Much of what is known about the effects of the 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake throughout the epicentral region can be attributed to meticulous field investigations by an individual with training in geology and engineering, Earle Sloan (Clendenin, 1926). In a recent study, Bilham and Hough (2024) undertook a detailed analysis of the effects of the earthquake on railroads in the Charleston region, drawing heavily from Sloan’s reports. This exercise identified several inconsistencies in Sloan’s field reports, including understandable measurement imprecision, inferred data entry mistakes, and transcription errors. The study also begged the question, where was Sloan at the time of the mainshock and over the following week? And to what extent did he draw from secondhand information in compiling his reports? On this question Sloan’s reports were sometimes enigmatic, lending themselves to misinterpretation in contemporaneous as well as modern interpretations. Beyond the details that were germane for, and briefly summarized by, the studies of Bilham and Hough (2023, 2024), in this report we don our historical seismologist caps to chronicle Sloan’s activities following the earthquake. We summarize our inferences here for the benefit of future scholars who might attempt to retrace either Sloan’s footsteps or our own. This study also serves to highlight Sloan’s singular contributions to earthquake science, which were never published separately.

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