November 25, 1864: Off the Coast of Guatemala
Along the coast of Central America the grand volcanic cones rose against the sky, some in sharp outline, others with clouds curling over them, but all very grand. [This] morning a fellow passenger awoke me before five o’clock to see a grand sight, the volcano of Pecaya in eruption. It was forty or fifty miles distant, but the night was clear. A pillar of clear, white smoke or steam curled up into the blue sky from the sharp cone, and a great stream of lava ran down, forming a broad, glowing belt down the side of the mountain. At times great volumes of steam and smoke would roll up, while along the line of the lava stream steam curled up here and there, perhaps where the hot lava found moist ground or water. It was less distinct after day broke, but for nearly a hundred miles we could see the smoke rising from it. This volcano is in the southern part of Guatemala.