Terror, Destruction and Death

A word of warning before we get to today's pictures. Some of the images below depict dead bodies.

From what I can gather, these pictures were taken, or at least collected, by Mr. Ross, the author of the book they were found in. The envelope bears his name, and the handwriting on the photos seems to match up with the inscription in the book (it was signed, dated 1947).

Ross might have been part of a relief effort that took place in May 1902 in Martinique, and in particular St. Pierre. Mount Pelée, a stratovolcano, erupted in early May, and eventually killed 30,000 people. It is considered the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century.

First picture is the envelope the pictures were found in, and the book "Historical Background of the Panama Canal" by Walter G. Ross, 1947:

Blueprint of the relief ship, the S.S. Dixie. You can read Ross' name at the lower left.
On the reverse:

Supplies on Martinique Relief Expedition
Commissary supplies 990 tons
Quartermaster " 200 "
Medical " 60 "

1250 tons

The still-smoldering Mount Pelée.


Mt. Pelée
4200 ft
May 8th 1902
May 20th 1902

The ship


U.S.S. Dixie
about 620 ft
Sailed from Pier 13 - ER Brooklyn
May 14th 1902

Empress Josephine

Burning dead bodies

25,000 lives lost

"Not one stone shall be left upon another"

St. Pierre, Martinique
May 21st 1902

Lava. Mud. Dust.

Plaza Victor Hugo

Terror Destruction and Death

-Click to enlarge photos-