The 1875 Atlantic hurricane season lasted from mid-summer to late-fall. Records show that 1875 was a relatively inactive hurricane season. There were six storms of which one peaked as a tropical storm, four as hurricanes and one as a major hurricane (Category 3+). However, in the absence of modern satellite and other remote-sensing technologies, only storms that affected populated land areas or encountered ships at sea were recorded, so the actual total could be higher. An undercount bias of zero to six tropical cyclones per year between 1851 and 1885 and zero to four per year between 1886 and 1910 has been estimated. Of the known 1875 cyclones, both Hurricane One and Hurricane Five were first documented in 1995 by Jose Fernandez-Partagas and Henry Diaz. They also proposed large changes to the known track of Hurricane Six and to the duration of Hurricane Two as well as more minor changes to the track of Hurricane Three. The duration of Hurricane Two was further amended in 2008.
The Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) officially recognizes six tropical cyclones for the 1875 season. Five storms attained hurricane status, with winds of 75 mph (121 km/h) or greater. The third hurricane of the season was the most intense, with maximum sustained winds up to 120 mph (193 km/h). The first storm of the season was a hurricane that formed northeast of the Bahamas and dissipated on August 19. Hurricane Two formed on September 1 and traveled over open ocean before dissipating on September 10 without making landfall. Hurricane 3 which also formed on September 1, traveled across the Atlantic from southwest of the Cape Verde Islands to cause extensive damage and great loss of life in Barbados, Cuba and Texas. The fifth storm of 1875 was a tropical storm that formed on September 24 in the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall in Florida before dissipating on September 28. The final storm of the season was a hurricane that existed for four days in October off the east coast of the United States.
A hurricane was first observed northeast of the Bahamas on August 16. Its intensity remained steady at 80 mph (129 km/h) before it apparently dissipated while tracking parallel to the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19.
A tropical storm formed on September 1 near the coast of Africa. By September 3,the storm had strengthened into a hurricane. It reached a peak intensity with sustained winds at 80 mph (129 km/h). In addition, a minimum pressure of 982 mbar (hPa; 29.00 inHg) was observed a few days thereafter. This hurricane dissipated on September 10.
On September 1, the first observation of the storm was made by a ship, the Tautallon Castle, southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. On September 8, the hurricane was observed east of Barbados, and it struck Barbados on September 9 causing widespread destruction. The hurricane moved through the Caribbean passing Jamaica. On September 12, waves breaking over cliffs between 45 and 75 feet above sea level were reported from Navassa Island just off Haiti. The eye passed over Cuba on September 13. At Key West, ships were driven ashore before the storm veered westward toward Texas, where it made landfall at San Jose Island. Although the hurricane had weakened to a tropical storm while over Cuba, it restrengthened to a peak of 115 mph (185 km/h) in the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane directly hit Indianola, Texas at that intensity on September 16 with the eye passing over the town just after midnight on September 17. It then turned northeastward, dissipating over Mississippi.
The storm brought a strong storm surge to the Texas coast, causing heavy damage and a total of 800 deaths. Old Velasco was completely leveled. At Galveston several houses and a railroad bridge were destroyed and a ship, the Beardstown sunk in Galveston Bay. Three-quarters of the buildings in Indianola were washed away and the remaining structures were in a state of ruin, with only eight buildings left undamaged. Approximately 300 people were killed in Indianola. The storm was the first of two hurricanes to devastate Indianola, the other being the Indianola Hurricane of 1886.
A tropical storm formed in the west-central Gulf of Mexico on September 24. Tropical Storm Four curved east-northeastward and ultimately made landfall in Florida near modern-day Panama City with winds of 60 mph (97 km/h). By early September 28, the storm had dissipated inland near the Florida-Georgia state line.
A Category 1 hurricane was discovered north of Hispaniola on October 7. It peaked as a 100 mph (161 km/h) Category 2 hurricane. The hurricane safely bypassed Bermuda and had dissipated by October 10.
A tropical storm was discovered to the north-east of the Abaco Islands on October 12. It headed north and attained hurricane status throughout October 14. Later the same day it weakened back to a tropical storm. The storm accelerated north and made landfall on Nova Scotia with winds of 60 mph (97 km/h).