On April 9, 1851, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported the New Madrid Herald said the earth there shook longer and was more intent than any felt for several years. Preceding and following the shock a rumbling noise resembling thunder was heard. The earth opened near West Lake in several places and on the Wm. Connelly, seven miles from town. Six miles from town on the Silas Beavers farm the earth opened and threw sand and water to forty to fifty feet into the air. This was believed to be the first time the earth opened since 1812.
March 2, 1851 Commercial Appeal