Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, The



NEW YORK CITY, touched to the heart by the great ocean calamity and desiring to do what it could to lighten the woes and relieve the sufferings of the pitiful little band of men and women rescued from the Titanic, opened both its heart and its purse.

The most careful and systematic plans were made for the reception and transfer to homes, hotels or institutions of the Titanic's survivors. Mayor Gaynor, with Police Commissioner Waldo, arranged to go down the bay on the police boat Patrol, to come up with the Carpathia and take charge of the police arrangements at the pier.

In anticipation of the enormous number that would, for a variety of reasons, creditable or otherwise, surge about the Cunard pier at the coming of the Carpathia, Mayor Gaynor and the police commissioner had seen to it that the streets should be rigidly sentineled by continuous lines of policemen Under Inspector George McClusky, the man of most experience, perhaps, in handling large crowds, there were 200 men, including twelve mounted men and a number in citizens' clothes. For two blocks to the north, south and east of the docks lines were established through which none save those bearing passes from the Government and the Cunard Line could penetrate.

With all arrangements made that experience or information could suggest, the authorities settled down to await the docking of the Carpathia. No word had come to either the White Star Line or the Cunard Line, they said, that any of the Titanic's people had died on that ship or that bodies had been recovered from the sea, but in the afternoon Mayor Gaynor sent word to the Board of Coroners that it might be well for some of that body to meet the incoming ship. Coroners Feinberg and Holtzhauser with Coroner's Physician Weston arranged to go down the bay on the Patrol, while Coroner Hellenstein waited at the pier. An undertaker was notified to be ready if needed. Fortunately there was no such need.


Every possible measure of relief for the survivors that could be thought of by officials of the city, of the Federal Government, by the heads of hospitals and the Red Cross and relief societies was arranged for. The Municipal Lodging House, which has accommodations for 700 persons, agreed to throw open its doors and furnish lodging and food to any of the survivors as long as they should need it. Commissioner of Charities Drummond did not know, of course, just how great the call would be for the services of his department. He went to the Cunard pier to direct his part of the work in person. Meanwhile he had twenty ambulances ready for instant movement on the city's pier at the foot of East Twenty-sixth Street. They were ready to take patients to the reception hospital connected with Bellevue or the Metropolitan Hospital on Blackwell's Island. Ambulances from the Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn were also there to do their share. All the other hospitals in the city stood ready to take the Titanic's people and those that had ambulances promised to send them. The Charities ferryboat, Thomas S. Brennan, equipped as a hospital craft, lay off the department pier with nurses and physicians ready to be called to the Cunard pier on the other side of the city. St. Vincent's Hospital had 120 beds ready, New York Hospital twelve, Bellevue and the reception hospital 120 and Flower Hospital twelve.

The House of Shelter maintained by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society announced that it was able to care for at least fifty persons as long as might be necessary. The German Society of New York, the Irish Immigrant Society, the Italian Society, the Swedish Immigrant Society and the Young Men's Christian Association were among the organizations that also offered to see that no needy survivor would go without shelter.

Mrs. W. A. Bastede, whose husband is a member of the staff of St. Luke's Hospital, offered to the White Star Line the use of the newly opened ward at St. Luke's, which will accommodate from thirty to sixty persons. She said the hospital would send four ambulances with nurses and doctors and that she had collected clothing enough for fifty persons. The line accepted her offer and said that the hospital would be kept informed as to what was needed. A trustee of Bellevue also called at the White Star offices to offer ambulances. He said that five or six, with two or three doctors and nurses on each, would be sent to the pier if required.

Many other hospitals as well as individuals called at the mayor's office, expressing willingness to take in anybody that should be sent to them. A woman living in Fiftieth Street just off Fifth Avenue wished to put her home at the disposal of the survivors. D. H. Knott, of 102 Waverley Place, told the mayor that he could take care of 100 and give them both food and lodging at the Arlington, Holly and Earl Hotels. Commissioner Drummond visited the City Hall and arranged with the mayor the plans for the relief to be extended directly by the city. Mr. Drummond said that omnibuses would be provided to transfer passengers from the ship to the Municipal Lodging House.


Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt, Jr., spent the day telephoning to her friends, asking them to let their automobiles be used to meet the Carpathia and take away those who needed surgical care. It was announced that as a result of Mrs. Vanderbilt's efforts 100 limousine automobiles and all the Fifth Avenue and Riverside Drive automobile buses would be at the Cunard pier.

Immigration Commissioner Williams said that he would be at the pier when the Carpathia came in. There was to be no inspection of immigrants at Ellis Island. Instead, the commissioner sent seven or eight inspectors to the pier to do their work there and he asked them to do it with the greatest possible speed and the least possible bother to the shipwrecked aliens. The immigrants who had no friends to meet them were to be provided for until their cases could be disposed of. Mr. Williams thought that some of them who had lost everything might have to be sent back to their homes. Those who were to be admitted to the United States were to be cared for by the Women's Relief Committee.


Robert W. de Forest, chairman of the Red Cross Relief Committee of the Charity Organization Society, after conferring with Mayor Gaynor, said that in addition to an arrangement that all funds received by the mayor should be paid to Jacob H. Schiff, the New York treasurer of the American Red Cross, the committee had decided that it could turn over all the immediate relief work to the Women's Relief Committee.

The Red Cross Committee announced that careful plans had been made to provide for every possible emergency.

The emergency committee received a telegram that Ernest P. Bicknell, director of the American Red Cross, was coming from Washington. The Red Cross Emergency Relief Committee was to have several representatives at the pier to look out for the passengers on the Carpathia. Mr. Persons and Dr. Devine were to be there and it was planned to have others.

The Salvation Army offered, through the mayor's office, accommodation for thirty single men at the Industrial Home, 533 West Forty-eighth Street, and for twenty others at its hotel, 18 Chatham Square. The army's training school at 124 West Fourteenth Street was ready to take twenty or thirty survivors. R. H. Farley, head of the White Star Line's third class department, said that the line would give all the steerage passengers railroad tickets to their destination.

Mayor Gaynor estimated that more than 5000 persons could be accommodated in quarters offered through his orders. Most of these offers of course would have to be rejected. The mayor also said that Colonel Conley of the Sixty-ninth Regiment offered to turn out his regiment to police the pier, but it was thought that such service would be unnecessary.


Long before dark on Thursday night a few people passed the police lines and with a yellow card were allowed to go on the dock; but reports had been published that the Carpathia would not be in till midnight, and by 8 o'clock there were not more than two hundred people on the pier. In the next hour the crowd with passes trebled in number. By 9 o'clock the pier held half as many as it could comfortably contain. The early crowd did not contain many women relatives of the survivors. Few nervous people could be seen, but here and there was a woman, usually supported by two male escorts, weeping softly to herself.

On the whole it was a frantic, grief-crazed crowd. Laborers rubbed shoulders with millionaires.

The relatives of the rich had taxicabs waiting outside the docks. The relatives of the poor went there on foot in the rain, ready to take their loved ones.

A special train was awaiting Mrs. Charles M. Hays, widow of the president of the Grand Trunk Railroad. A private car also waited Mrs. George D. Widener.


Among the first to arrive at the pier was a committee from the Stock Exchange, headed by R. H. Thomas, and composed of Charles Knoblauch, B. M. W. Baruch, Charles Holzderber and J. Carlisle. Mr. Thomas carried a long black box which contained $5000 in small bills, which was to be handed out to the needy steerage survivors of the Titanic as they disembarked.

With the early arrivals at the pier were the relatives of Frederick White, who was not reported among the survivors, though Mrs. White was; Harry Mock, who came to look for a brother and sister; and Vincent Astor, who arrived in a limousine with William A. Dobbyn, Colonel Astor's secretary, and two doctors. The limousine was kept waiting outside to take Mrs. Astor to the Astor home on Fifth Avenue.


The Waldorf-Astoria had sent over eight limousine car to convey to the hotel these survivors:

Mrs. Mark Fortune and three daughters, Mrs. Lucien P. Smith, Mrs. J. Stewart White, Mrs. Thornton Davidson, Mrs. George C. Douglass, Mrs. George D. Widener and maid, Mrs. George Wick, Miss Bonnell, Miss E. Ryerson, Mrs. Susan P. Ryerson, Mrs. Arthur Ryerson, Miss Mary Wick, the Misses Howell, Mrs. John P. Snyder and Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Bishop.


At one time there were thirty-five ambulances drawn up; outside the Cunard pier. Every hospital in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx was represented. Several of the ambulances came from as far north as the Lebanon Hospital, in the Bronx, and the Brooklyn Hospital, in Brooklyn.

Accompanying them were seventy internes and surgeons from the staffs of the hospitals, and more than 125 male and female nurses.

St. Vincent's sent the greatest number of ambulances, at one time, eight of them from this hospital being in line at the pier.

Miss Eva Booth, direct head of the Salvation Army, was at the pier, accompanied by Miss Elizabeth Nye and a corps of her officers, ready to aid as much as possible. The Sheltering Society and various other similar organizations also were represented, all ready to take care of those who needed them.

An officer of the Sixty-ninth Regiment, N. G. N. Y., offered the White Star Line officials, the use of the regiment's armory for any of the survivors.

Mrs. Thomas Hughes, Mrs. August Belmont and Mgrs. Lavelle and McMahon, of St. Patrick's Cathedral, together with a score of black-robed Sisters of Charity, representing the Association of Catholic Churches, were on the pier long before the Carpathia was made fast, and worked industriously in aiding the injured and ill.

The Rev. Dr. William Carter, pastor of the Madison Avenue Reformed Church, was one of those at the pier with a private ambulance awaiting Miss Sylvia Caldwell, one of the survivors, who is known in church circles as a mission worker in foreign fields


The Pennsylvania Railroad sent representatives to the pier, who said that the railroad had a special train of nine cars in which it would carry free any passenger who wanted to go immediately to Philadelphia or points west. The Pennsylvania also had eight taxicabs at the pier for conveyance of the rescued to the Pennsylvania Station, in Thirty-third Street.

Among those who later arrived at the pier before the Carpathia docked were P. A. B. Widener, of Philadelphia, two women relatives of J. B. Thayer, William Harris, Jr., the theatrical man, who was accompanied by Dr Dinkelspiel, and Henry Arthur Jones, the playwright.


Commander Booth, of the Salvation Army, was there especially to meet Mrs. Elizabeth Nye and Mrs. Rogers Abbott, both Titanic survivors. Mrs. Abbott's two sons were supposed to be among the lost. Miss Booth had received a cablegram from London saying that other Salvation Army people were on the Titanic. She was eager to get news of them.

Also on the pier was Major Blanton, U. S. A., stationed at Washington, who was waiting for tidings of Major Butt, supposedly at the instance of President Taft.

Senator William A. Clark and Mrs. Clark were also in the company. Dr. John R. MacKenty was waiting for Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Harper. Ferdinand W. Roebling and Carl G. Roebling, cousins of Washington A. Roebling, Jr., whose name is among the list of dead, went to the pier to see what they could learn of his fate.

J. P. Morgan, Jr., arrived at the pier about half an hour before the Carpathia docked. He said he had many friends on the Titanic and was eagerly awaiting news of all of them.

Fire Commissioner Johnson was there with John Peel, of Atlanta, Gal, a brother of Mrs. Jacques Futrelle. Mrs. Futrelle has a son twelve years old in Atlanta, and a daughter Virginia, who has been in school in the North and is at present with friends in this city, ignorant of her father's death.


There was one man in that sad waiting company who startled those near him about 9 o'clock by dancing across the pier and back. He seemed to be laughing, but when he was stopped it was found that he was sobbing. He said that he had a relative on the Titanic and had lost control of his nerves.

H. H. Brunt, of Chicago, was at the gangplank waiting for A. Saalfeld, head of the wholesale drug firm of Sparks, White & Co., of London, who was coming to this country on the Titanic on a business trip and whose life was saved.


During the afternoon and evening tugboats, motor boats and even sailing craft, had been waiting off the Ambrose Light for the appearance of the Carpathia.

Some of the waiting craft contained friends and anxious relatives of the survivors and those reported as missing.

The sea was rough and choppy, and a strong east wind was blowing. There was a light fog, so that it was possible to see at a distance of only a few hundred yards. This lifted later in the evening.

First to discover the incoming liner with her pitiful cargo was one of the tugboats. From out of the mist there loomed far out at sea the incoming steamer.


"Liner ahead!" cried the lookout on the tug to the captain.

"She must be the Carpathia," said the captain, and then he turned the nose of his boat toward the spot on t he horizon.

Then the huge black hull and one smokestack could be distinguished.

"It's the Carpathia," said the captain. "I can tell her by the stack."

The announcement sent a thrill through those who heard it. Here, at the gate of New York, was a ship whose record for bravery and heroic work would be a famuliar{sic} name in history.

{illust. caption = Copyright by G. V. Buck. MRS. LUCIEN P. SMITH

Formerly Miss Eloise Hughes, daughter of Representative and Mrs. James A. Hughes, of West Virginia. Mrs. Smith and her husband were passengers on the Titanic. Mrs. Smith was saved, but her husband went to a watery grave. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were married only a few months ago.}

{illust. caption = MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT

Military Aide to President Taft. Of Major Butt, who was one of the victims of the Titanic, one of the survivors said: "Major Butt was the real leader in all of that rescue work. He made the men stand back and helped the women and children into the boats. He was surely one of God's noblemen."}

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