The December 6, 1791, Charlevoix Earthquake

The description that follows is taken verbatim from:

Smith, W E T, 1962. Earthquakes of eastern Canada and Adjacent areas 1534-1927, Publications of the Dominion Observatory vol. 26, no. 5.

1791 DECEMBER 6. 8:00 p.m. VIII. 47.4 N, 70.5 W.

(b). In the St. Lawrence River between Baie-St-Paul and the Île-aux-Coudres. Most of the damage occurred at Baie-St-Paul and on the island. A church was damaged at Les Eboulements. The shock was much less severe at La Malbaie. A8, B4, B5, H9, H10, H11, L1, M7 "On December 29, 1791, the Quebec Gazette gave the following account by a "reliable correspondent" at Baie-St-Paul:

"All the tremors have been felt west to east and have caused more damage in a strip approximately two leagues wide, the length of which is not known, including in their course the lower part of Baie-St-Paul the lower extremity of Île-aux-Coudres which was hit from north to south and the lower part of Les Eboulements. During this time (December 6-19, 1791) twenty-one chimneys were knocked down or damaged. A stone house was almost completely demolished, others were cracked and many stoves and ovens were thrown down not counting the damage suffered by the church at Les Eboulements. It is remarkable that on the first days the tremors took place regularly at the same hour, every morning and night and that since the sixth up to now (19) we have had four or five every day." L1


  • A8 ANONYMOUS, 1925. Le dernier tremblement de terre: Soc. Géog. Qué. Bull., v. 19, 110-113.
  • B4 BRIGHAM, W. T., 1871. Historical notes on the earthquakes of New England 1638-1869: Reprinted from Boston Soc. Natural Hist. Mem., v. 2.
  • B5 BROOKS, J. E., S.J., 1960. A study in seismicity and structural geology. Part II-Earthquakes of northeastern United States and eastern Canada: Obs. Géophys. Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Bull.Géophys., No. 7, 12-40.
  • H9 HODGSON, E. A., 1937. Earthquakes in eastern Canada and adjacent areas: Roy. Can. Inst. Proc., ser. 3A, v. 2, 30-35.
  • H10 HODGSON, E. A.,, 1945. Industrial earthquake hazards in eastern Canada: Seismol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 35, No. 4, 151-174. This paper contains a brief account of a number of the larger shocks in eastern Canada.
  • H11 HODGSON, E. A., 1950. The Saint Lawrence earthquake, March 1,1925: Dom. Obs. Pub., Ottawa, v. 7, No. 10, 361-436. This is the final account of the earthquake of February 28, 1925. It occurred on March 1 by Universal time and February 28 by Eastern Standard time. An appendix discusses the previous seismic record of the St.Lawrence Valley.
  • L1 LAFLAMME, Msgr. J.-C. K., 1907. Les tremblements de terre de la région de Québec- Soc. Roy. Can. Mém. sec. 4, 157-183.,
  • M7 MILNE, J., 1913. A catalogue of destructive earthquakes A.D. 7 to A.D. 1899: Brit. Assoc. Advance. Sci. Rep., Portsmouth meeting, 1911.