One Time when the Thunder split the Mast of a Boat New Orleans Metro Map at James Town, I saw it break from the Cloud, which it divided in two, New Orleans Metro Map and seemed as if it had shot them immediately a Mile asunder, to the Eye: It is dangerous when it thunders standing in a narrow Passage, where there’s a thorough Passage, or in a Room betwixt two Windows; tho’ several have been kill’d in the open Fields.
Tis incredible to tell how it will strike large Oaks, shatter and shiver them, sometimes twisting round a Tree, sometimes as if it struck the Tree backwards and forwards. I had noted a fine spreading Oak in James Town Island, in the Morning I saw it fair and flourishing, in the Evening I observed all the Bark of the Body of the Tree, as if it had been artificially peeled off, was orderly spread round the Tree, in a Ring, whose Semidiameter was four Yards, the Tree in the Center; all the Body of the Tree was shaken and split, but its Boughs had all their Bark on; few Leaves were fallen, and those on the Boughs as fresh as in the Morning, but gradually afterwards withered, as on a Tree that is fallen. I have seen several vast Oaks and other Timber Trees twisted, as if it had been a small Willow that a Man had twisted with his Hand, which I could suppose had been done by nothing but the Thunder. I have been told by very serious Planters, that thirty or forty Years since, when the Country was not so open, the Thunder was more fierce, and that sometimes after violent Thunder and Rain, the Roads would seem to have perfect casts of Brimstone; and ’tis frequent after much Thunder and Lightning for the Air to have a perfect sulphureous Smell. Durst I offer my weak Reasons when I write to so great Masters thereof, I should here consider the Nature of Thunder, and compare it with some sulphureous Spirits which I have drawn from Coals, that I could no way condense, yet were inflamable; nay, would burn after they pass’d through Water, and that seemingly fiercer, if they were not over-power’d therewith.