Can you believe that in the winter of 1811-1812 a series of earthquakes in northwest Tennessee shook the ground so hard that church bells rang on the East Coast and sidewalks cracked in Washington D.C? The sitting president, James Madison, was even awakened in the middle of the night by the shaking of the White House.
In Tennessee and surrounding states the early settlers and Native American Indians were terrified by the shaking. Large fissures opened up in the ground, and some witnessed the Mississippi River appearing to flow backwards. The cause of the earthquakes was the New Madrid Fault Zone in northwest Tennessee, southeast Missouri, and northeast Arkansas. FULL REPORT