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
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)

(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.)

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Titanic's 'Last Letter' Going Up for Auction is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 4 comments
Apr 2, 2014 8:53 PM CDT
It has to be remembered that there are still unanswered questions,m even suspiciously unsettled issues about the event, enough to suggest that the entire thing was a fake. Among the first and foremost issues, no ship designer would consider providing too few lifeboats, and absolutely no captain would even be so arrogant as to set sail with too few lifeboats! The matter of the S.S. Californian is also eminently questionable. It was reportedly within viewing distance of S.S. Titanic for a long time. It saw the Titanic on the horizon. And, at that time, Titanic's accident had already occurred and it was listing. Supposedly, the tilt was seen on Californian, but it was taken for granted that it was “due to the angle at the horizon. No one who spent any time on the ocean would make a mistake like that! And, if there was the slightest question of another seafarer's safety, no seaman would take the chance not to make sure! Despite being within sight of each other, only about ten miles distance between them, no one evidently on Titanic or Californian tried contacting the other by light. Titanic was sending up emergency rockets, but Californian assumed they were just celebratory displays, again, something not a single seaman would summarily assume without making sure! And, being that close, Titanic could have sent a boat out with some sailors or passengers right to Californian to notify them of what was happening. Another mystery that has never been explained, or even addressed, is why, in the film of Titanic leaving Southampton, the names of the tugboats helping it leave are all blanked out! There are uncoordinated scratches on the film over the stern of every tug, obscuring their name! Too, in a separate film of Captain Smith of the Titanic, possibly on the deck of the ship, maybe not, there is a placard in a window in the background, and the material on that placard has also been scratched out! A significant point that no one wants to touch is the lie about the band playing on the deck as the ship went down. The temperature was below freezing. Comparable to the temperature during Barack Obama's first inauguration. During that inauguration, the temperature was reportedly so cold that Itzhak Perlman's violin and Yo Yo Ma's cello would not play! They had to have music played form a tape! The temperature should have been too cold for the band's instruments to play, as well! Too, in that cold weather, they would not be able to play without gloves, but the gloves would get in the way of the playing if they wore them! It appears that a number of individuals were facing severe legal problems and they arranged to disappear in this way. The “official story” of the Titanic is a lie.
Apr 2, 2014 3:45 PM CDT
Very interesting!
Apr 2, 2014 1:21 PM CDT
I get a sinking feeling about this.