This vivid account, written by Dr. Washington Dodge on RMS Carpathia stationary, helps us visualize the Titanic's final hours. He describes the calm of some of the officers who loaded the lifeboats, the ordering of boats to be lowered into the water, and figuring out how to use oars to row forward and away from Titanic. Additionally, Dr. Dodge recounts the chilling final moments of what was once thought to be the unsinkable ship: "We observed the closing incidents the gradual submergence of the ship forward - The final extinguishment suddenly of all her lights - The final plunge downward." Read his full letter to learn more about the experience of Dodge and his family as this dreadful event unfolded.
This article tells the stories of 6 Titanic survivors: Elizabeth Shutes, Laura Mabel Francatelli, Charlotte Collyer, Lawrence Beesley, Florence Ismay, and Eva Hart. Shutes describes the experience of men aboard her lifeboat losing their oars due to frozen hands, while Beesley explains her thoughts about her lifeboat: "I shall never say again that 13 is an unlucky number. Boat 13 is the best friend we ever had." Read on to find out more about how each of these individuals describes that fateful night.
In this video interview, Eva Hart, a Titanic survivor, shares a great insight about the sinking of the Titanic. She remembers her mother describing hitting the iceberg as "It was just like a train pulling into a station; it just jerked.” Hart goes on to talk about her father getting their coats and going up on deck to board the "all-too-few" lifeboats stating, “There wasn’t any panic until the lifeboats left, and then there was panic galore.” She shares what it was like to see the ship sink and hear other passengers drowning. By listening to her recollection of these events, we can get a small glimpse of what the experience was like for people that day.
The Library of Congress shares this photograph of a group of Titanic passengers. In this image, they have boarded a lifeboat and are rowing toward the Carpathia, the rescue ship. What can you tell about the people on the lifeboat? Are there any conclusions you can draw from this image? What kind of conversations do you think they would be having? Or would it be silent?
This photograph from the Library of Congress is a snapshot of a group of survivors from the Titanic after being rescued by the RMS Carpathia. What can we conclude from this image about the conditions aboard the Carpathia and the mood of the passengers?
Mrs. Washington Dodge tells the story of her journey on the Titanic in this descriptive and honest firsthand account. She describes exiting the ship in lifeboats with her husband and 5-year-old son. Additionally, she explains how many of the lifeboats were only half filled, but "The most terrible part of the experience was that awful crying after the ship went down." Finally, Mrs. Dodge describes her time aboard the RMS Carpathia after being rescued stating, “Too much cannot be said of the kindness of the Carpathia’s passengers." Her story provides a powerful example of one passenger's feelings from the hitting of the iceberg to the eventual rescue by the Carpathia.
In this Newsela article, Harold Bride (22), one of the telegraph operators aboard the Titanic the night of its sinking describes his experience as the tragedy unfolded. At first, he and others were not worried, "even joking about it." However, as the ship began to tilt and Phillips, the other telegraph operator, began to signal for help, Bride realized the seriousness of the situation. In this firsthand account, he describes Phillips as "a true hero" who continued to send distress signals long after the captain told him he could leave. This chilling primary sources puts readers aboard the Titanic and thinking along with Harold Bride as the precious moments tick away before the Titanic is submerged underwater...