New Madrid, Missouri
Colonel George Morgan, a former Revolutionary War officer attempted to found New Madrid as the capital of the Spanish Enpire. He became interested in a colonizing venture within the Spanish domain on the western side of the Mississippi River. But in order to make their position more secure, the Spanish were anxious to have Americans settle west of the river. Arrangements were made to receive a grant of land containing twelve to fifteen million acres. Gathering his party of settlers, Morgan traveled down the Ohio, advertising as he went. He was attracted to a small French Trading Post, known as L'Anse a la Graise or "Cove of Fat" because of the abundance of bear meat processed there. This spot he selected as the site for New Madrid, the capital of his colony. Much more known for it's earthquake, New Madrid is the epicenter for the largest recorded earthquake in North American history. On December 16, 1811, the people of New Madrid were startled by the first of a series of violent quakes. A continual agitation of the earth occured until the hard shock on February 7, 1812. You will find information about the quakes at the local musuem along. While there be sure to walk out on the Observation Deck and read about the quakes and the Civil War Battle of Island No. 10.