Abstract

An important question on the major 1868 northern California earthquake centered near Hayward is whether a comprehensive field report was ever written, and if so, was the report suppressed. Documentation bearing on this question includes contemporary minutes and proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, a report in 1870 by James Blake on the work of a subcommittee of the Committee on Earthquake Topics, contemporary newspaper accounts, a treatise published in 1868 by Thomas Rowlandson, and a letter written by George Davidson in 1908, the contents of which were made public in 1982. George Davidson claimed that a report had been prepared but was suppressed. The claim is not supported by either James Blake or Thomas Rowlandson, who indicate that lack of funds and internal dissension prevented completion of the investigation or presentation of a final report.

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