Titanic's 'Last Letter' Going Up for Auction

Letter was written on day before ship sank, never sent

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 2, 2014 11:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – On the afternoon of Sunday, April 14, 1912, Esther Hart wrote a letter to her mother back in London. In it, she described being too sick to eat the day prior, but having felt better and attending a church service that morning—on board the RMS Titanic, which sunk early the next morning. Hart's husband, Benjamin, never had a chance to mail the letter before he perished, the BBC reports. Hart reportedly found it inside his jacket after she and daughter Eva were rescued—the jacket he had given her to keep her warm when he put her in a lifeboat as the boat sank. The letter will be auctioned April 26 in England.

The letter is "the only known surviving example of its type to have been written on that fateful day, surviving the sinking, and having belonged to such a well-known survivor," says an auctioneer at Henry Aldridge & Son. It was written on Titanic stationery embossed with the White Star Line's flag logo and the header, "On board RMS 'Titanic.'" The handwritten dateline reads, "Sunday afternoon." One line details the claim that the ship was not supposed to roll: "Anyhow it rolls enough for me," Hart wrote. The letter could fetch up to $166,000, the Mirror reports. (Another fascinating letter recently uncovered offers an inside look at the Titanic's final moments.)

This undated photo released by Spink Smythe shows an April 10, 1912-dated letter written on Titanic stationery, by first class passenger Adolphe Saalfeld of England; it was also auctioned off in 2009.
This undated photo released by Spink Smythe shows an April 10, 1912-dated letter written on Titanic stationery, by first class passenger Adolphe Saalfeld of England; it was also auctioned off in 2009.   (AP Photo/Spink Smythe)
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Well, the sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now. - A line from Esther Hart's letter

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