Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters Edited by Logan Marshall The lists of names of people need to be carefully rechecked!! There are possible misspellings we would not be aware of. Scanned by Charles Keller with OmniPage Professional OCR software purchased from Caere Corporation, 1-800-535-7226. Contact Mike Lough Pre-Frontispiece Caption: THE TITANIC The
This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
  • 1912
Buy it on Amazon Listen via Audible FREE Audible 30 days

Sinking of the Titanic
and Great Sea Disasters

Edited by Logan Marshall

The lists of names of people need to be carefully rechecked!! There are possible misspellings we would not be aware of.

Scanned by Charles Keller with
OmniPage Professional OCR software
purchased from Caere Corporation, 1-800-535-7226. Contact Mike Lough

Pre-Frontispiece Caption:

The largest and finest steamship in the world; on her maiden voyage, loaded with a human freight of over 2,300 souls, she collided with a huge iceberg 600 miles southeast of Halifax, at 11.40 P.M. Sunday April 14, 1912, and sank two and a half hours later, carrying over 1,600 of her passengers and crew with her.

Frontispiece Caption:

Of the ill-fated giant of the sea; a brave and seasoned commander who was carried to his death with his last and greatest ship.}

Sinking of the Titanic
Great Sea Disasters

A Detailed and Accurate Account of the Most Awful Marine Disaster in History, Constructed from the Real Facts as Obtained from Those on Board Who Survived .. .. .. .. ..


Records of Previous Great Disasters of the Sea, Descriptions of the Developments of Safety and Life-saving Appliances, a Plain Statement of the Causes of Such Catastrophes and How to Avoid Them, the Marvelous Development of Shipbuilding, etc.

With a Message of Spiritual Consolation by REV. HENRY VAN DYKE, D.D.


Author of “Life of Theodore Roosevelt,” etc.

With Numerous Authentic Photographs and Drawings


To the 1635 souls who were lost with the ill-fated Titanic, and especially to those heroic men, who, instead of trying to
save themselves, stood aside that women and children might have their chance; of each of them let it be written, as it was written of a Greater One–
“He Died that Others might Live”

“I stood in unimaginable trance
And agony that cannot be remembered.” –COLERIDGE

Dr. Van Dyke’s Spiritual Consolation
to the Survivors of the Titanic

The Titanic, greatest of ships, has gone to her ocean grave. What has she left behind her? Think clearly.

She has left debts. Vast sums of money have been lost. Some of them are covered by insurance which will be paid. The rest is gone. All wealth is insecure.

She has left lessons. The risk of running the northern course when it is menaced by icebergs is revealed. The cruelty of sending a ship to sea without enough life-boats and life-rafts to hold her company is exhibited and underlined in black.

She has left sorrows. Hundreds of human hearts and homes are in mourning for the loss of dear companions and friends. The universal sympathy which is written in every face and heard in every voice proves that man is more than the beasts that perish. It is an evidence of the divine in humanity. Why should we care? There is no reason in the world, unless there is something in us that is different from lime and carbon and phosphorus, something that makes us mortals able to suffer together–
“For we have all of us an human heart.”

But there is more than this harvest of debts, and lessons, and sorrows, in the tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic. There is a great ideal. It is clearly outlined and set before the mind and heart of the modern world, to approve and follow, or to despise and reject.

It is, “Women and children first!”

Whatever happened on that dreadful April night among the arctic ice, certainly that was the order given by the brave and steadfast captain; certainly that was the law obeyed by the men on the doomed ship. But why? There is no statute or enactment of any nation to enforce such an order. There is no trace of such a rule to be found in the history of ancient civilizations. There is no authority for it among the heathen races to-day. On a Chinese ship, if we may believe the report of an official representative, the rule would have been “Men First, children next, and women last.”

There is certainly no argument against this barbaric rule on physical or material grounds. On the average, a man is stronger than a woman, he is worth more than a woman, he has a longer prospect of life than a woman. There is no reason in all the range of physical and economic science, no reason in all the philosophy of the Superman, why he should give his place in the life-boat to a woman.

Where, then, does this rule which prevailed in the sinking Titanic come from? It comes from God, through the faith of Jesus of Nazareth.

It is the ideal of self-sacrifice. It is the rule that “the strong ought to bear the infirmities of those that are weak.” It is the divine revelation which is summed up in the words: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

It needs a tragic catastrophe like the wreck of the Titanic to bring out the absolute contradiction between this ideal and all the counsels of materialism and selfish expediency.

I do not say that the germ of this ideal may not be found in other religions. I do not say that they are against it. I do not ask any man to accept my theology (which grows shorter and simpler as I grow older), unless his heart leads him to it. But this I say: The ideal that the strength of the strong is given them to protect and save the weak, the ideal which animates the rule of “Women and children first,” is in essential harmony with the spirit of Christ.

If what He said about our Father in Heaven is true, this ideal is supremely reasonable. Otherwise it is hard to find arguments for it. The tragedy of facts sets the question clearly before us. Think about it. Is this ideal to survive and prevail in our civilization or not?

Without it, no doubt, we may have riches and power and dominion. But what a world to live in!

Only through the belief that the strong are bound to protect and save the weak because God wills it so, can we hope to keep self-sacrifice, and love, and heroism, and all the things that make us glad to live and not afraid to die.

PRINCETON, N. J., April 18, 1912.



“The Titanic in collision, but everybody safe”–Another triumph set down to wireless telegraphy–The world goes to sleep peacefully–The sad awakening


Dimensions of the Titanic–Capacity–Provisions for the comfort and entertainment of passengers–Mechanical equipment–The army of attendants required


Preparations for the voyage–Scenes of gayety–The boat sails– Incidents of the voyage–A collision narrowly averted–The boat on fire– Warned of icebergs


Sketches of prominent men and women on board, including Major Archibald Butt, John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, Isidor Straus, J. Bruce Ismay, Geo. D. Widener, Colonel Washington Roebling, 2d, Charles M. Hays, W. T. Stead and others


Tardy attention to warning responsible for accident–The danger not realized at first–An interrupted card game–Passengers joke among themselves–The real truth dawns–Panic on board–Wireless calls for help.


Cool-headed officers and crew bring order out of chaos–Filling the life-boats–Heartrending scenes as families are parted–Four life-boats lost–Incidents of bravery–“The boats are all filled!”


Coolness and heroism of those left to perish–Suicide of Murdock– Captain Smith’s end–The ship’s band plays a noble hymn as the vessel goes down.


The value of the wireless–Other ships alter their course–Rescuers on the way.


Sorrow and suffering–The survivors see the Titanic go down with their loved ones on board–A night of agonizing suspense–Women help to row–Help arrives–Picking up the life-boats.


Aid for the suffering and hysterical–Burying the dead–Vote of thanks to Captain Rostron of the Carpathia–Identifying those saved– Communicating with land–The passage to New York.


Police arrangements–Donations of money and supplies–Hospital and ambulances made ready–Private houses thrown open–Waiting for the Carpathia to arrive–The ship sighted!


The Carpathia reaches New York–An intense and dramatic moment –Hysterical reunions and crushing disappointments at the dock–Caring for the sufferers–Final realization that all hope for others is futile–List of survivors–Roll of the dead.


How the Titanic sank–Water strewn with dead bodies– Victims met death with hymn on their lips.


Collision only a slight jar–Passengers could not believe the vessel doomed–Narrow escape of life-boats–Picked up by the Carpathia.


Seventeen-year-old son of Pennsylvania Railroad official tells moving story of his rescue–Told mother to be brave–Separated from parents– Jumped when vessel sank–Drifted on overturned boat–Picked up by Carpathia.


Women forced into the life-boats–Why some men were saved before women–Asked to man life-boats.


Story of Harold Bride, the surviving wireless operator of the Titanic, who was washed overboard and rescued by life-boat–Band played ragtime and “Autumn”.


Passengers and crew dying when taken aboard Carpathia–One woman saved a dog–English colonel swam for hours when boat with mother aboard capsized.


Nations prostrate with grief–Messages from kings and cardinals– Disaster stirs world to necessity of stricter regulations.


Illustrious career of Captain E. J. Smith–Brave to the last– Maintenance of order and discipline–Acts of heroism–Engineers died at posts –Noble-hearted band.


Sending out the Mackay-Bennett and Minia–Bremen passengers see bodies–Identifying bodies–Confusion in names–Recoveries.


Criminal and cowardly conduct charged–Proper caution not exercised when presence of icebergs was known–Should have stayed on board to help in work of rescue–Selfish and unsympathetic actions on board the Carpathia–Ismay’s defense–William E. Carter’s statement.


Titanic not fully insured–Valuable cargo and mail–No chance for salvage–Life insurance loss–Loss to the Carpathia.


Captain E. K. Roden, Lewis Nixon, General Greely and Robert H. Kirk point out lessons taught by Titanic disaster and needed changes in construction.


Deadly danger of icebergs–Dozens of ships perish in collision– Other disasters.


Evolution of water travel–Increases in size of vessels– Is there any limit?–Achievements in speed–Titanic not the last word.


Wireless telegraphy–Water-tight bulkheads–Submarine signals– Life-boats and rafts–Nixon’s pontoon–Life-preservers and buoys–Rockets.


Speed and luxury overemphasized–Space needed for life-boats devoted to swimming pools and squash-courts–Mania for speed records compels use of dangerous routes and prevents proper caution in foggy weather–Life more valuable than luxury–Safety more important than speed–An aroused public opinion necessary–International conference recommended–Adequate life-saving equipment should be compulsory– Speed regulations in bad weather–Co-operation in arranging schedules to keep vessels within reach of each other–Legal regulations.


Prompt action of the Government–Senate committee probes disaster and brings out details–Testimony of Ismay, officers, crew passengers and other witnesses.


NUMBER of persons aboard, 2340.
Number of life-boats and rafts, 20. Capacity of each life-boat, 50 passengers and crew of 8. Utmost capacity of life-boats and rafts, about 1100. Number of life-boats wrecked in launching, 4. Capacity of life-boats safely launched, 928. Total number of persons taken in life-boats, 711. Number who died in life-boats, 6.
Total number saved, 705.
Total number of Titanic’s company lost, 1635.

The cause of the disaster was a collision with an iceberg in latitude 41.46 north, longitude 50.14 west. The Titanic had had repeated warnings of the presence of ice in that part of the course. Two official warnings had been received defining the position of the ice fields. It had been calculated on the Titanic that she would reach the ice fields about 11 o’clock Sunday night. The collision occurred at 11.40. At that time the ship was driving at a speed of 21 to 23 knots, or about 26 miles, an hour.

There had been no details of seamen assigned to each boat.

Some of the boats left the ship without seamen enough to man the oars.

Some of the boats were not more than half full of passengers.

The boats had no provisions, some of them had no water stored, some were without sail equipment or compasses.

In some boats, which carried sails wrapped and bound, there was not a person with a knife to cut the ropes. In some boats the plugs in the bottom had been pulled out and the women passengers were compelled to thrust their hands into the holes to keep the boats from filling and sinking.

The captain, E. J. Smith, admiral of the White Star fleet, went down with his ship.




LIKE a bolt out of a clear sky came the wireless message on Monday, April 15, 1912, that on Sunday night the great Titanic, on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic, had struck a gigantic iceberg, but that all the passengers were saved. The ship had signaled her distress and another victory was set down to wireless. Twenty-one hundred lives saved!

Additional news was soon received that the ship had collided with a mountain of ice in the North Atlantic, off Cape Race, Newfoundland, at 10.25 Sunday evening, April 14th. At 4.15 Monday morning the Canadian Government Marine Agency received a wireless message that the Titanic was sinking and that the steamers towing her were trying to get her into shoal water near Cape Race, for the purpose of beaching her.

Wireless despatches up to noon Monday showed that the passengers of the Titanic were being transferred aboard the steamer Carpathia, a Cunarder, which left New York, April 13th, for Naples. Twenty boat-loads of the Titanic’s passengers were said to have been transferred to the Carpathia then, and allowing forty to sixty persons as the capacity of each life-boat, some 800 or 1200 persons had already been transferred from the damaged liner to the Carpathia. They were reported as being taken to Halifax, whence they would be sent by train to New York.

Another liner, the Parisian, of the Allan Company, which sailed from Glasgow for Halifax on April 6th, was said to be close at hand and assisting in the work of rescue. The Baltic, Virginian and Olympic were also near the scene, according to the information received by wireless.

While badly damaged, the giant vessel was reported as still afloat, but whether she could reach port or shoal water was uncertain. The White Star officials declared that the Titanic was in no immediate danger of sinking, because of her numerous water-tight compartments.

“While we are still lacking definite information,” Mr. Franklin, vice-president of the White Star Line, said later in the afternoon, “we believe the Titanic’s passengers will reach Halifax, Wednesday evening. We have received no further word from Captain Haddock, of the Olympic, or from any of the ships in the vicinity, but are confident that there will be no loss of life.”

With the understanding that the survivors would be taken to Halifax the line arranged to have thirty Pullman cars, two diners and many passenger coaches leave Boston Monday night for Halifax to get the passengers after they were landed. Mr. Franklin made a guess that the Titanic’s passengers would get into Halifax on Wednesday. The Department of Commerce and Labor notified the White Star Line that customs and immigration inspectors would be sent from Montreal to Halifax in order that there would be as little delay as possible in getting the passengers on trains.

Monday night the world slept in peace and assurance. A wireless message had finally been received, reading:

“All Titanic’s passengers safe.”

It was not until nearly a week later that the fact was discovered that this message had been wrongly received in the confusion of messages flashing through the air, and that in reality the message should have read:

“Are all Titanic’s passengers safe?”

With the dawning of Tuesday morning came the awful news of the true fate of the Titanic.




THE statistical record of the great ship has news value at this time.

Early in 1908 officials of the White Star Company announced that they would eclipse all previous records in shipbuilding with a vessel of staggering dimensions. The Titanic resulted.

The keel of the ill-fated ship was laid in the summer of 1909 at the Harland & Wolff yards, Belfast. Lord Pirrie, considered one of the best authorities on shipbuilding in the world, was the designer. The leviathan was launched on May 31, 1911, and was completed in February, 1912, at a cost of $10,000,000.


The Titanic, largest liner in commission, was a sister ship of the Olympic. The registered tonnage of each vessel is estimated as 45,000, but officers of the White Star Line say that the Titanic measured 45,328 tons. The Titanic was commanded by Captain E. J. Smith, the White Star admiral, who had previously been on the Olympic.

She was 882 1/2 long, or about four city blocks, and was 5000 tons bigger than a battleship twice as large as the dreadnought Delaware.

Like her sister ship, the Olympic, the Titanic was a four- funneled vessel, and had eleven decks. The distance from the keel to the top of the funnels was 175 feet. She had an average speed of twenty-one knots.

The Titanic could accommodate 2500 passengers. The steamship was divided into numerous compartments, separated by fifteen bulkheads. She was equipped with a gymnasium, swimming pool, hospital with operating room, and a grill and palm garden.


The registered tonnage was 45,000, and the displacement tonnage 66,000. She was capable of carrying 2500 passengers and the crew numbered 860.

The largest plates employed in the hull were 36 feet long, weighing 43 1/2 tons each, and the largest steel beam used was 92 feet long, the weight of this double beam being 4 tons. The rudder, which was operated electrically, weighed 100 tons, the anchors 15 1/2 tons each, the center (turbine) propeller 22 tons, and each of the two “wing” propellers 38 tons each. The after “boss-arms,” from which were sus- pended the three propeller shafts, tipped the scales at 73 1/2 tons, and the forward “boss-arms” at 45 tons. Each link in the anchor-chains weighed 175 pounds. There were more than 2000 side-lights and windows to light the public rooms and passenger cabins.

Nothing was left to chance in the construction of the Titanic. Three million rivets (weighing 1200 tons) held the solid plates of steel together. To insure stability in binding the heavy plates in the double bottom, half a million rivets, weighing about 270 tons, were used.

All the plating of the hulls was riveted by hydraulic power, driving seven-ton riveting machines, suspended from traveling cranes. The double bottom extended the full length of the vessel, varying from 5 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 3 inches in depth, and lent added strength to the hull.


Not only was the Titanic the largest steamship afloat but it was the most luxurious. Elaborately furnished cabins opened onto her eleven decks, and some of these decks were reserved as private promenades that were engaged with the best suites. One of these suites was sold for $4350 for the boat’s maiden and only voyage. Suites similar, but which were without the private promenade decks, sold for $2300.

The Titanic differed in some respects from her sister ship. The Olympic has a lower promenade deck, but in the Titanic’s case the staterooms were brought out flush with the outside of the superstructure, and the rooms themselves made much larger. The sitting rooms of some of the suites on this deck were 15 x 15 feet.

The restaurant was much larger than that of the Olympic and it had a novelty in the shape of a private promenade deck on the starboard side, to be used exclusively by its patrons. Adjoining it was a reception room, where hosts and hostesses could meet their guests.

Two private promenades were connected with the two most luxurious suites on the ship. The suites were situated about amidships, one on either side of the vessel, and each was about fifty feet long. One of the suites comprised a sitting room, two bedrooms and a bath.

These private promenades were expensive luxuries. The cost figured out something like forty dollars a front foot for a six days’ voyage. They, with the suites to which they are attached, were the most expensive transatlantic accommodations yet offered.


The engine room was divided into two sections, one given to the reciprocating engines and the other to the turbines. There were two sets of the reciprocating kind, one working each of the wing propellers through a four-cylinder triple expansion, direct acting inverted engine. Each set could generate 15,000 indicated horse-power at seventy-five revolutions a minute. The Parsons type turbine takes steam from the reciprocating engines, and by developing a horse-power of 16,000 at 165 revolutions a minute works the third of the ship’s propellers, the one directly under the rudder. Of the four funnels of the vessel three were connected with the engine room, and the fourth or after funnel for ventilating the ship including the gallery.

Practically all of the space on the Titanic below the upper deck was occupied by steam-generating plant, coal bunkers and propelling machinery. Eight of the fifteen water-tight compartments contained the mechanical part of the vessel. There were, for instance, twenty-four double end and five single end boilers, each 16 feet 9 inches in diameter, the larger 20 feet long and the smaller 11 feet 9 inches long. The larger boilers had six fires under each of them and the smaller three furnaces. Coal was stored in bunker space along the side of the ship between the lower and middle decks, and was first shipped from there into bunkers running all the way across the vessel in the lowest part. From there the stokers handed it into the furnaces.

One of the most interesting features of the vessel was the refrigerating plant, which comprised a huge ice-making and refrigerating machine and a number of provision rooms on the after part of the lower and orlop decks. There were separate cold rooms for beef, mutton, poultry, game, fish, vegetables, fruit, butter, bacon, cheese, flowers, mineral water, wine, spirits and champagne, all maintained at different temperatures most suitable to each. Perishable freight had a compartment of its own, also chilled by the plant.


Two main ideas were carried out in the Titanic. One was comfort and the other stability. The vessel was planned to be an ocean ferry. She was to have only a speed of twenty-one knots, far below that of some other modern vessels, but she was planned to make that speed, blow high or blow low, so that if she left one side of the ocean at a given time she could be relied on to reach the other side at almost a certain minute of a certain hour.

One who has looked into modern methods for safeguarding


This diagram shows very clearly the arrangement of the life-boats and the manner in which they were launched.}

a vessel of the Titanic type can hardly imagine an accident that could cause her to founder. No collision such as has been the fate of any ship in recent years, it has been thought up to this time, could send her down, nor could running against an iceberg do it unless such an accident were coupled with the remotely possible blowing out of a boiler. She would sink at once, probably, if she were to run over a submerged rock or derelict in such manner that both her keel plates and her double bottom were torn away for more than half her length; but such a catastrophe was so remotely possible that it did not even enter the field of conjecture.

The reason for all this is found in the modern arrangement of water-tight steel compartments into which all ships now are divided and of which the Titanic had fifteen so disposed that half of them, including the largest, could be flooded without impairing the safety of the vessel. Probably it was the working of these bulkheads and the water-tight doors between them as they are supposed to work that saved the Titanic from foundering when she struck the iceberg.

These bulkheads were of heavy sheet steel and started at the very bottom of the ship and extended right up to the top side. The openings in the bulkheads were just about the size of the ordinary doorway, but the doors did not swing as in a house, but fitted into water-tight grooves above the opening. They could be released instantly in several ways, and once closed formed a barrier to the water as solid as the bulkhead itself.

In the Titanic, as in other great modern ships, these doors were held in place above the openings by friction clutches. On the bridge was a switch which connected with an electric magnet at the side of the bulkhead opening. The turning of this switch caused the magnet to draw down a heavy weight, which instantly released the friction clutch, and allowed the door to fall or slide down over the opening in a second. If, however, through accident the bridge switch was rendered useless the doors would close automatically in a few seconds. This was arranged by means of large metal floats at the side of the doorways, which rested just above the level of the double bottom, and as the water entered the compartments these floats would rise to it and directly release the clutch holding the door open. These clutches could also be released by hand.

It was said of the Titanic that liner compartments could be flooded as far back or as far forward as the engine room and she would float, though she might take on a heavy list, or settle considerably at one end. To provide against just such an accident as she is said to have encountered she had set back a good distance from the bows an extra heavy cross partition known as the collision bulkhead, which would prevent water getting in amidships, even though a good part of her bow should be torn away. What a ship can stand and still float was shown a few years ago when the Suevic of the White Star Line went on the rocks on the British coast. The wreckers could not move the forward part of her, so they separated her into two sections by the use of dynamite, and after putting in a temporary bulkhead floated off the after half of the ship, put it in dry dock and built a new forward part for her. More recently the battleship Maine, or what was left of her, was floated out to sea, and kept on top of the water by her water- tight compartments only.




EVER was ill-starred voyage more auspiciously begun than when the Titanic, newly crowned empress of the seas, steamed majestically out of the port of Southampton at noon on Wednesday, April 10th, bound for New York.

Elaborate preparations had been made for the maiden voyage. Crowds of eager watchers gathered to witness the departure, all the more interested because of the notable people who were to travel aboard her. Friends and relatives of many of the passengers were at the dock to bid Godspeed to their departing loved ones. The passengers themselves were unusually gay and happy.

Majestic and beautiful the ship rested on the water, marvel of shipbuilding, worthy of any sea. As this new queen of the ocean moved slowly from her dock, no one questioned her construction: she was fitted with an elaborate system of

{illust. caption = STEAMER “TITANIC” COMPARED WITH THE LARGEST STRUCTURES IN THE WORLD 1. Bunker Hill Monument. Boston, 221 feet high. 2. Public

{illust. caption = J. BRUCE ISMAY

Managing director of the International Mercantile Marine, and managing director of the White….}

{illust. caption = CHARLES M. HAYS

President of the Grand Trunk
Pacific Railways, numbered among the heroic men….}

water-tight compartments, calculated to make her unsinkable; she had been pronounced the safest as well as the most sumptuous Atlantic liner afloat.

There was silence just before the boat pulled out–the silence that usually precedes the leave-taking. The heavy whistles sounded and the splendid Titanic, her flags flying and her band playing, churned the water and plowed heavily away.

Then the Titanic, with the people on board waving handkerchiefs and shouting good-byes that could be heard only as a buzzing murmur on shore, rode away on the ocean, proudly, majestically, her head up and, so it seemed, her shoulders thrown back. If ever a vessel seemed to throb with proud life, if ever a monster of the sea seemed to “feel its oats” and strain at the leash, if ever a ship seemed to have breeding and blue blood that would keep it going until its heart broke, that ship was the Titanic.

And so it was only her due that as the Titanic steamed out of the harbor bound on her maiden voyage a thousand “God-speeds” were wafted after her, while every other vessel that she passed, the greatest of them dwarfed by her colossal proportions, paid homage to the new queen regnant with the blasts of their whistles and the shrieking of steam sirens.


In command of the Titanic was Captain E. J. Smith, a veteran of the seas, and admiral of the White Star Line fleet. The next six officers, in the order of their rank, were Murdock, Lightollder,{sic} Pitman, Boxhall, Lowe and Moody. Dan Phillips was chief wireless operator, with Harold Bride as assistant.

From the forward bridge, fully ninety feet above the sea, peered out the benign face of the ship’s master, cool of aspect, deliberate of action, impressive in that quality of confidence that is bred only of long experience in command.

From far below the bridge sounded the strains of the ship’s orchestra, playing blithely a favorite air from “The Chocolate Soldier.” All went as merry as a wedding bell. Indeed, among that gay ship’s company were two score or more at least for whom the wedding bells had sounded in truth not many days before. Some were on their honeymoon tours, others were returning to their motherland after having passed the weeks of the honeymoon, like Colonel John Jacob Astor and his young bride, amid the diversions of Egypt or other Old World countries.

What daring flight of imagination would have ventured the prediction that within the span of six days that stately ship, humbled, shattered and torn asunder, would lie two thousand fathoms deep at the bottom of the Atlantic, that the benign face that peered from the bridge would be set in the rigor of death and that the happy bevy of voyaging brides would be sorrowing widows?


The big vessel had, however, a touch of evil fortune before she cleared the harbor of Southampton. As she passed down stream her immense bulk–she displaced 66,000 tons–drew the waters after her with an irresistible suction that tore the American liner New York from her moorings; seven steel hawsers were snapped like twine. The New York floated toward the White Star ship, and would have rammed the new ship had not the tugs Vulcan and Neptune stopped her and towed her back to the quay.

When the mammoth ship touched at Cherbourg and later at Queenstown she was again the object of a port ovation, the smaller craft doing obeisance while thousands gazed in wonder at her stupendous proportions. After taking aboard some additional passengers at each port, the Titanic headed her towering bow toward the open sea and the race for a record on her maiden voyage was begun.


The Titanic made 484 miles as her first day’s run, her powerful new engines turning over at the rate of seventy revolutions. On the second day out the speed was hit up to seventy-three revolutions and the run for the day was bulletined as 519 miles. Still further increasing the speed, the rate of revolution of the engines was raised to seventy-five and the day’s run was 549 miles, the best yet scheduled.

But the ship had not yet been speeded to her capacity she was capable of turning over about seventy-eight revolutions. Had the weather conditions been propitious, it was intended to press the great racer to the full limit of her speed on Monday. But for the Titanic Monday never came. FIRE IN THE COAL BUNKERS

Unknown to the passengers, the Titanic was on fire from the day she sailed from Southampton. Her officers and crew knew it, for they had fought the fire for days.

This story, told for the first time by the survivors of the crew, was only one of the many thrilling tales of the fateful first voyage.

“The Titanic sailed from Southampton on Wednesday, April 10th, at noon,” said J. Dilley, fireman on the Titanic.

“I was assigned to the Titanic from the Oceanic, where I had served as a fireman. From the day we sailed the Titanic was on fire, and my sole duty, together with eleven other men, had been to fight that fire. We had made no headway against it.”


“Of course,” he went on, “the passengers knew nothing of the fire. Do you think we’d have let them know about it? No, sir.

“The fire started in bunker No. 6. There were hundreds of tons of coal stored there. The coal on top of the bunker was wet, as all the coal should have been, but down at the bottom of the bunker the coal had been permitted to get dry.

“The dry coal at the bottom of the pile took fire, and smoldered for days. The wet coal on top kept the flames from coming through, but down in the bottom of the bunkers the flames were raging.

“Two men from each watch of stokers were tolled off, to fight that fire. The stokers worked four hours at a time, so twelve of us were fighting flames from the day we put out of Southampton until we hit the iceberg.

“No, we didn’t get that fire out, and among the stokers there was talk that we’d have to empty the big coal bunkers after we’d put our passengers off in New York, and then call on the fire-boats there to help us put out the fire.

“The stokers were alarmed over it, but the officers told us to keep our mouths shut–they didn’t want to alarm the passengers.”


Until Sunday, April 14th, then, the voyage had apparently been a delightful but uneventful one. The passengers had passed the time in the usual diversions of ocean travelers, amusing themselves in the luxurious saloons, promenading on the boat deck, lolling at their ease in steamer chairs and making pools on the daily runs of the steamship. The smoking rooms and card rooms had been as well patronized as usual, and a party of several notorious professional gamblers had begun reaping their usual easy harvest.

As early as Sunday afternoon the officers of the Titanic must have known that they were approaching dangerous ice fields of the kind that are a perennial menace to the safety of steamships following the regular transatlantic lanes off the Great Banks of Newfoundland.


On Sunday afternoon the Titanic’s wireless operator forwarded to the Hydrographic office in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and elsewhere the following dispatch:

“April 14.–The German steamship Amerika (Hamburg- American Line) reports by radio-telegraph passing two large icebergs in latitude 41.27, longitude 50.08.–Titanic, Br. S. S.”

Despite this warning, the Titanic forged ahead Sunday night at her usual speed–from twenty-one to twenty-five knots.




THE ship’s company was of a character befitting the greatest of all vessels and worthy of the occasion of her maiden voyage. Though the major part of her passengers were Americans returning from abroad, there were enrolled upon her cabin lists some of the most distinguished names of England, as well as of the younger nation. Many of these had purposely delayed sailing, or had hastened their departure, that they might be among the first passengers on the great vessel.

There were aboard six men whose fortunes ran into tens of millions, besides many other persons of international note. Among the men were leaders in the world of commerce, finance, literature, art and the learned professions. Many of the women were socially prominent in two hemispheres.

Wealth and fame, unfortunately, are not proof against fate, and most of these notable personages perished as pitiably as the more humble steerage passengers.

The list of notables included Colonel John Jacob Astor, head of the Astor family, whose fortune is estimated at $150,000,000; Isidor Straus, merchant and banker ($50,000,000); J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the International Mercantile Marine ($40,000,000); Benjamin Guggenheim, head of the Guggenheim family ($95,000,000): George D. Widener, son of P. A. B. Widener, traction magnate and financier ($5,000,000); Colonel Washington Roebling, builder of the great Brooklyn Bridge; Charles M. Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Railway; W. T. Stead. famous publicist; Jacques Futrelle, journalist; Henry S. Harper, of the firm of Harper & Bros.; Henry B. Harris, theatrical manager; Major Archibald Butt, military aide to President Taft; and Francis D. Millet, one of the best- known American painters.


Major Archibald Butt, whose bravery on the sinking vessel will not soon be forgotten, was military aide to President Taft and was known wherever the President traveled. His recent European mission was apparently to call on the Pope in behalf of President Taft; for on March 21st he was received at the Vatican, and presented to the Pope a letter from Mr. Taft thanking the Pontiff for the creation of three new American Cardinals.

Major Butt had a reputation as a horseman, and it is said he was able to keep up with President Roosevelt, be the ride ever so far or fast. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1911. He sailed for the Mediterranean on March 2d with his friend Francis D. Millet, the artist, who also perished on the Titanic.


John Jacob Astor was returning from a trip to Egypt with his nineteen-year-old bride, formerly Miss Madeline Force, to whom he was married in Providence, September 9, 1911. He was head of the family whose name he bore and one of the world’s wealthiest men. He was not, however, one of the world’s “idle rich,” for his life of forty-seven years was a well- filled one. He had managed the family estates since 1891; built the Astor Hotel, New York; was colonel on the staff of Governor Levi P. Morton, and in May, 1898, was commissioned colonel of the United States volunteers. After assisting Major- General Breckinridge, inspector-general of the United States army, he was assigned to duty on the staff of Major-General Shafter and served in Cuba during the operations ending in the surrender of Santiago. He was also the inventor of a bicycle brake, a pneumatic road-improver, and an improved turbine engine.


Next to Colonel Astor in financial importance was Benjamin Guggenheim, whose father founded the famous house of M. Guggenheim and Sons. When the various Guggen- heim interests were consolidated into the American Smelting and Refining Company he retired from active business, although he later became interested in the Power and Mining Machinery Company of Milwaukee. In 1894 he married Miss Floretta Seligman, daughter of James Seligman, the New York banker.


Isidor Straus, whose wife elected to perish with him in the ship, was a brother of Nathan and Oscar Straus, a partner with Nathan Straus in R. H. Macy & Co. and L. Straus & Sons, a member of the firm of Abraham & Straus in Brooklyn, and has been well known in politics and charitable work. He was a member of the Fifty-third Congress from 1893 to 1895, and as a friend of William L. Wilson was in constant consultation in the matter of the former Wilson tariff bill.

Mr. Straus was conspicuous for his works of charity and was an ardent supporter of every enterprise to improve the condition of the Hebrew immigrants. He was president of the Educational Alliance, vice-president of the J. Hood Wright Memorial Hospital, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, on one of the visiting committees of Harvard University, and was besides a trustee of many financial and philanthropic institutions.

Mr. Straus never enjoyed a college education. He was, however, one of the best informed men of the day, his information having been derived from extensive reading. His library, said to be one of the finest and most extensive in New York, was his pride and his place of special recreation.


Lady Duff Gordon, a prominent English woman who was aboard the …}


Both men and women were loaded into the first boats, but soon the cry of “Women first” was raised. Then came the real note of tragedy. Husbands and wives clung to each other in farewell; some refused to be separated.}


The best known of Philadelphia passengers aboard the Titanic were Mr. and Mrs. George D. Widener. Mr. Widener was a son of Peter A. B. Widener and, like his father, was recognized as one of the foremost financiers of Philadelphia as well as a leader in society there. Mr. Widener married Miss Eleanor Elkins, a daughter of the late William L. Elkins. They made their home with his father at the latter’s fine place at Eastbourne, ten miles from Philadelphia. Mr. Widener was keenly interested in horses and was a constant exhibitor at horse shows. In business he was recognized as his father’s chief adviser in managing the latter’s extensive traction interests. P. A. B. Widener is a director of the International Mercantile Marine.

Mrs. Widener is said to be the possessor of one of the finest collections of jewels in the world, the gift of her husband. One string of pearls in this collection was reported to be worth $250,000.

The Wideners went abroad two months previous to the disaster, Mr. Widener desiring to inspect some of his business interests on the other side. At the opening of the London Museum by King George on March 21st last it was announced that Mrs. Widener had presented to the museum thirty silver plates once the property of Nell Gwyn. Mr. Widener is survived by a daughter, Eleanor, and a son, George D. Widener, Jr. Harry Elkins Widener was with his parents and went down on the ship.


Colonel Washington Augustus Roebling was president of the John A. Roebling Sons’ Company, manufacturers of iron and steel wire rope. He served in the Union Army from 1861 to 1865, resigning to assist his father in the construction of the Cincinnati and Covington suspension bridge. At the death of his father in 1869 he took entire charge of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, and it is to his genius that the success of that great work may be said to be due.


One of the most notable of the foreign passengers was William T. Stead. Few names are more widely known to the world of contemporary literature and journalism than that of the brilliant editor of the Review of Reviews. Matthew Arnold called him “the inventor of the new journalism in England.” He was on his way to America to take part in the Men and Religion Forward Movement and was to have delivered an address in Union Square on the Thursday after the disaster, with William Jennings Bryan as his chief associate.

Mr. Stead was an earnest advocate of peace and had written many books. His commentary “If Christ Came to Chicago” raised a storm twenty years ago. When he was in this country in 1907 he addressed a session of Methodist clergymen, and at one juncture of the meeting remarked that unless the Methodists did something about the peace movement besides shouting “amen” nobody “would care a damn about their amens!”


Other distinguished Englishmen on the Titanic were Norman C. Craig, M.P., Thomas Andrews, a representative of the firm of Harland & Wolff, of Belfast, the ship’s builders, and J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line.


Mr. Ismay is president and one of the founders of the International Mercantile Marine. He has made it a custom to be a passenger on the maiden voyage of every new ship built by the White Star Line. It was Mr. Ismay who, with J. P. Morgan, consolidated the British steamship lines under the International Mercantile Marine’s control; and it is largely due to his imagination that such gigantic ships as the Titanic and Olympic were made possible


Jacques Futrelle was an author of short stories, some of which have appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, and of many novels of the same general type as “The Thinking Machine,” with which he first gained a wide popularity. Newspaper work, chiefly in Richmond, Va., engaged his attention from 1890 to 1909, in which year he entered the theatrical business as a manager. In 1904 he returned to his journalistic career.


Henry B. Harris, the theater manager, had been manager of May Irwin, Peter Dailey, Lily Langtry, Amelia Bingham, and launched Robert Edeson as star. He became the manager of the Hudson Theater in 1903 and the Hackett Theater in 1906. Among his best known productions are “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Traveling Salesman” and “The Third Degree.” He was president of the Henry B. Harris Company controlling the Harris Theater.

Young Harris had a liking for the theatrical business from a boy. Twelve years ago Mr. Harris married Miss Rene Wallach of Washington. He was said to have a fortune of between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000. He owned outright the Hudson and the Harris theaters and had an interest in two other show houses in New York. He owned three theaters in Chicago, one in Syracuse and one in Philadelphia.


Henry Sleeper Harper, who was among the survivors, is a grandson of John Wesley Harper, one of the founders of the Harper publishing business. H. Sleeper Harper was himself an incorporator of Harper & Brothers when the firm became a corporation in 1896. He had a desk in the offices of the publishers, but his hand of late years in the management of the business has been very slight. He has been active in the work of keeping the Adirondack forests free from aggression. He was in the habit of spending about half of his time in foreign travel. His friends in New York recalled that he had a narrow escape about ten years ago when a ship in which he was traveling ran into an iceberg on the Grand Banks.


Millet was one of the best-known American painters and many of his canvasses are found in the leading galleries of the world. He served as a drummer boy with the Sixtieth Massachusetts volunteers in the Civil War, and from early manhood took a prominent part in public affairs. He was director of the decorations for the Chicago Exposition and was, at the time of the disaster, secretary of the American Academy in Rome. He was a wide traveler and the author of many books, besides translations of Tolstoi.


Another person of prominence was Charles Melville Hays, president of the Grand Trunk and the Grand Trunk Pacific railways. He was described by Sir Wilfrid Laurier at a dinner of the Canadian Club of New York, at the Hotel Astor last year, as “beyond question the greatest railroad genius in Canada, as an executive genius ranking second only to the late Edward H. Harriman.” He was returning aboard the Titanic with his wife and son-in-law and daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Thornton Davidson, of Montreal.




SUNDAY night the magnificent ocean liner was plunging through a comparatively placid sea, on the surface of which there was much mushy ice and here and there a number of comparatively harmless-looking floes. The night was clear and stars visible. First Officer William T. Murdock was in charge of the bridge The first intimation of the presence of the iceberg that he received was from the lookout in the crow’s nest.

Three warnings were transmitted from the crow’s nest of the Titanic to the officer on the doomed steamship’s bridge 15 minutes before she struck, according to Thomas Whiteley, a first saloon steward.

Whiteley, who was whipped overboard from the ship by a rope while helping to lower a life-boat, finally reported on the Carpathia aboard one of the boats that contained, he said, both the crow’s nest lookouts. He heard a conversation between them, he asserted, in which they discussed the warnings given to the Titanic’s bridge of the presence of the iceberg.

Whiteley did not know the names of either of the lookout men and believed that they returned to England with the majority of the surviving members of the crew.


“I heard one of them say that at 11.15 o’clock, 15 minutes before the Titanic struck, he had reported to First Officer Murdock, on the bridge, that he fancied he saw an iceberg!” said Whiteley. “Twice after that, the lookout said, he warned Murdock that a berg was ahead. They were very indignant that no attention was paid to their warnings.”


Murdock’s tardy answering of a telephone call from the crow’s nest is assigned by Whiteley as the cause of the disaster.

When Murdock answered the call he received the information that the iceberg was due ahead. This information was imparted just a few seconds before the crash, and had the officer promptly answered the ring of the bell it is probable that the accident could have been avoided, or at least, been reduced by the lowered speed.

The lookout saw a towering “blue berg” looming up in the sea path of the Titanic, and called the bridge on the ship’s telephone. When, after the passing of those two or three fateful minutes an officer on the bridge lifted the telephone receiver from its hook to answer the lookout, it was too late. The speeding liner, cleaving a calm sea under a star-studded sky, had reached the floating mountain of ice, which the theoretically “unsinkable” ship struck a crashing, if glancing, blow with her starboard bow.


Had Murdock, according to the account of the tragedy given by two of the Titanic’s seamen, known how imperative was that call from the lookout man, the men at the wheel of the liner might have swerved the great ship sufficiently to avoid the berg altogether. At the worst the vessel would probably have struck the mass of ice with her stern.

Murdock, if the tale of the Titanic sailor be true, expiated his negligence by shooting himself within sight of all alleged victims huddled in life-boats or struggling in the icy seas.

When at last the danger was realized, the great ship was so close upon the berg that it was practically impossible to avoid collision with it


The first officer did what other startled and alert commanders would have done under similar circumstances, that is

{illust. caption = THE LOCATION OF THE DISASTER}

he made an effort by going full speed ahead on the starboard propeller and reversing his port propeller, simultaneously throwing his helm over, to make a rapid turn and clear the berg. The maneuver was not successful. He succeeded in saving his bows from crashing into the ice-cliff, but nearly the entire length of the underbody of the great ship on the starboard side was ripped. The speed of the Titanic, estimated to be at least twenty-one knots, was so terrific that the knife-like edge of the iceberg’s spur protruding under the sea cut through her like a can-opener.

The Titanic was in 41.46 north latitude and 50.14 west longitude when she was struck, very near the spot on the wide Atlantic where the Carmania encountered a field of ice, studded with great bergs, on her voyage to New York which ended on April 14th. It was really an ice pack, due to an unusually severe winter in the north Atlantic. No less than twenty-five bergs, some of great height, were counted.

The shock was almost imperceptible. The first officer did not apparently realize that the great ship had received her death wound, and none of the passengers had the slightest suspicion that anything more than a usual minor sea accident had happened. Hundreds who had gone to their berths and were asleep were unawakened by the vibration.


To illustrate the placidity with which practically all the men regarded the accident it is related that Pierre Marechal, son of the vice-admiral of the French navy, Lucien Smith, Paul Chevre, a French sculptor, and A. F. Ormont, a cotton broker, were in the Cafe Parisien playing bridge.

The four calmly got up from the table and after walking on deck and looking over the rail returned to their game. One of them had left his cigar on the card table, and while the three others were gazing out on the sea he remarked that he couldn’t afford to lose his smoke, returned for his cigar and came out again.

They remained only for a few moments on deck, and then resumed their game under the impression that the ship had stopped for reasons best known to the captain and not involving any danger to her. Later, in describing the scene that took place, M. Marechal, who was among the survivors, said: “When three-quarters of a mile away we stopped, the spectacle before our eyes was in its way magnificent. In a very calm sea, beneath a sky moonless but sown with millions of stars, the enormous Titanic lay on the water, illuminated from the water line to the boat deck. The bow was slowly sinking into the black water.”

The tendency of the whole ship’s company except the men in the engine department, who were made aware of the danger by the inrushing water, was to make light of and in some instances even to ridicule the thought of danger to so substantial a fabric.


When Captain Smith came from the chart room onto the bridge, his first words were, “Close the emergency doors.”

“They’re already closed, sir,” Mr. Murdock replied.

“Send to the carpenter and tell him to sound the ship,” was the next order. The message was sent to the carpenter, but the carpenter never came up to report. He was probably the first man on the ship to lose his life.

The captain then looked at the communicator, which shows in what direction the ship is listing. He saw that she carried five degrees list to starboard.

The ship was then rapidly settling forward. All the steam sirens were blowing. By the captain’s orders, given in the next few minutes, the engines were put to work at pumping out the ship, distress signals were sent by the Marconi, and rockets were sent up from the bridge by Quartermaster Rowe. All hands were ordered on deck.


The blasting shriek of the sirens had not alarmed the great company of the Titanic, because such steam calls are an incident of travel in seas where fogs roll. Many had gone to bed, but the hour, 11.40 P. M., was not too late for the friendly contact of saloons and smoking rooms. It was Sunday night and the ship’s concert had ended, but there were many hundreds up and moving among the gay lights, and many on deck with their eyes strained toward the mysterious west, where home lay. And in one jarring, breath-sweeping moment all of these, asleep or awake, were at the mercy of chance. Few among the more than 2000 aboard could have had a thought of danger. The man who had stood up in the smoking room to say that the Titanic was vulnerable or that in a few minutes two-thirds of her people would be face to face with death, would have been considered a fool or a lunatic. No ship ever sailed the seas that gave her passengers more confidence, more cool security.

Within a few minutes stewards and other members of the crew were sent round to arouse the people. Some utterly refused to get up. The stewards had almost to force the doors of the staterooms to make the somnolent appreciate their peril, and many of them, it is believed, were drowned like rats in a trap.


Colonel and Mrs. Astor were in their room and saw the ice vision flash by. They had not appreciably felt the gentle shock and supposed that nothing out of the ordinary had happened. They were both dressed and came on deck leisurely. William T. Stead, the London journalist, wandered on deck for a few minutes, stopping to talk to Frank Millet. “What do they say is the trouble?” he asked. “Icebergs,” was the brief reply. “Well,” said Stead, “I guess it is nothing serious. I’m going back to my cabin to read.”

From end to end on the mighty boat officers were rushing about without much noise or confusion, but giving orders sharply. Captain Smith told the third officer to rush downstairs and see whether the water was coming in very fast. “And,” he added, “take some armed guards along to see that the stokers and engineers stay at their posts.”

In two minutes the officer returned. “It looks pretty bad, sir,” he said. “The water is rushing in and filling the bottom. The locks of the water-tight compartments have been sprung by the shock.”

“Give the command for all passengers to be on deck with life-belts on.”

Through the length and breadth of the boat, upstairs and downstairs, on all decks, the cry rang out: “All passengers on deck with life-preservers.”


For the first time, there was a feeling of panic. Husbands sought for wives and children. Families gathered together. Many who were asleep hastily caught up their clothing and rushed on deck. A moment before the men had been joking about the life-belts, according to the story told by Mrs. Vera Dick, of Calgary, Canada. “Try this one,” one man said to her, “they are the very latest thing this season. Everybody’s wearing them now.”

Another man suggested to a woman friend, who had a fox terrier in her arms, that she should put a life-saver on the dog. “It won’t fit,” the woman replied, laughing. “Make him carry it in his mouth,” said the friend.


Below, on the steerage deck, there was intense confusion. About the time the officers on the first deck gave the order that all men should stand to one side and all women should go below to deck B, taking the children with them, a similar order was given to the steerage passengers. The women were ordered to the front, the men to the rear. Half a dozen healthy, husky immigrants pushed their way forward and tried to crowd into the first boat.

“Stand back,” shouted the officers who were manning the boat. “The women come first.”

Shouting curses in various foreign languages, the immigrant men continued their pushing and tugging to climb into the boats. Shots rang out. One big fellow fell over the railing into the water. Another dropped to the deck, moaning. His jaw had been shot away. This was the story told by the bystanders afterwards on the pier. One husky Italian told the writer on the pier that the way in which the men were shot down was horrible. His sympathy was with the men who were shot.

“They were only trying to save their lives,” he said.


On board the Titanic, the wireless operator, with a life-belt about his waist, was hitting the instrument that was sending out C. Q. D., messages, “Struck on iceberg, C. Q. D.”

“Shall I tell captain to turn back and help?” flashed a reply from the Carpathia.

“Yes, old man,” the Titanic wireless operator responded. “Guess we’re sinking.”

An hour later, when the second wireless man came into the boxlike room to tell his companion what the situation was, he found a negro stoker creeping up behind the operator and saw him raise a knife over his head. He said afterwards–he was among those rescued–that he realized at once that the negro intended to kill the operator in order to take his life- belt from him. The second operator pulled out his revolver and shot the negro dead.

“What was the trouble?” asked the operator.

“That negro was going to kill you and steal your life-belt,” the second man replied.

“Thanks, old man,” said the operator. The second man went on deck to get some more information. He was just in time to jump overboard before the Titanic went down. The wireless operator and the body of the negro who tried to steal his belt went down together.

On the deck where the first class passengers were quartered, known as deck A, there was none of the confusion that was taking place on the lower decks. The Titanic was standing without much rocking. The captain had given an order and the band was playing.

{illust. caption = WAITING FOR THE NEWS

A Bird’s eye view of the great crowds …}


Where the first news of the Titanic disaster was received.}




ONCE on the deck, many hesitated to enter the swinging life-boats. Tho glassy sea, the starlit sky, the absence, in the first few moments, of intense excitement, gave them the feeling that there was only some slight mishap; that those who got into the boats would have a chilly half hour below and might, later, be laughed at.

It was such a feeling as this, from all accounts, which caused John Jacob Astor and his wife to refuse the places offered them in the first boat, and to retire to the gymnasium. In the same way H. J. Allison, a Montreal banker, laughed at the warning, and his wife, reassured by him, took her time dressing. They and their daughter did not reach the Carpathia. Their son, less than two years old, was carried into a life-boat by his nurse, and was taken in charge by Major Arthur Peuchen.


The admiration felt by the passengers and crew for the matchlessly appointed vessel was translated, in those first few moments, into a confidence which for some proved deadly. The pulsing of the engines had ceased, and the steamship lay just as though she were awaiting the order to go on again after some trifling matter had been adjusted. But in a few minutes the canvas covers were lifted from the life-boats and the crews allotted to each standing by, ready to lower them to the water.

Nearly all the boats that were lowered on the port side of the ship touched the water without capsizing. Four of the others lowered to starboard, including one collapsible, were capsized. All, however, who were in the collapsible boats that practically went to pieces, were rescued by the other boats.

Presently the order was heard: “All men stand back and all women retire to the deck below.” That was the smoking- room deck, or the B deck. The men stood away and remained in absolute silence, leaning against the rail or pacing up and down the deck slowly. Many of them lighted cigars or cigarettes and began to smoke.


The boats were swung out and lowered from the A deck above. The women were marshaled quietly in lines along the B deck, and when the boats were lowered down to the level of the latter the women were assisted to climb into them.

As each of the boats was filled with its quota of passengers the word was given and it was carefully lowered down to the dark surface of the water.

Nobody seemed to know how Mr. Ismay got into a boat, but it was assumed that he wished to make a presentation of the case of the Titanic to his company. He was among those who apparently realized that the splendid ship was doomed. All hands in the life-boats, under instructions from officers and men in charge, were rowed a considerable distance from the ship herself in order to get far away from the possible suction that would follow her foundering.


Captain Smith and Major Archibald Butt, military aide to the President of the United States, were among the coolest men on board. A number of steerage passengers were yelling and screaming and fighting to get to the boats. Officers drew guns and told them that if they moved towards the boats they would be shot dead. Major Butt had a gun in his hand and covered the men who tried to get to the boats.

The following story of his bravery was told by Mrs. Henry B. Harris, wife of the theatrical manager:

“The world should rise in praise of Major Butt. That man’s conduct will remain in my memory forever. The American army is honored by him and the way he taught some of the other men how to behave when women and children were suffering that awful mental fear of death. Major Butt was near me and I noticed everything that he did.

“When the order to man the boats came, the captain whispered something to Major Butt. The two of them had become friends. The major immediately became as one in supreme command. You would have thought he was at a White House reception. A dozen or more women became hysterical all at once, as something connected with a life-boat went wrong. Major Butt stepped over to them and said:

” `Really, you must not act like that; we are all going to see you through this thing.’ He helped the sailors rearrange the rope or chain that had gone wrong and lifted some of the women in with a touch of gallantry. Not only was there a complete lack of any fear in his manner, but there was the action of an aristocrat.

“When the time came he was a man to be feared. In one of the earlier boats fifty women, it seemed, were about to be lowered, when a man, suddenly panic-stricken, ran to the stern of it. Major Butt shot one arm out, caught him by the back of the neck and jerked him backward like a pillow. His head cracked against a rail and he was stunned.

” `Sorry,’ said Major Butt, `women will be attended to first or I’ll break every damned bone in your body.’


“The boats were lowered one by one, and as I stood by, my husband said to me, `Thank God, for Archie Butt.’ Perhaps Major Butt heard it, for he turned his face towards us for a second and smiled. Just at that moment, a young man was arguing to get into a life-boat, and Major Butt had a hold of the lad by the arm, like a big brother, and was telling him to keep his head and be a man.

“Major Butt helped those poor frightened steerage people so wonderfully, so tenderly and yet with such cool and manly firmness that he prevented the loss of many lives from panic. He was a soldier to the last. He was one of God’s greatest noblemen, and I think I can say he was an example of bravery even to men on the ship.”


Miss Marie Young, who was a music instructor to President Roosevelt’s children and had known Major Butt during the Roosevelt occupancy of the White House, told this story of his heroism.

“Archie himself put me into the boat, wrapped blankets about me and tucked me in as carefully as if we were starting on a motor ride. He, himself, entered the boat with me, performing the little courtesies as calmly and with as smiling a face as if death were far away, instead of being but a few moments removed from him.

“When he had carefully wrapped me up he stepped upon the gunwale of the boat, and lifting his hat, smiled down at me. `Good-bye, Miss Young,’ he said. `Good luck to you, and don’t forget to remember me to the folks back home.’ Then he stepped back and waved his hand to me as the boat was lowered. I think I was the last woman he had a chance to help, for the boat went down shortly after we cleared the suction zone.”


Colonel Astor was another of the heroes of the awful night. Effort was made to persuade him to take a place in one of the life-boats, but he emphatically refused to do so until every woman and child on board had been provided for, not excepting the women members of the ship’s company.

One of the passengers describing the consummate courage of Colonel Astor said:

“He led Mrs. Astor to the side of the ship and helped her to the life-boat to which she had been assigned. I saw that she was prostrated and said she would remain and take her chances with him, but Colonel Astor quietly insisted and tried to reassure her in a few words. As she took her place in the boat her eyes were fixed upon him. Colonel Astor smiled, touched his cap, and when the boat moved safely away from the ship’s side he turned back to his place among the men.”

Mrs. Ida S. Hippach and her daughter Jean, survivors of the Titanic, said they were saved by Colonel John Jacob Astor, who forced the crew of the last life-boat to wait for them.

“We saw Colonel Astor place Mrs. Astor in a boat and assure her that he would follow later,” said Mrs. Hippach.

“He turned to us with a smile and said, `Ladies, you are next.’ The officer in charge of the boat protested that the craft was full, and the seamen started to lower it.

“Colonel Astor exclaimed, `Hold that boat,’ in the voice of a man accustomed to be obeyed, and they did as he ordered. The boat had been lowered past the upper deck and the colonel took us to the deck below and put us in the boat, one after the other, through a port-hole.”

{illust. caption = LOADING THE LIFE-BOATS

Here occurred the heart-
rending separation of husbands
and wives, as the women
were given precedence in the


There were some terrible scenes. Fathers were parting from their children and giving them an encouraging pat on the shoulders; men were kissing their wives and telling them that they would be with them shortly. One man said there was absolutely no danger, that the boat was the finest ever built, with water-tight compartments, and that it could not sink. That seemed to be the general impression.

A few of the men, however, were panic-stricken even when the first of the fifty-six foot life-boats was being filled. Fully ten men threw themselves into the boats already crowded with women and children. These men were dragged back and hurled sprawling across the deck. Six of them, screamed with fear, struggled to their feet and made a second attempt to rush to the boats.

About ten shots sounded in quick succession. The six cowardly men were stopped in their tracks, staggered and collapsed one after another. At least two of them vainly attempted to creep toward the boats again. The others lay quite still. This scene of bloodshed served its purpose. In that particular section of the deck there was no further attempt to violate the rule of “women and children first.”

“I helped fill the boats with women,” said Thomas Whiteley, who was a waiter on the Titanic. “Collapsible boat No. 2 on the starboard jammed. The second officer was hacking at the ropes with a knife and I was being dragged around the deck by that rope when I looked up and saw the boat, with all aboard, turn turtle. In some way I got overboard myself and clung to an oak dresser. I wasn’t more than sixty feet from the Titanic when she went down. Her big stern rose up in the air and she went down bow first. I saw all the machinery drop out of her.”


Henry B. Harris, of New York, a theatrical manager, was one of the men who showed superb courage in the crisis. When the life-boats were first being filled, and before there was any panic, Mr. Harris went to the side of his wife before the boat was lowered away.

“Women first,” shouted one of the ship’s officers. Mr. Harris glanced up and saw that the remark was addressed to him.

“All right,” he replied coolly. “Good-bye, my dear,” he said, as he kissed his wife, pressed her a moment to his breast, and then climbed back to the Titanic’s deck.


Up to this time there had been no panic; but about one hour before the ship plunged to the bottom there were three separate explosions of bulkheads as the vessel filled. These were at intervals of about fifteen minutes. From that time there was a different scene. The rush for the remaining boats became a stampede.

The stokers rushed up from below and tried to beat a path through the steerage men and women and through the sailors and officers, to get into the boats. They had their iron bars and shovels, and they struck down all who stood in their way.

The first to come up from the depths of the ship was an engineer. From what he is reported to have said it is probable that the steam fittings were broken and many were scalded to death when the Titanic lifted. He said he had to dash through a narrow place beside a broken pipe and his back was frightfully scalded.

Right at his heels came the stokers. The officers had pistols, but they could not use them at first for fear of killing the women and children. The sailors fought with their fists and many of them took the stoke bars and shovels from the stokers and used them to beat back the others.

Many of the coal-passers and stokers who had been driven back from the boats went to the rail, and whenever a boat was filled and lowered several of them jumped overboard and swam toward it trying to climb aboard. Several of the survivors said that men who swam to the sides of their boats were pulled in or climbed in.

Dozens of the cabin passengers were witnesses of some of the frightful scenes on the steerage deck. The steerage survivors said that ten women from the upper decks were the only cool passengers in the life-boat, and they tried to quiet the steerage women, who were nearly all crazed with fear and grief.


Among the chivalrous young heroes of the Titanic disaster were Washington A. Roebling, 2d, and Howard Case, London representative of the Vacuum Oil Company. Both were urged repeatedly to take places in life-boats, but scorned the opportunity, while working against time to save the women aboard the ill-fated ship. They went to their death, it is said by survivors, with smiles on their faces.

Both of these young men aided in the saving of Mrs. William T. Graham, wife of the president of the American Can Company, and Mrs. Graham’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Margaret.

Afterwards relating some of her experiences Mrs. Graham said:

“There was a rap at the door. It was a passenger whom we had met shortly after the ship left Liverpool, and his name was Roebling–Washington A. Roebling, 2d. He was a gentleman and a brave man. He warned us of the danger and told us that it would be best to be prepared for an emergency. We heeded his warning, and I looked out of my window and saw a great big iceberg facing us. Immediately I knew what had happened and we lost no time after that to get out into the saloon.

“In one of the gangways I met an officer of the ship.

” `What is the matter?’ I asked him.

” `We’ve only burst two pipes,’ he said. `Everything is all right, don’t worry.’

” `But what makes the ship list so?’ I asked.

” `Oh, that’s nothing,’ he replied, and walked away.

“Mr. Case advised us to get into a boat.

” `And what are you going to do?’ we asked him.

” `Oh,’ he replied, `I’ll take a chance and stay here.’

“Just at that time they were filling up the third life-boat on the port side of the ship. I thought at the time that it was the third boat which had been lowered, but I found out later that they had lowered other boats on the other side, where the people were more excited because they were sinking on that side.

“Just then Mr. Roebling came up, too, and told us to hurry and get into the third boat. Mr. Roebling and Mr. Case bustled our party of three into that boat in less time than it takes to tell it. They were both working hard to help the women and children. The boat was fairly crowded when we three were pushed into it, and a few men jumped in at the last moment, but Mr. Roebling and Mr. Case stood at the rail and made no attempt to get into the boat.

“They shouted good-bye to us. What do you think Mr. Case did then? He just calmly lighted a cigarette and waved us good-bye with his hand. Mr. Roebling stood there, too– I can see him now. I am sure that he knew that the ship would go to the bottom. But both just stood there.”