As we continue our tour of the devastating January 14, 1907 earthquake we will take a glimpse at the first newspapers published after the disaster.
The newspapers operating in Kingston at this time that got back into operation soon after the disaster were the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily Telegraph. Of the two the Jamaica Gleaner was the first to resume operations with a shortened version of their usual paper on Saturday, January 19, 1907. The first article of this four page publication started like this:
The business centre of Kingston is to-day a mass of ruins, and practically no portion of the city has been left untouched. At 3.35 on Monday evening we were struck by an earthquake and within 40 seconds our capital had fallen and over 1,000 persons lay dead and dying on the ground.
The publication went on to describe “The Story of the Destruction” and provided the public with an initial list of the dead (Death List).
The Jamaica Gleaner continued to update the public on the dead with their updated death lists. Another list of “Victims of the Earthquake” came out in their March 2 paper and there was a revised list on March 11 as the “Revised List of the Earthquake Victims”.
The Jamaica Daily Telegraph eventually resumed their publication on Tuesday, January 22 with their edition of the paper that gave details of the earthquake disaster. Their first article started like this:
San Francisco, Valparaiso, Kingston, inside of a year each of these great cities – for Kingston was a great city from a West Indian standpoint – has shared the same fate: destruction by earthquake and fire.
The Jamaica Gleaner began their normal publication schedule on Monday, February 11, 1907 and continued to provide the reading public with details of the disaster and its consequences on the social, economic and political realms.
Until next time…