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“For Those Few Minutes, the Ship Was Alive Again”: Adolphe Saalfeld

"For Those Few Minutes, the Ship was Alive Again": Adolphe Saalfeld

Adolphe Saalfeld called himself a chemical merchant.

More specifically, he was a self-made man of business who dealt in perfumes. 

His wholesale firm, called Sparks-White & Co., Ltd., was a distillery of fragrance, created by chemists and marketed for global distribution. Adolphe was its head chairman.

Adolphe, who was 47 years old, was bound for America on a pleasure trip: he planned to see Niagara Falls, and visit both Montreal and Chicago.

He also traveled with the intention to promote his perfumes as a wholesale distributor to potential clientele, or perhaps establish a brand-new stateside outlet for his perfumes.

He boarded the Titanic in Southampton on April 10, 1912, as a First-class passenger. Adolphe would occupy a cabin on C Deck.

With him, he carried leather satchels, which altogether contained over 60 small vials of perfume oils.

Before officially embarking, Adolphe had taken a tour of the ship with his nephew and fellow chemist, Paul Danby. Paul wrote back to his wife in awe of Titanic’s luxuries, describing it as “wonderfully appointed.”

Adolphe wrote a letter to his own wife, Gertrude, on the same day. In this and subsequent letters, he calls her “Wifey.”

Both Adolphe and Paul took pride in believing that they had written the very first letters on board Titanic.

Adolphe would write a second letter to his beloved Gertrude later in the evening. 

"Dear Wifey,

...It is not nice to travel alone and leave you behind. I think you will have to come next time... I have a small table for two to myself. I had a very good dinner and to finish had two cigars in the smoke room and shall now go to bed as I am tired... 

So far, apart from occasional remarks I have not spoken to anyone. I want to keep quiet and have a thorough rest. As I do not know whether I will be up in time for the mail at Queenstown, I am posting this letter tonight. A kiss for you and love to all from your loving husband."

Citation from "On Board R.M.S. Titanic" by George Behe, 2012.

Adolphe was very clear in his intention to preserve his solitude on the journey. And so--outside of his own correspondence to Gertrude--his movements throughout the voyage are not well-documented.

At the time of the collision with iceberg on April 14th, Adolphe reported that he was in the First-class Smoking Lounge.

He also wrote that the iceberg was more than visible to the passengers as Titanic scraped by.

In smoking room on Sunday night 11.45 -- slight jar felt which for a moment made us think some breakage machinery, but soon engines stopped and stepping from verandah cafe iceberg plainly seen and felt.

Citation from "On Board R.M.S. Titanic" by George Behe, 2012.

To date, it has not been proven which lifeboat saved Adolphe Saalfeld on the night Titanic sank. But it is often reported to have been Lifeboat No. 3. 

This boat, along with all the other odd-numbered vessels, was launched from the starboard side by First Officer William Murdoch—who, in spite of the Captain’s decree—permitted men to board lifeboats once women and children were scant about.

Adolphe seems to have taken to a lifeboat early in the sinking. He left all of his belongings behind--including the satchels that carried his perfume samples.

"...saw boats being lowered and noticed general reluctance people going into them. Then I saw a few men and women go into a boat and I followed and when lowered pushed off, and rowed some distance fearing suction in case Titanic sinking -- All expected to go back after damage patched up, but as we drifted away gradually, saw Titanic sink lower and lower and finally lights on her went out, and others in my boat said that they saw her disappear. Our boat was then nearly 2 miles away but pitiful cries could be plainly heard."

Citation from "On Board R.M.S. Titanic" by George Behe, 2012.

After the sinking, Adolphe’s plans for his new American parfumerie do not appear to have been fruitful; it is likely that they were entirely undermined. As an affluent male survivor of the Titanic disaster, Adolphe was reported ostracized from society.

He returned to England and his beloved Wifey, Gertrude.

Family members later claimed that Adolphe’s experiences on Titanic robbed him of sound sleep for the rest of his life.

He reportedly took the calling upon his chauffeur, a man known as Patch, to drive him about the emptied streets into the wee hours of the morning, until he could at last doze off.

Adolphe Saalfeld passed away in 1926 at the age of 61.

But his was a story unfinished, even with his death.

In 2000, a leather satchel was recovered from the Titanic's wreck site. Crumbling but whole after nearly nine decades on the seafloor, the bag still bore Adolphe's name.

His perfume samples were still contained within. A few vials had broken open, but most were found to be intact.

Historian, artifact curator, and Titanic expert Bill Sauder described the moment that Adolphe Saalfeld's satchel was opened to the world above, for the first time since 1912.

"The one thing I'll remember about Titanic artifacts until the day I die is when the Saalfeld perfume vials came up.

When you recover things from the Titanic: it's wet; it's rusty, and it's rotten. And the smell that comes off of it is perfectly alien, perfectly fetid; you know it's a kind of death you have never experienced.

And so the lab is kind of unpleasant. And then all of a sudden somebody opens up this satchel--this leather satchel--and out comes the fragrance of heaven... It's all these flowers and fruity flavors, and it's delicious. It's the most wonderful thing you've ever had.

It was just a complete overwhelming experience. It was like, all of a sudden the fragrance of heaven, you know, kind of moves through the room. So instead of being surrounded by all of these dead things, um... for those few minutes, the ship was alive again."

The memory of this extraordinary, ethereal moment moved Mr. Sauder to tears.

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“Curses and Prayers Filled the Air”: Robert Williams Daniel & Eloise Hughes Smith

"Curses and Prayers Filled the Air": Robert Williams Daniel

Robert Williams Daniel stood dazed and determined on the Carpathia, knocking on a stranger's door and wearing an oversized suit that wasn't even his.

At 27 years old, Robert had survived the sinking of the Titanic--although no one, including himself, seemed to know exactly how.

But however he was saved from the ocean, the third-hand account from the Carpathia's medical officer attests to Robert having been saved in a red "woolen sleeping garment" or nightshirt, and shoes. Robert also reportedly wore his late father's pocket watch tied around his neck.

Carpathia's physician, Dr. Arpad Lengyel, had been assigned to attend to Titanic's steerage survivors. And since this is where he first treated Robert, who he found to be "delirious"--insisting he was a doctor himself--and underclothed.

So Dr. Lengyel, believing Robert was a colleague in the medical field in a pitiful state, gave him his own suit to wear. Robert reportedly had no recollection of this interaction when Dr. Lengyel tended to him the next day.

When it was discovered that Robert was, in fact, a First-class passenger of the sunken ship, he was transferred to an alternate area of the Carpathia.

And then, on a ship full of widows, Robert eventually set out to befriend the bereaved newlywed from West Virginia: Eloise Hughes Smith.

Standing before the doorway of her cabin--lacerations on his bruised face, wearing "a pair of trousers large enough for a giant [and] a blue shirt he had bought from the Carpathia's barber"--the still-reeling Robert offered his companionship to 18-year-old Eloise, so that she might feel protected while the survivors awaited the Carpathia's arrival in New York City.

She was newly pregnant, suddenly widowed, and absolutely inconsolable. Barely three months earlier, she had been another man's bride.

When Robert disembarked Carpathia with Eloise in his arms, she was reportedly "in a fainting condition." They were some of the first to appear on the ship's gangway.

After Robert had parted ways with Eloise and her father on the quay, his mother found him despite the fact she barely recognized him. The New York Sun reported that he was  "total wreck" and almost too weak to stand. Reporters swarmed him immediately, and his confused--and confusing--narrative unfolded.

Robert reportedly "reeled" at least once, and removed himself to lean on a railing to steady and compose himself.

"Let me smoke a cigarette before we go on," he is reported as having said at last.

The reporters pressed Robert about the bruises and cuts on his face.

"[On Titanic's stern, there] seemed to be thousands fighting and shouting in the dark... Everybody seemed to have gone insane. Men and women fought, bit and scratched... [there were] men praying as I struggled to get to the rail. Curses and prayers filled the air... I grabbed something and uttered one prayer. Then I went over the side of the boat. I tried to wait but suddenly found myself leaping from the rail, away up in the air and it felt an eternity before I hit the water. "

Robert had boarded Titanic in Southampton, having been in London on business, and occupied "an inside cabin" on A-Deck, although the exact cabin has never been conclusively determined.

And he had boarded alone--save for his new puppy, a cherished French bulldog named Gamin de Pycombe.

While his time spent during the voyage is not well-known, Robert's movements during the sinking are documented thanks to his friend, Edith Russell--who had a cabin around the bend from his.

Titanic trimmer Paddy Dillon, who himself swam in the water before being pulled aboard a lifeboat, also recalled seeing Robert within five minutes of the ship's submersion.

"Then [Titanic] plunged and then seemed to right herself. There was about 15 of us when she took the first plunge. After the second, there was only five of us left. One of these was a Mr. Daniels [sic], a First Class passenger. He only had a pair of knickers, a singlet and a blanket thrown over his shoulders. I think he jumped for it."

Robert would proceed to regale the press with so many stories about fellow passengers as the Titanic went under--including Jack ThayerRichard Norris Williams and his father, the Carter family, and Ida and Isidor Straus--as well as First Officer William Murdoch and Fifth Officer Harold Lowe.

Robert was also sought out by the bereaved family members of victims who were anxious to learn the details of their last moments.

Later in 1912, Robert had plans to meet up with fellow survivor Colonel Archibald Gracie, with whom Robert had formed a fast and profoud friendship while on board Carpathia. The Colonel was writing a comprehensive book of the disaster based upon passenger recollections and testimonies, and the men wrote to each other regularly.

Robert, having been abroad once again in England, was asked by reporters in December of 1912 about Colonel Gracie. He did not know that his friend had died the week earlier.

When Robert was informed, he was "overcome with grief" and declined to speak any further.

By 1914, Robert began calling upon another Titanic survivor with whom he shared traumatic memories: the widowed Eloise Hughes Smith.

Her father was not a little displeased, given that his daughter was, at the time, involved in ongoing litigation with her late husband's family on behalf of hers and Lucian's infant son.

In spite of Congressman Hughes's misgivings, Robert and Eloise grew to be closer and closer friends, and that friendship evolved into romance.

And so, in a remarkable turn of events, Robert Williams Daniel married Eloise Hughes Smith in a quiet ceremony in New York City in August of 1914.

The next day, Robert departed for London yet again.

There, he became stranded for over two months due to the outbreak of the Great War, which delayed Eloise and Robert in announcing their marriage to society.

Once Robert was permitted to return to the United States, he and Eloise settled in Philadelphia with Eloise's son, Lucian Smith, Jr., and Robert's new English bulldog. Among their neighbors were the Carter family, who had also survived Titanic.

In February of 1919, Robert was sent overseas to France at the behest of the United States War Department to handle money that would be used to convert French currency in the possession of American soldiers returning from the war front. He was subsequently awarded a medal for his distinguished service.

But by the time Robert returned, his marriage to Eloise was sadly deteriorating.

They separated in 1920, in the wake of rumors of his marital infidelity. And in 1923, Eloise filed for divorce after learning, according to her legal claim, that Robert was residing with "an unknown blonde woman" in New York.

The divorce was granted without contest. According to the divorce decree, Robert was to remained unmarried for five years.

By December of that same year, he remarried in New Jersey. And in 1929, he would marry a third and final time.

Eloise would likewise remarry a third time, when she was widowed yet again. Her fourth and final marriage would end in a swift divorce.

After all of that emotional tumult, Eloise reverted her surname to Smith--that of her first husband, Lucian P. Smith, and the love of her life.

Eloise Smith died in 1940 from a heart attack at only 46 years old.

Her ex-husband, Robert Williams Daniel, died later that same year from cirrhosis of the liver. He was 56 years old.

Regardless of its outcome, Eloise and Robert are noted as the sole survivors to marry after meeting in the wake of the disaster.

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“Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets It Is Very Cold Weather”: Eloise Hughes Smith & Lucian P. Smith

"Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets It Is Very Cold Weather": Eloise Hughes Smith

Eloise Hughes was 18 years old when she debuted herself to society in January of 1912. Since her father was a Congressman and her mother's family was also famously political, she was announced in a contemporary newspaper report as "a debutante of the congressional circle."

And rumor is that, from the moment 24-year-old Lucian Smith set eyes upon her photograph, he was hopelessly enamored.

The two married just a month later, in early February.

It was a grand affair. The Washington Post reported of the ceremony that Eloise radiated in "a gown of white satin trimmed with rare lace with a veil and orange blossoms and carried a shower bouquet of orchids."

Eloise and Lucian then embarked on a spectacular honeymoon.

Their outward-bound vessel with Titanic's elder sister, the R.M.S. Olympic,

The newlyweds visited Egypt, where they rode camels around the pyrmaids at Giza, and Lucian even scaled one to its summit.

They traveled through the Middle East, and then moved on to Europe.

Lucian and Eloise Smith decided to bring their adventure to a close in April of 1912. They debated which vessel to take home, torn between the faster Lusitania and the brand-new, gilded Titanic.

The reason for the curtailed honeymoon is most often reported to be a matter of Eloise having found herself pregnant; this, however, is not something she mentioned in the known letters that she sent home.

"Lucian is getting so anxious to get home and drive the car and fool around on the farm....We leave here Sunday... By boat to Brindisi [Italy], by rail to Nice and Monte Carlo, then to Paris and via Cherbourg either on the Lusitania or the new Titanic."

Courtesy of [source]

Eventually, Eloise and Lucian made their choice for passage.

They boarded Titanic in the port of Cherbourg, France, as First-class passengers on the evening of April 10th.

Eloise took to bed earlier than her husband during the voyage. While she retired, Lucian would play cards in the First-Class Smoking Lounge.

On the night of the collision with the iceberg, Lucian and Eloise took dinner in the First-class dining saloon, where they observed the party the Widener family was hosting in honor of Captain Smith.

Not being guests of the celebration, which Eloise later wrote "was not particularly gay," the Smiths removed themselves to the Cafe Parisien, and listened to the ship's band.

Eloise excused herself for bed around 10:30 p.m.

Lucian, as usual, went to play cards.

That particular night, he sat down to a game of whist with three gentlemen from France, including the famed aviator Pierre Marechal.

When Titanic struck the iceberg, Lucian and his fellow card-players reportedly bore witness to it.

In an article by the times published April 20, 1912, "the Frenchmen" attested to what they saw.

"We were quietly playing auction bridge with a Mr. Smith from Philadelphia, when we heard a violent noise similar to that produced by the screw racing. We were startled and looked at one another under the impression that a serious accident had happened. We did not, however, think for a catastrophe, but through the portholes we saw ice rubbing against the ship's sides."

Eloise, who was in bed, later attested that while the collision woke her, she eventually fell back to sleep. She awoke a second time when Lucian entered the room.

In response to his wife's inquiry as to what the matter was, Lucian replied calmly. "We are in the north and have struck an iceberg: It does not amount to anything, but probably delay us a day getting into New York," he told her. "However, as a matter of form, the captain has ordered all ladies on deck."

Eloise wrote that as she dressed to go up on deck, she and Lucian had leisurely conversation about their plans once they arrived in New York.


Eloise later described the scene on deck as First-class passengers awaited the ready of the lifeboats.

"There was some delay in getting lifeboats down: in fact, we had plenty of time to sit in the gymnasium and chat with another gentleman and his wife. I kept asking my husband if I could remain with him rather than go in a lifeboat. He promised me I could. There was no commotion, no panic, and no one seemed to be particularly frightened; in fact, most of the people seemed interested in the unusual occurrence, many having crossed 50 and 60 times. However, I noticed my husband was busy talking to any officer he came in contact with; still I had not the least suspicion of the scarcity of lifeboats, or I never should have left my husband."

Twice thereafter, Eloise refused to enter a lifeboat without Lucian.

Distraught, she approached Captain Smith, who was in the middle of using a megaphone. She told him she was alone on the voyage save her husband, and asked if Lucian could go with her into the lifeboat.

Eloise wrote Captain Smith ignored her, and only continued to announce, "Women and children first!" through the megaphone.

Lucian pulled her away.

"He then said, "I never expected to ask you to obey, but this is one time you must; it is only a matter of form to have women and children first. The boat is thoroughly equipped, and everyone on her will be saved." I asked him if that was absolutely honest, and he said, "Yes." I felt some better then, because I had absolute confidence in what he said. He kissed me good-by and placed me in the lifeboat with the assistance of an officer. As the boat was being lowered he yelled from the deck, "Keep your hands in your pockets it is very cold weather." 

Lucian and Eloise would never see each other again.

Eloise was saved in Lifeboat 6. She stated the lifeboat was lowered haphazardly, almost vertically, before the falls were cut with a knife provided by a fellow female passenger.

"We were some distance away when the Titanic went down. We watched with sorrow, and heard the many cries for help and pitied the captain, because we knew he would have to stay with his ship. The cries we heard I thought were seamen, or possibly steerage, who had overslept, it not occurring to me for a moment that my husband and my friends were not saved. It was bitterly cold, but I did not seem to mind it particularly. I was trying to locate my husband in all the boats that were near us."

Safely on board Carpathia, the newlywed widow was gifted the cabin of a kind honeymooning couple named Charles and Emma Hutchinson.

Eloise searched for Lucian throughout the Carpathia, in disbelief that he had not been saved.

Desolate and all alone in the cabin of other newlyweds, Eloise is reported to have heard a sudden and unexpected knock upon the door.

Standing there, in an oversized suit that had been donated to him by the Carpathia's physician, was Robert Williams Daniel.

Robert, a fellow First-class passenger on Titanic, reportedly felt honor-bound as a Virginian gentleman to offer his protection and accompaniment to the bereaved young Eloise while she was alone on board Carpathia.

Upon the ship's arrival in New York, Robert carried Eloise in his arms down the gangway to the dock. There, he entrusted her "in a hysterical condition," according to contemporary periodicals, to the care of her waiting father, Congressman Hughes.

But Robert and Eloise would see each other again.

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“My Friend Was a Gentleman Farmer”: William Crothers Dulles

"My Friend Was a Gentleman Farmer": William Crothers Dulles

William Crothers Dulles was a millionaire bachelor from Philadelphia.

Contemporary reporting indicates that he had a law degree, but if he did, he never seems to have practiced. To date, there is not even a record of a law degree being issued to him by his reported alma maters.

William was a member of an elite driving club in New York. He was also a dog fancier, having shown his Cavalier King Charles spaniels at shows throughout the Northeast.

But his life’s absolute passion was thoroughbred horses.

William was a horse breeder of some renown; his country home and farm in Goshen, New York, was called Tophill.

Tophill Farm was also where William also housed his extraordinary equine library and collection of equine art, which was rumored to be one of the most extensive in the world at the time.

This may very well have been true, given that William built a fortified bunker in which to store it all.

According to the New York Herald, “his library of sporting books was well known on both sides of the Atlantic. He had a vault of steel and concrete constructed for their safekeeping.”

And William alone kept the key to it.

William had been wintering in Europe alongside his mother Mary Dulles, since late January of 1912.

He was reported to have been inseparable with his mother following the loss of his father Andrew twelve years prior, always acting as his mother’s escort to Philadelphia events. Mary had been in Europe since December 1911, visiting with William’s younger sister Margaret and her husband Ettore.

In the spring of 1912, William had been dallying in Britain on the hunt for more rare equine tomes to add to his legendary library.

But then, for reasons unknown, Mrs. Dulles and her son parted ways in Paris so he might return home.

William Crothers Dulles boarded Titanic at 39 years old, at the port of Cherbourg, France.

As a First-Class passenger, he occupied cabin A-18. And he traveled alone, save for the company of his little dog, which--in keeping with the dog shows he participated in--is presumed to have been a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

There is hardly an account that provides any insight into William’s time spent on board.

But fellow First-Class passenger William Sloper attested to having made fast friends with Mr. Dulles, reporting briefly that they had shared a dining table with "a Mr. W.C. Dulles of Goshen, NY, and a Mr. Hoyt of New York City [who] were not saved."

"I remember I chummed around those first four days with a young, unmarried man about my age by the name of William Dulles who had been the steamer going over in the winter. My friend, Bill Dulles, was a gentleman farmer and trotting horse breeder from Goshen, New York. I saw him early on Sunday evening [April 14th] but I never saw him again. Later he was listed among the missing."

William Dulles died in the sinking of the Titanic. There are no known reports of his last moments. 

The body of William Crothers Dulles was the 133rd corpse recovered by the crew of the Mackay-Bennett. It was noted as follows.

N0. 133. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 50.

CLOTHING - Green suit; grey sweater and overshoes.

EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain; gold plated knife and chain; gold tie clip; "W. C. D."; four memo books; gold stud; 11s. 6 1/2d.



A particular possession was notably absent from the listed effects: the single key to William’s bunker-full of celebrated equestrian treasures, which were still locked away at Tophill Farm.

The Chicago Evening Post reported on April 16th—the day after the sinking—of the pall cast over Paris.

And that reporting made specific mention of William’s inconsolable mother.

"The American colony in Paris was plunged into profound grief this morning by the definite news of the stupendous loss of life caused by the wreck of the Titanic. Hundreds of permanent residents and of the American tourists staying at the hotels had relatives on board. They had gone to sleep last night comforted with the assurances cabled here that all had been saved, and it was only when they received their newspapers this morning that they learned the terrible toll of fatalities…

The White Star office was besieged by weeping women, several of whom had sons on board. Among these was Mrs. William Dulles, who left the office in a state of collapse, supported by her friends."

The death of William Dulles was orbited by bizarre occurrences. 

On April 19th, the Evening Bulletin reported an interview with William’s cousin, Dr. Charles Dulles, who was crestfallen that his cousin had not survived the sinking.

Therein, the Bulletin also mentioned a mystery woman, leading to speculation that William Dulles was secretly engaged—a rumor vehemently denied by his acquaintances.

"A handsome woman, elegantly dressed, inquired at the White Star Line offices in New York last night for information regarding Mr. Dulles. When told there was no record of his rescue, she hurried to the Surveyor of the Port and got a pass to the pier for the Carpathia's arrival. She was then lost sight of. Dr. Dulles said to-day he had no knowledge of the woman's identity."

Furthermore, in the midst of the tragedy, the Newark Star reported on that same day that a strange and harrowing incident had occurred at Tophill Farm. 

An employee of William Dulles by the name of John Pippin had appeared on the property “wildly intoxicated… and violent.” He was subsequently kicked by one of the horses. 

Drunk and bleeding, he then wrested the keys from the property caretaker and made his way to the late William’s bed, where he passed out.

Police arrested John Pippin at midnight after breaking in the door, which he had barricaded with furniture and a bunk bed.

Pippin had also armed himself with an axe, although according to the report “he had no opportunity to use it.”

William Crothers Dulles was interred in a family mausoleum in Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery on May 6, 1912.

His world-famous library was eventually auctioned off in December of 1912, but only after expert attempts to break the lock to the bunker that safeguarded it.

New York’s American Courier reported in January 1913 that “in order to open the vault, his executor found it necessary to employ an expert locksmith, who worked many hours before he succeeded in his task.”

Prior to sale, William's collection was noted by the New York Herald as “the largest and Choicest Collection ever offered for sale by auction in America or Europe.”

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“A Ship Full of Flowers”: Sensory Titanic

"A Ship Full of Flowers": Sensory Titanic

When passengers embarked on the RMS Titanic on April 10, 1912, in Southampton, they legitimately could smell the fresh paint.

And by many accounts, it was pretty awful.

Much like anywhere else—and despite the impressions of austerity invariably imparted by black-and-white photographs—Titanic was a world of scents. Some were pleasant, most were reportedly overpowering.

And all collaborated in a perfume at once chemical, decadent, and grim.

According to multiple firsthand accounts, Titanic reeked of fresh paint and varnish. 

The exterior was painted, of course, with the iconic red portion of the hull protected with a so-called anti-fouling medium made by Suter, Hartman & Rahtjens.

But the rooms and corridors, newly painted a pristine and untouched swan feather white, are what inspired passenger complaints.

Lillian Asplund, a steerage passenger who was six years old when she boarded Titanic, later recalled, "I remember not liking the smell of fresh paint."

Meanwhile, Second-class passenger Kate Buss wrote in a letter home, "The only thing I object to is new paint so far."

Third-class passenger Jane von Tongerloo was so displeased with the smell, recalled her daughter, that she left the cabin door ajar just to get a modicum of fresh air.

The combination of oil-based paint and linseed oil was a heady aroma under the best of circumstances, but could prove particularly difficult to overcome, when ventilation was primarily achieved via portholes. Opening these, of course, subjected the room to the fickle April chill.

The smell of paint even sickened some passengers, causing symptoms such as head pain.

The White Star Line reportedly made attempts to mask the chemical odors with an absolute excess of floral arrangements.

White Star flooded both suites and various public spaces with bouquets--to such a degree that one passenger later described Titanic as "a ship full of flowers."

The plentitude of flowers on board Titanic were all provided by a single nursery: F.G. Bealing & Son of Southampton.

The horticultural florist firm had begun supplying the White Star Line when the company arrived on the scene in Southampton in 1907. It was a connection achieved via Bealings's existing relationship with Oakley & Watling, White Star Line's exclusive fruit supplier.

In the evening hours of April 9th, Mr. Frank Bealing, his son, and his foreman Bill Geapin loaded all the flowers, palms, and potted plants into mule-drawn carts, and pulled up alongside the mammoth liner in its quay.

The men set down all the flowers on a tarp in one of Titanic's main foyers, and set to work distributing them about the ship.

Decorative plants were staged partly at the direction of White Star staff and partly per the Bealings's tastes, although they likely would have attempted to mimic the placements they'd done on Titanic' elder sister Olympic.

Fresh-cut flowers, meanehile, were stored in the Titanic's G-Deck storage room labeled "Passenger Fruits & Flowers."

It is also rumored that Bealing buttonhole carnations were handed out to the First-Class passengers on sailing day, and many likely found their ways down into the water below. A local boy who went to see Titanic off recalled that "all the people on deck were waving and throwing flowers down, and they were all going into the sea."

There are varying reports of the substance of floral bouquets upon First-Class dining tables for each meal.

Perhaps each table was alternately arranged with a unique bouquet, suggesting a theme; perhaps the variations in their retellings are simply mistakes of memory.

Lady Duff-Gordon wrote of her dinner table in the A La Carte restaurant on April 14th, "We had a big vase of beautiful daffodils on the table, which were fresh as though they had just been picked."

Meanwhile, Mahala Douglas recalled that while attending the dinner party for Captain Smith on the at very same evening that those tables were adorned with bouquets of pink roses and white daisies.

And Lily May Futrelle recalled with a flourish that her dinner table boasted a "great bunch" of American Beauty roses.

In addition to all the flowers already on board, a number of passengers received “Bon Voyage” flower baskets from acquaintances—among them, First-Class passenger Ida Straus.

"You cannot imagine how pleased I was to find your exquisite basket of flowers in our sitting room on the steamer. The roses and carnations are all so beautiful in color and so fresh as though they had just been cut."

Citation courtesy of "On Board RMS Titanic," by George Behe. 2012.

Lady Duff-Gordon also boarded with a basketful of flowers: lilies of the valley--her signature bloom--gifted to her on the train platform in Paris as she departed for the port of Cherbourg, by the salon girls in her employ.

Floral arrangements within First-Class suites and cabins reportedly consisted of carnations, and were changed daily.

This routine apparently included a rotation of flower vases in the bathrooms, as Lady Duff-Gordon recounted in her survivor account.

"Just then, a steward knocked. 'Sorry to alarm you, madame, but Captain's orders are that all passengers must put on lifebelts.'

Before we followed him out of the cabin, as I looked round it for the last time, a vase of flowers on the washstand slid off and fell with a crash to the floor."

It should be noted, however, that botanical fumes in First-Class cabins were not exclusively due to zealous floral placement.

They also emanated from bath products supplied by the White Star Line.

Titanic, much like any hotel, also provided complimentary toiletries to its guests.

In particular, White Star provided “Vinolia Otto Toilet Soap” exclusively to its esteemed First-Class clientele on all of its vessels.

The soap was produced by the Vinolia Company Limited, an English company that existed as early as 1894.

Vinolia Otto was advertised as the “standard of Toilet Luxury and comfort at sea… perfect for sensitive skins and delicate complexions… and for regular Toilet use there is no soap more delightful.”

Vinolia likewise claimed its product was “just the soap to counteract the effect of the salt sea upon the skin.”

It reportedly had strong scents of roses and lemon, leading to reasonable assumption that the soap was named after its source botanical component: rose oil, which is more elegantly referred to as “an attar of roses” or “Rose Otto”.

Speaking of roses: perfumes were of course in use in 1912, and likely would have also contributed to Titanic's olfactory atmosphere.

And although determining which branded perfumes may have been on board Titanic is speculative at best, enthusiasts have made some informed guesswork based upon the popularity of various perfumes in the spring of 1912.

Two such perfumes were by Jacques Guerlain: called Jicky, and L’Heure Bleu.

The former was made up of vanilla and lavender with a secondary citrus essence, while the latter left a powdery, dusky impression due to spicy aniseed and violet notes. A stroll across Titanic's decks may very well have been visited by one of these scents woven into the cool salt air.

It is likely that same walk down the promenade would also have been accompanied by the rich aroma of tobacco.

Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes were welcomed throughout the vessel, save for a few areas, such as the First-Class Dining Saloon during mealtimes and the corridors.

Smoking was likewise forbidden in the Palm Court on A Deck, a  point of contention that turned the room into a de facto playground on Titanic’s sister Olympic.

But smoking was otherwise permissible in most locations. It was so ubiquitous, in fact, that during a review of the Olympic, White Star chairman J. Bruce Ismay advocated for additional cigar-holders to be installed above the urinals in the men's lavatories.

Additionally, the Cafe Parisien on B Deck seemed particularly popular for fashionable young cigarette smokers on board the Titanic.

Crew members were only permitted to smoke while off-duty, although surely this rule was bent to break.

Stewardess Violet Jessop wrote in her memoir that she caught at least one steward defying the rule on the boat deck, in the middle of evacuations.

"A steward stood waiting with his back to the bulkhead, cigarette in mouth and hands in his pockets. It struck me forcibly as the first time I had ever seen a steward stand thus amid a group of distinguished guests."

Excerpt from "Titanic Survivor: The New Discovered Memoirs of Violet Jessop," written by Violet Jessop and edited by John Maxtone-Graham. 1997.

Officers were assigned their own Smoking Room, and it is reasonable to assume it was frequented.

Fifth Officer Harold Lowe was photographed with a pipe on multiple occasions throughout his career, as was Second Officer Charles Lightoller. First Officer William Murdoch was reportedly a smoker as well.

Cigars, meanwhile, were the proud enjoyment of many an elite gentleman on board, including Captain E.J. Smith. Smith's daughter once recounted that her father was so precious with his cigars that he would insist that other people in the room stay utterly still, so as not to disturb the blue-smoke haze.

On to a less pleasant smell than all the others: the iceberg that sank Titanic. Multiple survivors attested to the rank odor of nearby icebergs on the night of April 14th.

Crewmember Frank Winnold Prentice stated, "You could smell ice; I knew it, because you can smell it… keenness, a keenness in the air. There’s something about ice you can smell," in a filmed interview in 1983.

In his testimony before the British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry, lookout George Symons also recalled that he could smell ice in the vicinity.

Had you noticed anything to lead you to think you might meet icebergs before you got that message?
- Yes; just a small conversation, I think, about 9 o'clock. My mate turned round from time to time and said, "It is very cold here." I said, "Yes; by the smell of it there is ice about." He asked me why, and I said, "As a Rule you can smell the ice before you get to it."

Perhaps the recollection of Elizabeth Weed Shutes, however, is the most evocative of all.

Elizabeth was restless on the night of April 14th, irked and unnerved by the foul scent pervading her cabin.

"Such a biting cold air poured into my stateroom that I could not sleep, and the air had so strange an odor, as if it came from a clammy cave. I had noticed that same odor in the ice cave on the Eiger glacier."

Citation Courtesy of "On Board RMS Titanic," by George Behe. 2012.

The crash came moments thereafter.


Hyslop, Donald, Alastair Forsyth, and Sheila Jemima. "Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage." Sutton Publishing Limited, 1997.

Behe, George. "On Board RMS Titanic: Memories of the Maiden Voyage." The History Press, 2012.

Jessop, Violet. "Titanic Survivor: The Newly Discovered Memoirs of Violet Jessop Who Survived Both the Titanic and Britannic Disasters." Annotated by John Maxtone-Graham. Sheridan House, Inc., 1997.

"Titanic: A Question of Murder," 1983. Youtube URL:

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“Lighted and Beautiful in the Night”: Engelhart Cornelius Ostby

"Lighted and Beautiful in the Night": Engelhart Cornelius Ostby

Engelhart Cornelius Ostby was born around Christmastime in 1847 in the city that became Oslo, Norway. He studied to become a jeweler at the Royal School of Art.

In 1869, Engelhart followed the trail of his parents and his younger brother, who had emigrated to the United States three years prior. After arriving in New York, he reunited with his family and settled in Providence, Rhode Island,

He first took a job with the jewelry firm of Hunt & Owen, but shortly thereafter moved on to Arnold & Webster, where he acted as the Director of Design and Engraving for almost a decade.

Jewelry-making in Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1915. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Engelhart married a girl named Lizzie Webster in 1876. The couple would go on to have five children: four sons and a daughter.

In 1879, Engelhart entered into business with a gentleman named Nathan Barton. With about three thousand dollars in capital, the men established Ostby & Barton. The company would gain renown for its beautiful designs of gemstone, signet, emblem, and even baby rings, alongside other pieces of adornment such as brooches, cuff links, and pendants.

Engelhart's firm quickly became a top-tier producer of gold rings. It outgrew its initial business space quickly, and was moved to a factory building. Booming business soon demanded yet another relocation to the old Ladd Watch Case Company on the corner of Richmond and Clifford Streets in Providence. Then the space of this premises had to be doubled.

Engelhart did not limit his world to jewelry-making. He also became a director of both the High Street Bank and the Industrial Trust Company, and was a trustee of the Citizens Savings Bank. Because of these positions, Engelhart rose to prominence in Providence, for both his business acumen and his ongoing charity.

Sadly, Engelhart became a widower in 1899 when Lizzie died at the age of 45. He raised their five children with the assistance of his mother Josephine, until she died three years later, in 1902.

Engelhart Ostby took regular business trips to the European capitals, in order to survey the popular and upcoming jewelry trends for his "kingdom of rings" back home.

Unsurprisingly, he spent much of this time in Paris.

Parisian shopfront on rue Maitre Albert, 1912, by Eugene Atget. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


And in 1906, he began taking his seventeen-year-old daughter, Helen, on these business trips. In 1907, after much anticipation, Engelhart finally took his only daughter to see his homeland of Norway.

In 1912, Engelhart and Helen were on another such international tour. And while they were in Egypt, they had befriended an American couple, Frank and Anna Warren of Oregon.

The road to the Pyramids at Giza, Cairo, Egypt, 1870. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Later on, they encountered the Warrens in Pari; the couple expressed that they looked forward to their upcoming travel on Titanic. Presumably, this is how Engelhart and Helen learned that they could still book passage on Titanic's maiden voyage.

And so, they did.

Father and daughter boarded Titanic as First-Class passengers on the evening of April 10th at Cherbourg. As per usual, Engelhart carried with him his black leather Gladstone bag, which contained gemstones and precious valuables that he had acquired during the trip.

On the 10th of April we took the boat train to Cherbourg. The Titanic remained out in the harbour, lighted and beautiful in the night. We boarded her from a tender.

As cited in © "On Board RMS Titanic: Memories of the Maiden Voyage" by George Behe. The History Press, 2012.

Helen was fairly vague in her recollections of their time spent on board. "Mostly," she wrote, "we just wandered around between meals, enjoying the luxury and newness of it all."

She went on to note that she and her father always traveled with the White Star Line, so they enjoyed comparing notes of Titanic versus the other vessels under its flag.

Sunday, April 14th, was leisurely. Helen wrote that she and Engelhart mused on the grand welcome Titanic was sure to receive when arriving in New York City. Helen also overheard Captain Smith receiving an ice warning while he spoke to passengers nearby.

After enjoying "the usual Sunday evening concert" by Titanic's musicians, Helen retired to her cabin.

I had just dropped off to sleep when I was awakened by a jar that felt about as it would if you were in a car that scraped the side of a tree... It seemed completely silent for a minute or two. The engines were cut off. The corridors were quiet until one began to hear doors open and voices speaking. The first voice I heard was a woman asking the steward what had happened. He replied calmly, 'Everything will be alright.'

Passengers began to gather in the corridor one by one, trying to get some information. My father came out of his stateroom across the corridor. It was very quiet, as when a train stops in a station and you can hear everyone's voice. You could see anxious looking faces, people with outlandish clothes and women in curlers. People had thrown on anything just to cover themselves.

As cited in © "On Board RMS Titanic: Memories of the Maiden Voyage" by George Behe. The History Press, 2012.

Eventually, the stewards instructed the passengers to don their lifebelts. It was a troublesome endeavor, according to Helen, because there had been no emergency drill to practice getting them on, but the stewards were very helpful.

Helen dressed warmly, although she claimed she was struck quite abrupt by the instinct not to put on too many clothes, lest they weigh down her ability to swim.

Engelhart and his daughter met up with the Warrens once again, and migrated up to the boat deck via the Grand Staircase. Helen wrote that Captain Smith swept by them, followed by two ship officers who would not engage with--or even look at--inquiring passengers.

On deck, the group could hardly hear a thing, because the steam from the funnels was deafening. The sequence of events in Helen's multiple accounts become contradictory by this point, but it is evident that, at some point, Engelhart parted from his daughter, as Mrs. Warren also testified that "a young woman by the name of Miss Ostby, who had become separated from her father... was with us."

Helen said that Engelhart either remained in--or alternatively, returned to--his cabin to dress more appropriately for the cold, assuring her that he would not be long.

A heartbreaking comedy of errors ensued.

I wondered what kept father below however, and after about ten minutes I went down to try to find him. I guess my father must have come upon deck some other way for I could not find him in the stateroom. Thinking he had gone up and joined the Warrens, I too went back but he had not been around there. I was waiting for him all the time when the crew came around and told us to get into one of the boats. We all hung back awhile, I wanted father to come with us but the men insisted that we hurry up so we got in... 

It was a very unpleasant feeling stepping into that boat because although it was level with the boat deck, it was swung out over the water so that there was a little gap between it and the side of the ship...  The stars were out but it was pitch dark...

Helen Otsby and Anna Warren were rescued in Lifeboat 5, which was presided over by Third Officer Herbert Pitman. Also in Lifeboat 5 were Helen Newsom and Karl Behr, as well as Dr. and Mrs. Frauenthal. Dr. Frauenthal and his brother had, in fact, jumped down into the lifeboat from the boat deck, and had broken another passenger's ribs in the process.

As the boat descended toward the ocean, concerns had been expressed that the craft might "turn turtle."

Up until that time, things had gone on very calmly. But at the end we could see and hear people on board were realizing there was no place to go. As the ship began to stand on end we heard a big rumbling, rattling noise as if everything was being torn from their moorings inside the ship. She stood quietly on her end for a minute, then went down like an arrow... Of course some complained of losing jewelry and clothing -and some the cold. One woman was seasick. When somebody happened to mention jewelry left behind, I remembered for the first time that I had lost a diamond bar pin which was given me by my father which was still pinned to my nightgown aboard ship. I hadn't given it a though, and when I was reminded, it didn't matter.

Helen never saw her beloved father again.

Engelhart's corpse was the 234th recovered by the Mackay-Bennett, and noted as follows.


EFFECTS - Gold filled teeth; gold watch and chain; knife: glasses; diary; two pocket books and papers.


Once transported back to Halifax, the body was identified by an Ostby & Barton employee named David Sutherland. Engelhart Ostby was interred in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 11, 1912.

A contemporary newspaper reported, "The flower tribute was enormous, even when a note had been circulated not to send any flowers."

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“He Breathes the Air of Two Hemispheres”: Francis Davis Millet

"He Breathes the Air of Two Hemispheres": Francis Davis Millet

In March of 1912, the Washington Times published a laudatory piece about the "soldier, painter, and connoisseur": the American artist Francis Davis Millet.

No chapter of fictional adventure can rival a chapter in the real life of Mr. Millet. Soldier of fortune, adventurer, war correspondent, art student, and artist, he seems to have been constituted of stuff which makes dramatic events possible.

Indeed, Frank Millet seemed fated to be the common denominator through decades of extraordinary events.

He was a drummer boy in the American Civil War. He was a correspondent in the Turkish-Russo conflict and the Spanish-American War. Mark Twain had been his best man. He socialized with the President of the United States. He was the man who made "The White City" white for the Chicago World's Fair. He was asked to contribute to the design of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington's D.C.

He sailed on Titanic.

Apparently, among Mr. Millet's many remarkable talents was his lifelong ability to somehow be everywhere, all at once.

Once, while in Japan, his companion joked that perhaps, Frank was finally in a land where no one would recognize him. A waiter then approached Frank and addressed him by name, because he had been in the artist’s company at the Chicago Exposition.

According to friends and critics alike, Frank was an exalted wanderer at heart and of mind.

Inertia is not one of Millet's faults; he is ever in movement, a comrade in the world of art. Are the heavens to be decorated? See Millet. Is there to be a banquet for the gods? see Millet. Has the army moved? Yes, and Millet with it. He breathes the air of two hemispheres... he is contagious in art and manly enthusiasm.

Citation Courtesy of "Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World," Hugh Brewster, 2012.

Frank Millet boarded Titanic as a First-Class passenger on the evening of April 10, 1912, in Cherbourg, France.

He had been in Europe since early March of that year, in the company of his dearest friend, Major Archibald Butt.

They had been close companions for many years; they had even been housemates in Washington, D.C., hosting extravagant parties for the elite society of the capital.

Major Butt thought highly of Millet, and the latter of him. On the older man Major Butt leaned for advice and took it, and the two men had a sympathy of mind which was most unusual.

Archie, as he was called, had reportedly been in danger of anxious collapse in early 1912. He had been walking a tightrope between his allegiance to former President Theodore Roosevelt, and current President William Taft. "Do you wonder," Archie asked his wife Clara, "that our nerves have been disintegrated and that our innards are all upside down?"

At the same time, Frank Millet was preparing for a business trip in Rome to handle administrative matters as the head of the American Academy of Art.

Concerned for his friend's well-being, Frank interceded to President Taft in a letter, begging leave for Archie so that the friends might travel in Europe together.

The President consented.

Major Archibald Butt. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.


After a month abroad, the United States beckoned Frank back to finalize the design for the proposed Lincoln Memorial.

Archie and Frank briefly parted ways so the latter could conduct some business in Europe while the former stayed back in England. They intended to meet up once again on Titanic's maiden voyage.

The two did not share a cabin, however, because Archie had far too many trunks.

Portrait of Francis Davis Millet circa 1910. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.


Once reunited on board Titanic on the evening of April 10th, Archie and Frank sat down to dinner with a mutual friend from Washington, D.C.: Clarence Moore. The trio would gather regularly throughout the voyage.

The next day, Frank posted a letter to fellow artist Alfred Parsons. He was evidently vexed, and uncharacteristically grouchy.

Queer lot of people on the ship. Looking over the list I only find three or four I know but there are a good many of "our people" I think and a number of obnoxious ostentatious American women, the scourge of any place they infest and worse on shipboard than anywhere. Many of them carry tiny dogs and lead husbands around like pet lambs.

Citation Courtesy of "Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World," Hugh Brewster, 2012.

Frank, a gentle spirit, was not usually so sour; in fact, his dear friend and best man Mark Twain once said that he intended to call all cordial, affable people “Millets.”

But then again, he had just had "the Devil of a time in Rome" with the project he was involved in, and stated outright that he was ready to throw up his hands and "chuck it" altogether.

Frank Millet’s portrait of his friend Mark Twain, 1877.


In the same letter, Frank took multiple opportunities to marvel at Titanic’s finery and size.

I thought I told you my ship was the Titanic. She has everything but taxicabs and theatres...

The fittings are… exceedingly agreeable in design and color.

As for the rooms they are larger than the ordinary hotel room and much more luxurious with wooden bedsteads, dressing tables, hot and cold water, etc., etc., electric fans, electric heater and all. The suites with their damask hangings and mahogany oak furniture are really very sumptuous and tasteful.

I have the best room I ever had in a ship and it isn't one of the best either, a great long corridor in which to hang my clothes and a square window as big as the one in the studio alongside the large light. No end of furniture cupboards, wardrobe, dressing table, couch etc., etc. Not a bit like going to sea.

You can have no idea of the spaciousness of this ship and the extent and size of the decks.

Citation Courtesy of "Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World," Hugh Brewster, 2012.

Frank and Archie whiled away the voyage in each other’s company. They often congregated with Clarence in the First-Class Smoking Lounge.

According to passenger Marie Grice Young, she often spotted the two friends taking vigorous walks around the decks as they chatted.

Frank and Archie also fraternized with fellow First-Class passenger Archibald Gracie. The old Colonel had likely tried to recommend his own book about Chickamauga to them, just like he had done with a very accommodating Isidor Straus. But Frank was probably uninterested, given that the men’s notions of the Civil War were drastically different.

Archie Butt was born in Georgia in 1865: the same year the Civil War had ended. And he was the nephew of a Confederate general.

Frank, on the other hand, was a Massachusetts native who had been a drummer for the Union Army, and his father had been a Union surgeon. He had even assisted his father’s surgeries on the field in 1864.

And while it might seem that Frank’s battlefield era was long past, the memories stayed with him. He regularly attributed his use of vivid, blood-red paint to his hospital experiences in the war.

Frank’s true feelings about the encounters with bombastic, former-confederate Colonel Gracie, whatever they might have been, are undocumented.

Francis Davis Millet at work in his studio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.


During the evening of April 14th, Frank and Clarence took dinner at their usual table in the First-Class dining saloon.

Archie, meanwhile, attended a party in the A La Carte restaurant held by George and Eleanor Widener, reportedly in honor of Captain Smith.

Afterward, the three friends settled in for a late night of cards in the Smoking Lounge with fellow passenger Arthur Ryerson. They were there at 11:40 p.m., the moment of Titanic’s collision with the iceberg.

Clarence Moore. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.


The men reportedly continued their game until about 1:00 a.m. “They were perfectly imperturbable,” testified Archibald Gracie at the American Senate Inquiry.

The last sighting of Frank Millet was on deck, assisting the loading of lifeboats alongside Archie and John Jacob Astor.

Frank never sought salvation himself. Neither he nor Archie survived.

Francis Davis Millet’s corpse was the 249th recovered by the Mackay-Bennett.


CLOTHING - Light overcoat; black pants; grey jacket; evening dress.

EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain; "F. D. M." on watch; glasses; two gold studs; silver tablet bottle; £2 10s. in gold; 8s. in silver; pocketbook.



He was 65 years old.

And, devoted even in death, Frank was remembered in conjunction with his most beloved friend, Archie.

They were jointly mourned across the nation by civilians and the famous alike, and were tearfully praised for their so-called glorious deaths. During a memorial for Archie, President Taft broke down in tears during his eulogy, and could not bear to continue.

It is no surprise to any man who knew Major Butt that he met death like an officer and a gentleman. And none who knew Frank Millet would have expected anything but self-immolation in behalf of women and children.

Mr. Millet was given to unostentatious charities all his life and he spent nearly all he made on others. He was most eager to help any one in any way. Major Butt's kindliness and desire to be helpful and ability to carry out his desires are almost too well known for comment. We can ill spare such men.


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“I Have Never Seen Such a Sky”: Vera & Albert Dick

"I Have Never Seen Such a Sky": Vera & Albert Dick

By the time he was 24 years old, Albert Adrian Dick was already on top of the world.

He and his brother had become two of the most successful and diversified business owners in Alberta, Canada. What had begun as a sawmill enterprise in 1904 had been so successful that their venture evolved, and soon thereafter also boasted a real-estate business, a three-story office building, and a hotel in Calgary called the Alexandra.

Bert, as he was known, took to high living throughout the remainder of his twenties, enjoying poker and the company of beautiful women.

But at the age of 31, Bert at last decided it was time to settle down.

So he did exactly that. He wooed and wed the beautiful--and young--Vera Gillepsie. She was 16 years old at the time, 14 years younger than he.

Their wedding was on May 31, 1911. On that very same day, across the Atlantic, the RMS Titanic was launched in Belfast.

The launch of the RMS Titanic in Belfast, Ireland, on May 11, 1911. Taken by John Westbeech Kempster.


Bert's ongoing work commitments delayed the couple's honeymoon until the winter of 1911. They traveled to Egypt, the Holy Land, France, and Italy.

Bert got into some trouble in Naples, though, when he was somehow swindled by professional gamblers. Vera was livid upon hearing the news.

Bert reportedly accompanied Vera on a lavish shopping spree on their return trip through London, in order to placate his new wife in her ire. They purchased a large number of replica antique furniture at that time, planning to furnish their new home, a Tudor-style mansion in the wealthy Mount Royal District in Calgary.

An eastward view of the intersection of 8th Avenue and Centre Streets, Calgary, Alberta Province, Canada, circa 1912.


By this point in her honeymoon travels, Vera was homesick and missing her mother fiercely--understandable, given that she was 17 years old. But she was enlivened to learn that Bert had booked passage on Titanic's maiden voyage for their return home, and Vera would meet so many glamorous, famous people.

Vera and Bert boarded Titanic at Southampton on April 10th as First-Class passengers. The couple occupied suite B-20; a lavish accommodation, surely, but not one of the exalted "Millionaires Suites" for which Vera had hoped.

In spite of this disappointment, Vera excited urged her husband up and down the ship. She wanted to examine and experience every opulent detail: the Grand Staircase, each First-Class public space, even the horse-riding machine in the gymnasium.

Unlike many of their peers in First Class, the Dicks were not accompanied by a maid or manservant. Vera, therefore, had to unpack her clothing on her own.

She claimed she was concerned about the range of sartorial choices she had available, as she had read in fashion magazines that fine ladies on board liners like Titanic changed their outfits upwards of four times a day.

And for that first dinner on board on April 10th, Vera was particularly anxious; she did not have the same sorts of jewels and finery as other First-Class women would.

That, accompanied by the fact that the Dicks might be perceived as Nouveau Riche by their fellow passengers, caused Vera an acute dread as she and Bert entered the reception room that night. Luckily for Vera, she eyed the other women in the area and her confidence returned. Yes, she had less gemstones, but she none the less felt very pretty.

Thomas Andrews, July 1911.


That night, Vera and Bert Dick befriended a distinguished passenger: Thomas Andrews, the chief architect for Harland & Wolff. They made pleasant and intellectual conversation; Mr. Andrews seemed to enjoy their company.

Once Vera and Albert were seated at their table, things got awkward.

Their steward, a dark-haired and attractive 20-year-old named Reginald Jones, took a shine to young Vera, and she to him. She chatted gaily and laughed with him about the menu and the ship, unabashedly enjoying their exchange.

Bert decidedly did not. Once they were alone, he scolded his wife for her mindless flirtation. It was simply indecent to have such familiarity with the waitstaff, he insisted.

Vera outright dismissed his admonishment and deliberately continued her friendly chatter with Reginald Jones throughout the meal.

Vera then became vexed, when immediately after dinner, Bert elected to retire to the men-only First-Class Smoking Lounge.

For a man with such a gambling habit, she felt very strongly that room of cigars and playing cards was a perilous place for her new husband to spend time.

The First-Class Smoking Lounge on Titanic’s older sister, Olympic, circa 1911. Taken by Robert John Welch for Harland & Wolff.


Other passengers supposedly overheard the couple's argument that night, and Vera told friends that they had fight after fight during the voyage.

On the evening of April 14th, Thomas Andrews invited the Dicks to dine with him at his table. Vera, though flattered, found herself bored. Bert and Mr. Andrews spoke of nothing but the technical and engineering aspects of the ship. And because they were seated at a different table than usual, Reginald Jones was not their steward.

The gentlemen were so engrossed that the party was the last to leave the dining saloon. They migrated to the Cafe Parisien for a late-night coffee.

Le Cafe Parisien on Titanic. Taken by Robert John Welch for Harland & Wolff.


After Vera and Albert had parted ways with Mr. Andrews, they took a brief stroll around deck. They quickly found it too cold to enjoy the exercise, and so they retired to bed.

According to Vera, they were once again arguing quite heatedly when they were startled by a noise "like a thunderclap," although in a contemporary report by the Calgary Herald, he supposedly did not find the shock terribly "severe." Per a contemporary report, Dick then went up on boat deck to hunt the cause of the disturbance, where he saw ice on the deck. He returned to Vera in their cabin.

And then, according to Vera and Bert, there was a rather urgent knock at their cabin door.

It was Reginald Jones.

He had wanted to warn the couple that a collision had occurred, and that the Captain had ordered all passengers to hasten to the boat deck with their lifebelts. Bert and Vera dressed--although Vera only in her nightgown and kimono--grabbed their lifebelts and went up on deck as Reginald Jones had advised.

[Vera] went up on deck with him, because she said she wanted to see an iceberg. They were assured by the officers that there was really no danger and were advised to go back to their cabins. They did so, but Dick himself was not absolutely assured of the ship’s safety. This uneasiness was caused, said Mr. Dick, “through a previous railway accident which I had undergone, which made me decide to make sure that everything was safe."

Once there, the Dicks saw that many other First-Class passengers were simply milling about without direction. Reticent to enter the lifeboats that were being launched before their eyes, Vera and Bert wondered if it would be prudent to remain on the ship.

But then they encountered Thomas Andrews. He advised his new friends to get into a lifeboat immediately. Mr. Andrews delivered a bewildered Vera and dazed Bert to First Officer William Murdoch, who was launching odd-numbered lifeboats off the starboard side. "More passengers for you, sir," he said to Officer Murdoch. And then Thomas bid Vera and Bert farewell.

Vera reported that during this time, Reginald Jones found them once again, and urged her to put her lifebelt on, instead of carrying it as she had been. "Put your lifejacket on, ma'am," she claimed he urged her. "It's the latest thing this season."

As Vera and Bert embraced in parting, Officer Murdoch reportedly pushed Bert by the shoulder and urged him to follow his wife into Lifeboat 3.

Mr. Dick complied.

“During the lowering of the boat – which was 70 feet above the water – several times we were in danger of being “upended” as the new rope would not work well. However, we got afloat and safely away from the ship and cautiously picked our way among the large masses of floating ice. We had some difficulty at first in finding the oars, but I eventually found one and with the stokers commenced to row. I rowed all night until I was completely played out. We saw the great liner plunge to her water grave and heard the awful cries of the drowning people after the boat had disappeared."

While in the lifeboat, Vera whispered in awe to Bert. "I have never seen such a sky... even in Canada, where we have such clear nights." Floating in the dark and without a lantern, the crewman in the lifeboat took to lighting matches to check the time.

Once on board the rescue ship Carpathia, Vera collapsed in a deck chair in tears.

The Dicks later discovered that tragically, Thomas Andrews had not survived the sinking. And neither had Reginald Jones.

Vera and Bert were interviewed by the media after they disembarked from the rescue ship Carpathia in New York City. In these reports, it certainly seems that the Vera's youthful naivete was amplified for entertainment's sake.

“We were hurried helter-skelter into the lifeboats,” she said as she clung with a vise-like grip to her husband’s arm.

“Did you save any clothing!” someone asked.

“My nightgown and kimono,” she replied.

Then, pointing to a white worsted cap that she wore Mrs. Dick said: “I bought this thing in the barber shop on board the Carpathia.”

But this was hardly the most damaging representation of the Dicks due to the disaster. Specifically, Bert Dick was scrutinized and ostracized for his survival. Like other men who were rescued in lifeboats that night, he was accused of dressing in women's clothing to be permitted to board. His objections that he had been urged into the lifeboat by the First Officer--and that he had been one of twenty or so men in that same lifeboat--did nothing to sway public opinion.

As a result, the society elites of Calgary stopped patronizing Bert's hotel. Eventually, he sold it and turned his attention to real estate.

Yet, Bert seemed unaffected by this loss. He had been set right, he said, by the Titanic disaster. In the Dicks' interview with the aforementioned Calgary Herald just two weeks after the sinking, Bert said. “This is the most trying experience that I have ever gone through, and I will never forget the awful cries and moaning of the drowning, struggling people," He put his arm around Vera. "But it is to this little woman that I owe my life.”

And in an interview with the periodical Maclean Magazine, Bert is quoted as a changed man. "[Before Titanic] I thought of nothing but money... The Titanic cured me of that. Since then I have been happier than I ever was before."

Vera and Dick went on to have a daughter named Gilda, and they were married for the rest of their lives. He died in 1970; she, in 1973.

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“Nobody Answered to the Lights Asking for Help”: Ramón Artagaveytia

"Nobody Answered to the Lights Asking for Help": Ramón Artagaveytia

Ramón Artagaveytia was born in Uruguay in July of 1840.

And then, in the wee hours of Christmas Eve, 1871, he was shipwrecked.

Ramón, who was 31 years old at the time, was on board the paddle steamer America. The vessel had reportedly been racing with another ship into Montevideo harbor in Uruguay.

In the midst of this supposed competition, passengers of the America heard an explosion somewhere deep within the ship.

Concerned passengers were initially told to dismiss the sound and get back into bed. Within a half-hour, however, fire had swarmed the ship from the inside out.

Ramón saved himself by jumping overboard and swimming for his life, and he was thereafter rescued. Many other survivors sustained horrific burns.

The disaster traumatized Ramón. By his own admission, the shipwreck of the America plagued him throughout the decades to follow.

Even four decades later, Ramón wrote a letter to his cousin, Enrique Artagaveytia. Therein, he detailed what might be characterized in the present day as post-traumatic stress.

The sinking of the America was terrible!... Nightmares keep tormenting me. Even in the most quiet trips, I wake up in the middle of the night with terrible nightmares and always hearing the same fateful word: Fire! Fire! Fire!...I have even gotten to the point where I find myself standing in the deck with my lifebelt on.

By all available accounts, Ramón went on from the shipwreck to pursue a serene life. In 1905, he inherited a farm in Argentina that had belonged to family, and he would thereafter appear to have lived voluntarily landlocked.

In 1912, Ramón was a noted businessman, and he made a choice at long last to travel by sea again.

It had been 41 years since he had escaped the fiery shipwreck that so relentlessly plagued him, and he desired a holiday in Europe. His nephew was employed in Berlin, Germany, at the Uruguayan consulate, and Ramón decided to visit him.

Berlin, Germany, on May 4, 1912, taken by an unknown photographer. Courtesy of Galerie Bassenge.


It would surely be difficult to sail after so much time; even at the age of 71, Ramón Artagaveytia still suffered the emotional anguish of the shipwreck of the America.

But Ramón admitted to Enrique that his fears had been allayed by a thoroughly modern marvel: the telegraph.

You can't imagine, Enrique, the security the telegraph gives. When the America sank, right in front of Montevideo, nobody answered to the lights asking for help. The ones that saw us from the ship Villa del Salto, did not answer to our light signals. Now, with a telephone on board, that won't happen again. We can communicate instantly with the whole world.

"At last I will be able to travel," Ramon went on to write to Enrique. "And, above all, I will be able to sleep calm."

And so, Ramón Artagaveytia successfully sailed across the ocean to Germany.

In order to pay a visit to the United States before his return to Argentina, Ramón booked passage on Titanic for her maiden voyage. He boarded as a First-Class passenger at the port of Cherbourg, France, on the evening of April 10th.

The next day, Titanic made a brief afternoon stop at Queenstown, Ireland. While the ship was anchored there, Ramón wrote and mailed a letter to his friend, a man named Adolfo.

It would seem that Ramón had previously shared his fear of sea travel--or it was otherwise commonly known among his social circle--because in this same letter to Adolfo, he wrote with ease and familiarity about his initial reticence to board Titanic, and how he overcame his anxiety.

I closed my eyes and went onboard in this huge ship. One of the carriers took my suitcase, and brought it to third floor. We went to the dining room. saloon C. My cabin is very comfortable. It is heated by electricity...

I went through all the corridors to see all the rooms. Some of the furniture was made of tree. The green chairs were very nice. Now I can see Ireland, and now I am finished writing this letter.

Ramón's movements during Titanic's voyage are unknown.

And on the night of the sinking, he was spotted only once. According to survivor Julian Padron y Manent, he encountered Ramón speaking with two other First-Class passengers from Uruguay, named Jose and Pedro Carrau.

Julian Padron y Manent claimed that the group of three men laughed at him when he stated that he was seeking a lifeboat, chiding him that he would catch a cold.

But considering Ramón's elaborate and unguarded admissions about his emotional suffering due to the shipwreck of the America, this depiction of him seems uncharacteristically cavalier, to say the least.

Another survivor account by First-Class passenger Elmer Taylor also includes an encounter with the Carraus. It stands in stark contrast to that of Julian Pardon y Manent’s.

Whils this account makes no mention of Ramón Artagaveytia, he may still have been in their company. And even in the case that he was not, Taylor's account is still worth citing for the haunting differences in the reported behavior of the gentlemen.

They, perhaps like Ramón, were not English speakers. And so they may have had no one to inform them of what was happening.

About halfway up the flight (on the way up to the boat deck), there were two gentlemen, one on either side, leaning against the balustrade and, from outward appearance, looked more dead than alive... They were from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They could not speak English and we could not speak Spanish. As we casually met day by day, we would all speak our native language, smile and pass along, none of us understanding what the other one said. At this meeting, we repeated the usual salutations, shook hands and assured them there was no danger, smiled and proceeded on our way, to carry the fear they exhibited on their faces for the remainder of my life.

Ramón Artagaveytia did not survive his second shipwreck.

His was the 22nd corpse recovered by the Mackay-Bennett, and was listed as follows.

CLOTHING - Blue overcoat; blue suit; white dress waistcoat; black boots and purple socks; two vests marked "R.A."; pink drawers also marked "R.A."

EFFECTS - Watch, chain and medals with name on; keys; comb; knife; eyeglass case; 27 pounds in gold; $20 gold piece; $64 in notes.

1st Class. Name, Ramon Artagaveytia

On April 18, 1912, a contemporary newspaper headline proclaimed, "Uruguay's Richest Man a Victim."

He was Titanic's oldest First-Class gentleman to die.

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“Sunlit Hours of Those Spring Days”: Marie Grice Young

"Sunlit Hours of Those Spring Days": Marie Grice Young

Marie Grice Young was born well-connected.

A native of Washington, D.C., both of Marie's parents were so-called "Old Washingtonians" and thus boasted a number of political friendships resulting from their residence in the national capital. They eventually separated.

Marie's father Samuel, once a civil-servant-turned-affluent-mining magnate, was also profoundly gifted in the musical arts.

He was a noted vocalist and celebrated songwriter; he often performed in D.C. social circles, both as a solo act and in an esteemed choral society. Unfortunately, after suffering a fall from a carriage in 1891, Samuel Young's health and character was mortally compromised.

Within a ten-year span, Marie bore witness to her father's deterioration, including alcoholism, a suicide attempt and subsequent commitment to an asylum after he was "declared to be insane by a jury sitting at the city hall" in Washington D.C. In 1901, Samuel succeeded in taking his own life by ingesting laudanum.

Marie was 25 years old at the time.

The National Mall in Washington, D.C., circa 1901. Courtesy of the National Parks Service and the United States Commission of Fine Arts.


Marie appears to have taken after her late father and by 1910, she had become an accomplished musician in her own right.

In her early twenties, she had studied with John Porter Lawrence, an acclaimed pianist who himself has studied at the Leipsig Conservatory. In 1904, she played piano on tour for a musical reading called "Enoch Arden," and she sometimes performed as a soprano vocalist.

Marie's talent brought her to the attention of the most prominent family in Washington, D.C., when she was solicited by the First Lady to act as the piano teacher to three of President Theodore Roosevelt's children.

One day, I received a call from Mrs. Roosevelt asking if I would give daily lessons on the piano to her sons, Archie, then 7, and Quentin, 10. I agreed and they came to my home for their lessons for more than two years. Their sister, Ethel, was also one of my pupils.

As reported in The Evening Recorder, February 12, 1955. Citation courtesy of Encyclopedia Titanica.

By 1907, Marie was cited as the go-to "for information regarding the present observances and management of the [Presidential] household."

Archie & Quentin Roosevelt circa 1902, taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.


In 1910, Marie Grice Young was noted in census records as an unmarried piano teacher.

By 1911, the now-36-year-old Marie was found in the constant company of an older widow named Ella Holmes White. They had been introduced in the summer of 1910.

The Washington Herald reported that the two had elected to live together. In October of 1911, the women set off for a European holiday. As evidenced by contemporary reports, the two wintered in Paris and Rome, and spent their time collecting antiques, artwork, and shopping for clothes. They were also spotted touring the French countryside by automobile.

Marie and Ella boarded the Titanic as First-Class passengers on the evening of April 10, 1912, in Cherbourg, France. In their company were Ella's maid Amelia Bessette, as well as her manservant Sante Righini.

While boarding Titanic from the tender ship SS Nomadic, Ella White is reported to have sprained her ankle. She was consequently confined to her C-Deck cabin by one of the ship's physicians.

While Ella was stationary in bed, Marie spent her hours enjoying a good people-watch on Titanic's decks.

In my thoughts I often lie again in my steamer chair, and watch the passing throng on the Titanic's promenade deck. After the usual excitement… the routine of life on deck was established. Two famous men passed many times every day in a vigorous constitutional, one talking always - as rapidly as he walked - the other a good and smiling listener.

Babies and nurses, dear old couples, solitary men, passed sunlit hours of those spring days on deck, while the Titanic swept on to the scene of the disaster; approaching what might not have been so much a sinister fate awaiting her...

Alongside their many trunks--packed as they were with the sartorial rewards of shopping trips in Paris--Ella and Marie had also brought aboard some noisier and infinitely more curious cargo: fancy French poultry.

In recent years, Marie's extended family has speculated that a shared interest in raising chickens was the element that brought their "Auntie Mary" and Ella together in the first place.

As it turns out, upon their meeting in 1910, Marie Grice Young had offered Ella White some advice when the latter spoke of French-bred chickens as a smart investment.

Ella eventually hired the younger woman as a consultant at her summer home, called Briarcliff Lodge, in Westchester County, New York. They became "fast friends," and soon thereafter fell in love.

And so, during their 1911 holiday, the couple purchased a collection of French roosters and hens of elite breeding. They intended to bring the birds home to Briarcliff Lodge.

On board Titanic, these newly adopted fowl were kept on F-Deck, in proximity to the kennels in which the passengers' dogs were also kept. The animals were looked after by Titanic's carpenters, one of whom was a 26-year-old named John Hall Hutchinson.

Throughout the voyage, Marie performed regular check-ins on their exotic pets on F-Deck.

Every day, she visited them in the hold and counted up their eggs to report back to Ella. In doing so, she quickly befriended Hutchinson.

It so happened that I took an unusual interest in some of the men below decks, for I had talked often with the carpenter and the printer, in having extra crates and labels made for the fancy French poultry we were bringing home, and I saw a little of the ship's life, in my daily visits to the gaily crowing roosters, and to the hens, who laid eggs busily, undismayed by the novelty and commotion of their surroundings.

I had seen the cooks before their great cauldrons of porcelain, and the bakers turning out the huge loaves of bread, a hamper of which was later brought on deck, to supply the life boats.

In accepting some gold coins, the ship's carpenter said, "It is such a good luck to receive gold on a first voyage!" Yet he was the first of the Titanic's martyrs, who, in sounding the ship just after the iceberg was struck, sank and was lost in the inward rushing sea that engulfed him.

According to Ella's testimony on the twelfth day of the American Senate Inquiry, she had remarked to Marie on the morning of April 14th that the chill in the weather was peculiar.

Ella stated, "Everybody knew we were in the vicinity of icebergs. Even in our staterooms it was so cold that we could not leave the port hole open. It was terribly cold. I made the remark to Miss Young, on Sunday morning: 'We must be very near icebergs to have such cold weather as this.' It was unusually cold."

Ella went on to describe the iceberg strike.

Senator SMITH.
Were you aroused especially by the impact?

No; not at all. I was just sitting on the bed, just ready to turn the lights out. It did not seem to me that there was any very great impact at all. It was just as though we went over about a thousand marbles. There was nothing terrifying about it at all.

Despite the underwhelming description, Ella did not consider the sensation a matter of fleeting curiosity. In fact, she was gravely concerned, and insisted that the entire group leave the cabin to investigate.

Marie, Ella, and Ella's maid Amelia dressed and went up on A Deck. Ella stated that she dressed warmly and had demanded that Marie do the same.

Marie's resulting wardrobe choice was perplexing to say the least: a fur coat over her negligee, after which she took the time to put on a hat and gloves and grab her handbag.

With the assistance of Ella's manservant Sante, the group ushered Ella to the elevator up to A Deck. They then encountered Captain Smith. He warned them about lifebelts, and so they heeded him.

The party made their way to the boat deck, with Sante aiding Ella up the Grand Staircase due to her bound-up foot.

The view of the Grand Staircase from the boat deck on R.M.S. Olympic, Titanic's elder sister, circa 1911. Photo taken by William H. Rau for Harland & Wolff.


Once on the boat deck, the four watched the preparation of the portside lifeboats under the supervision of Second Officer Charles Lightoller.

Ella was at this time in possession of a walking stick with a Bakelite end, which boasted the novelty feature of being electrically lit. And she was quite insistent on utilizing it.

Lightoller found it horribly annoying.

[The] deck lights on, which, though dim, helped considerably with the work; more than could be said of one very good lady who achieved fame by waving an electric light and successfully blinding us as we worked on the boats. It puzzled me until I found she had it installed in the head of her walking stick! I am afraid she was rather disappointed on finding out that her precious light was not a bit appreciated. Arriving in safety on board the Carpathia, she tried to make out that someone had stolen her wretched stick, whereas it had been merely taken from her, in response to my request that someone would throw the damn thing overboard.

Ella, Marie, and Amelia eventually boarded Lifeboat 8, presumably with the ongoing help of Sante.

The ladies would never see him again.

Even as Ella acknowledged the separation of loved ones from each other, she insisted that there absolutely no panic amongst the passengers that she saw.

There was no excitement whatever. Nobody seemed frightened. Nobody was panic-stricken. There was a lot of pathos when husbands and wives kissed each other goodbye, of course.

Watching the sinking of Titanic from Lifeboat 8, the women on board took charge of the tiller when they learned the ineptitude of a number of crewmen on board.

Marie took to rowing an oar alongside the Countess of Rothes.

Intermittently, Marie found herself seasick, which she stated was worsened by the smoking of the stewards. "The men took out cigarettes and lighted them as we were being lowered into the sea," she said. "The man in front of me lighted a pipe and it was so foul-smelling that it actually made me sick."

Marie vomited about a half-dozen times, and that she had to rest at the bottom of the boat for a while to assuage her nausea. That, however, did not stop her from rowing.

Ella, on the other hand, could not row due to her condition--but that same condition did not dissuade her from waving her cane back and forth through the night air because, as she claimed, the lamp in the boat did not work.

Ella lodged further complaints regarding the seamen on board Lifeboat 8, which she expounded upon in her characteristically brusque tone during the American Senate Inquiry.

The American Senate Inquiry in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. New York City, 1912.


This so-named "pathos" may have been a reference to the parting of young newlyweds Victor and Maria Peñasco, or the famed refusal of Isidor and Ida Straus to separate, both of which occurred at the launch of Lifeboat 8.

The Senate Inquiry was just one of many obligations with which Marie and Ella had to contend in the aftermath of the sinking.

Marie Grice Young had somehow found herself the subject of a falsified account regarding the last sighting of one of Titanic's most mourned passengers: Major Archibald Butt, who was a dear friend of President William H. Taft.

Marie is reported to have regaled the media with a dramatic scene in which Archibald Butt approached her to communicate his farewells back in Washington, D.C.

According to the reports in syndicated newspapers, Major Butt spoke kind words to Marie and even wrapped her in a blanket, calmly inquiring if she might share his final farewells to all of his friends back home.

Marie was also reported to have been the very last woman to leave Titanic, despite the fact that Lifeboat 8 left Titanic at approximately 1:00 a.m., over an hour before the ship submerged and before other lifeboats were launched.

President William Howard Taft (left) with Major Archibald butt (center).


The multiple newspaper accounts that promulgated this fabrication eventually were addressed by Marie Grice Young herself in a letter to President Taft.

In said letter, she insisted that a whimsical journalist had concocted the entire account.

Dear Mr President:

I have read an account of the Memorial Service held in Washington recently in honor of Major Archibald Butt, at which service the Secretary of War alluded to a farewell conversation supposed to have taken place between Major Butt and myself. Had such a conversation taken place I should not have delayed one hour in giving you every detail of the last hours of your special Aide & friend.

Although a Washingtonian I did not know Major Butt, having been in deep mourning for several years. The alleged "interview" is entirely an invention, by some officious reporter; who thereby brought much distress to many of Major Butt's near relatives and friends... for when they wrote me of what a comfort the story was to them, I had to tell them it was untrue, as no such deception could be carried through...

With deep regret that I could not be his messenger to you,
Believe me,
Very sincerely yours
(Miss) Marie G. Young

In spite of the trauma they endured, Ella White and Marie Grice Young moved forward together.

Marie was determined to replace the French roosters and hens that she and Ella had lost in the sinking, so she returned to France to hand-select them once again.

This time, however, Marie traveled alone. And at the start of this voyage, she visited with her Grice cousins in Nottingham, England, who set aside a permanent room for her.

According to her living family, it was during this trip that Marie decided to abandon some artifacts of particularly painful memories.

Before departing Nottingham for France, Marie discarded the fur coat, hat, gloves, and purse that had accompanied her on the night of Titanic's sinking.

Her cousins hung the coat in a closet and boxed up the rest, where they remain untouched and unnoticed for decades thereafter.

Granting that the Titanic was a triumph of construction and appointments, even she could not trespass upon a law of nature, and survive.

Helplessly that beautiful and gallant ship struggled to escape from the hand of God, but was only an atom in the Hold of inexorable justice.

Majestically she sailed; but bowed, broken and crouching, she sank slowly beneath the conquering ocean; a hidden memorial shaft to the unburied dead she carried with her, and to the incredible wickedness of man, until the coming of the day when "there shall be no more sea."

The forgotten box of Marie Grice Young's Titanic effects was accidentally thrown away when the Grice family home was sold.

In 2019, Ella White's infamous cane sold at auction for over $60,000.

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