Eyewitness to Disaster
Written about a month after the earthquake and fire, this letter
by Nellie Keohane provides a rare first-hand view of the devastation
suffered by San Francisco and its inhabitants. This eight-page unpunctuated
letter describes the psychological pain city dwellers felt because
of the physical destruction of their built environment. We do not
know who Keohane was, nor her relationship to the addressee, Mrs.
Hollerith, wife of Herman Hollerith, inventor of the punch calculator.