1976 letter from Mrs. Snyder about her experience on Titanic

By letter postmarked 11/22/76, Mrs. Rawley Miller (Mrs. Snyder's daughter) was so wonderful as to send me the following typewritten letter, signed by Mrs. Snyder, with a handwritten note from Mrs. Miller.

Dear Mr. Foley: I only wish you were here so I could talk to you as I have so many people the last sixty years. I am glad you have done a lot of research on the Titanic for it would be most difficult to tell you the whole story.

Your idea of some personal things that happened to us and some of the feelings we had abut the Titanic will help condense this letter.

First, I must tell you that Captain Smith was the captain of thee ship we took to Europe to start our wedding trip. Upon leaving New York, he gave orders to go ahead before he gave order to untie from the pier. Not too serious but a little frightening as we almost took the whole pier with us! Secondly, when we arrived in Gibraltar, Captain Smith ran on a sand bar so it was impossible for us to go ashore, and most disappointing. Our next stop was Naples and we were mighty glad to leave the ship for we had a feeling Captain Smith would have a third mishap.

After traveling three months in Europe, we arrived in Southampton and found our reservations for our return home had been transferred to the Titanic "The Greatest Ship in the World". Our only concern was who the captain might be. We were told we would have the notice at dinner the day of departure. To our horror, it was Captain Smith!!

We never saw him again until the "Night to Remember" his third and last mishap!

We were very fortunate for as a rule women and children are saved first but everyone had heard that the Titanic was unsinkable so refused to get into the lifeboats. Captain Smith was frantic and finally asked us ten brides and grooms to set an example and get in the lifeboat. It was frightening as the ship was listing so much we had to be literally thrown out to the lifeboat and lowered 84 feet. It was a terrifying experience for the crew (two young boys) had never been in a lifeboat before so didn't know about putting in the plug. Consequently, the boat soon filled with ice water up to our knees. Many people froze to death. The Carpathia came to our rescue in about five hours and we brides and grooms and many others were pulled up in the baskets on the the Carpathia. We never left each other, but just sat on the floor and shook. Finally one bride became very cheerful and told us about having had her fortune told in Cairo. She was told she would be in a shipwreck then an earthquake and finally an automobile accident. We all became more cheerful and realized we had to get to dry land sooner or later to be in an earthquake. It gave us a new lease on life and we could hardly wait to hear whether the Carpathia was going to a foreign country or New York. New York was decided upon and in four or five days we were on home land. I know you have read all about our arrival which was so sad for many and joyful for others.

I am sorry to say Mr. Snyder died of a heart attack on the golf course in 1959, one of the reasons I did not attend the Titanic meeting. Hoping to meet you some day. Sincerely, Mrs. John Snyder.

What a wonderful letter from two wonderful ladies. I am very happy to share this with my friends at Titanica. Cheers......Dennis

Related Biographies:

John Pillsbury Snyder
Nelle Snyder


Dennis Foley


Encyclopedia Titanica (2007) 1976 letter from Mrs. Snyder about her experience on Titanic ( ref: #5438, published 5 January 2007, generated 1st August 2020 01:06:52 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/1976-letter-from-mrs-snyder-about-her-experience-titanic.html