Sunday, June 28, 2009


Henri spent many months in Mexico and ended his trip in Acapulco before taking a steamer to Panama. The following is a brief passage from an 1853 letter home to his parents.

"We arrived on the 4th of April, the next steamer South is due to arrive on the 8th. Acapulco has one of the most beautiful ports that I will most likely ever see. The city itself is less impressive and many buildings are still in ruins due to the earthquake that occurred here last December. For a painter however, these ruins at the edge of a beautiful port, surrounded by Palm trees and dominated by majestic mountains provides one great artistic inspiration."

Sketch of Acapulco and its outskirts. Fernando de Pozo, 1820

Current View of Acapulco

The Earthquake
On December 4, 1852 at 22:10 [local time] there was an "indescribable" earthquake, which struck and totally destroyed Acapulco. At Acapulco, the sea retreated about 6 m from shore, and the residents were very much afraid that it would return with greater force and flood them all; however, the regular sea level was gradually restored. – National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)

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