised my eyes upward, and observed a very vivid aurora borealis, casting its coruseations over more than one half of the hemisphere. On turning round I saw the whole company on their knees, and evidently in great trepidation. The scene was certainly awful.... Toward midnight the aurora disappeared, as did the fears of the good people of Portsmouth. On crossing the ferry to Norfolk, I saw that the same species of alarm had also existed there to a considerable extent, and was happily extinguished.”LDT 23.1

    This record is of itself conclusive evidence that the aurora was a new sight to the people of Virginia in 1789.LDT 23.2

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