The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Collection
Collection Number: M282
Dates: ca. 1715 - 1985
Volume: 3.60 cu. ft.
From 1715 to 1985, approximately forty hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast region stretching from Texas to the Florida Keys. Though differing in size, strength and intensity, those hurricanes greatly affected the inhabitants on the Gulf of Mexico. Destruction caused by the hurricanes resulted in millions of dollars in property damage and hundreds of deaths. Among the most severe hurricanes were the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the 1935 hurricane that destroyed the Florida Keys, and most recently, Hurricane Camille, which devastated the Mississippi coast in 1969.
Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (1986) by Charles Sullivan chronicles the hurricanes that made land fall on the Mississippi Coast from 1717 to 1985. Divided into four chapters, the first section covers the colonial hurricanes dating from 1717 to 1812. The second section discusses antebellum hurricanes occurring from 1819 through 1860, while the third section covers the period between 1893 and 1916 and is entitled "The Storms Between the Calms." The last chapter details the hurricanes dating between 1947 and 1985 and elaborates on the most recent storms. In addition to a substantial amount of textual information, black and white as well as color photographs provide graphic evidence of the enormous amount of destruction caused by the hurricanes.
Charles L. Sullivan received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from the University of Southern Mississippi and completed the course work for his Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi. He grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, and has taught at the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College for more than twenty-five years where he is currently the chairman of the Social Studies Department. Mr. Sullivan has published articles for New Orleans Magazine, Mississippi Magazine, and The Journal of Mississippi History. His books include: Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (1986) and The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a People (1985). In addition, he created and edited a series of books and videocassettes entitled "Mississippi: A View of the Magnolia State."
Mr. Sullivan and his family live in Perkinston, Mississippi, where he is a member of the Gulf Coast Historical and Genealogical Society. In his spare time Mr. Sullivan avidly participates in Civil War re-enactments.
This collection consists primarily of research materials assembled by Mr. Charles L. Sullivan in preparation for his 1986 book entitled Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. These materials are arranged in the order imposed on them by Mr. Sullivan as he researched and wrote the book. They provide information concerning Gulf Coast hurricanes occurring between 1715 and 1985. Also in the collection are articles commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Hurricane Camille (1969), which was one of the most destructive storms ever to hit the area.
The first part of the collection (boxes 1 & 2) consists of a copy of Sullivan's book, photocopies of photographs, general information concerning hurricanes, and photocopies of several books about hurricanes. Some of these books include Storms, Floods and Sunshine (1945), Hurricane (1958), Atlantic Hurricanes (1964), Living With the Alabama - Mississippi Shore (n.d.), Early American Hurricanes 1492 - 1870 (1963) and a chapter on Hurricane Camille from Historical Catastrophes: Floods (n.d.). Most of these works have been photocopied in their entirety, and portions of other storm-related books can also be found throughout the collection.
Most of the materials in boxes 3 and 4 relate to Hurricane Camille. Oral histories, an abundance of newspaper clippings, and official government documents by the Army Corps of Engineers comprise the majority of this part of the collection. The only documents unrelated to Camille are two technical manuals concerning characteristics of hurricanes.
Boxes 5 and 6 contain a wide assortment of information, including extensive government documents and additional photocopies of newspaper articles. These articles discuss hurricanes Bob (1979), Frederick (1979), Kate (1985) and Elena (1985). Numerous hurricane maps and charts showing the paths of various hurricanes, and photocopies of articles relating to hurricanes are found in this section of the collection.
While the remainder of the collection contains a few additional government documents by the Army Corps of Engineers, boxes 7 and 8 focus primarily upon a chronological listing of the hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast from 1715 to 1965. These folders contain newspaper clippings, photocopies of photographs, maps, and excerpts from various secondary sources. Information concerning the earliest hurricanes is limited.
This collection would be of value to any researcher seeking information about the hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast between 1715 and 1985.
Copies of works by Charles L. Sullivan are available in the Cook, McCain, and Cox Libraries:
The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a People, an Illustrated History (Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1985), call number F347.G9 S84 1985 (Cook, McCain, Cox).
Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Biloxi, Miss.: Gulf Publishing, 1986), call number QC959.G84 S94x 1986 (Cook, McCain, Cox).
Henry Jetton Tudury: Mississippi's Most Decorated Doughboy [videocassette] (Perkinston, MS: The College, 1988), call number D570.85.M71 B3 1988 (Cook).
In Memory of McRaven: The Haunting (Vicksburg, Miss.: McRaven Trust Foundation, 1989), call number F349.V6 S94x (McCain).
Gathering at the River: South Mississippi's Methodist Camp Meetings (Perkinston, MS: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Press, 1990), call number BX8475 .S8x 1990 (Cook, McCain).
Beauvoir: Memorial to the Lost Cause [videorecording] (Gautier, Miss.: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 1991), call number F349.B5 B43 1991 (Cook).
Valor Remembered: War Dead of the State of Mississippi: Lists by County of Mississippians Who Died in the Service of the Nation in the Major Wars of the 20th C entury, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam by Charles L. Sullivan and Bourbon Hughes (Perkinston: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Press, 1996), call number F340 .S85 1996 (McCain).
Mississippi Oral History Program: Hurricane Camille Survivors, call number of transcripts F341.5 .M57x, Vols. 178, 201, 222, 223, 224, 225, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 240.
Box and Folder List: