ONE of the grandest and most remarkable exhibitions of natural phenomena ever witnessed in this part of the world was observed on the early morning of November 13, 1833. In all parts of the heavens, which were clear and serene, meteors fell like snow flakes or shot like sparks flying from a piece of fireworks. They were of various sizes, some being as small as fixed stars and others very much larger. They began to fall and shoot at midnight, and continued until the stars faded away in the early morning, being most numerous at about four o'clock. The shooting meteors left luminous trails or traces of white light behind them of from half a yard to three yards in length, apparently, which slightly curved downward, and remained visible from three to five seconds. The meteors fell at times in such large numbers that they seemed like a shower of fire, by which name similar exhibitions are known in other portions of the world. Now and then, one much brighter and larger than the rest would shoot across the sky like vivid lightning. They fell about one-half as thickly as snowflakes fall in a common snow storm, with intervals when but few could be seen. They produced a sound like "whish, whish," gently spoken many times in different degrees of loudness. Great numbers were seen to explode like a rocket, sending forth trains of dazzling sparks, accompanied by an explosive noise. From time to time a sound, as of a body rushing through the air, was heard. The meteors seemed to have distinct nucleuses about half the size of Jupiter, some being larger and some smaller. 

The temperature had changed during the night and the morning was somewhat colder, the thermometer at Boston standing at thirty-nine degrees above zero. The slight wind there was came from the west. 

From two o'clock to daylight it was calculated that 207,840 of these bodies fell. At about half-past five, when they were flashing in the light of approaching sunrise, the heavens presented one of the most extraordinary, beautiful and sublime sights ever beheld by man.

At Boston were noticed two very bright meteors, which reddened the steeple of a church by their light. They generally lighted up the country everywhere so that people were awakened by them, and sprang from their beds thinking that their houses were on fire. 

Such exhibitions are not very uncommon in the Arctic regions, and they have been witnessed in other parts of the world several times in the history of civilized nations, but this is the only instance that such a brilliant and magnificent spectacle has been seen by the inhabitants of New England. It may seem surprising that anything of this kind should alarm the people of the nineteenth century. Many persons, however, feared that the meteors would set the earth on fire, and a conflagration ensue, of which no one dared estimate the limits. The people of Amesbury, Mass., and some other sections of the country were considerably agitated on account of it. Such exhibitions have been seen in the older parts of the world before some great convulsion of nature, and the people here may have known of and remembered it. Source: Historic Storms of New England by Sidney Perley, 1891

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