This chapter recounts what happened moments before the New York Express derailed, and specifically at 3:10 P.M. of December 18, 1867. It considers the experience of Josiah P. Hayward, one of the 200 passengers aboard the express train. It takes note of Hayward's apprehension on that day, even though he was used to railroad travel, and the unaccustomed precautions he had taken. To railroad travelers in the 1860s like Hayward, winter was widely known as “smash-up season.” Twelve hours and ten minutes before the New York Express would pass through Angola, residents of the region were suddenly awakened by the sensation of a small but unmistakable earthquake.
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