Encyclopedia Titanica

Butt A Courtier to Death, Says Woman

Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Washington, April 19 – A graphic story of the heroism of Maj. Archibald W. Butt on the Titanic was told today in an interview given by Miss Marie Young, a former resident of Washington.1 Miss Young is believed to have been the last woman to leave the Titanic and the last of the survivors to have talked with the president’s military aid. She and Maj. Butt long had been friends, Miss Young having been assistant music instructor to the children of former President Roosevelt. Miss Young said:

“The last person to whom I spoke on board the Titanic was Archie Butt, and his good, brave face, smiling at me from the deck of the steamer was the last I could distinguish as the boat I was in pulled away from the steamer’s side.

“Archie put me into the boat, wrapped blankets around me, and tucked me in as carefully as if we were starting for a motor ride. He entered the boat with me, performing the little courtesies as calmly and with as smiling a face as if death was far away, instead of being but a few moments removed from him.

“When he had carefully wrapped me up, he stepped upon the gunwhale of the boat and lifting his hat smiled down at me.

“‘Goodbye, Miss Young,’ he said, bravely and smilingly. ‘Luck is with you. Will you kindly remember me to the folks back home?’

“Then he stepped to the deck of the steamer and the boat I was in was lowered to the water. It was the last boat to leave the ship; of this I am certain. And I know that I am the last of those who were saved to whom Archie Butt spoke.

“As our boat was lowered and left the side of the steamer, Archie was still standing at the rail, looking down at me. His hat was raised and the same old, genial, brave smile was on his face. The picture he made as he stood there, hat in hand, brave and smiling, is one that will always linger in my memory.”

[Editors' Note: Marie Young later disowned the substance of this account entirely. In a letter to President Taft, she explained that she did not know Major Butt and did not speak to him during the voyage. She claimed the account of their meeting was entirely fabricated.]


Inger Sheil, Australia


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) Butt A Courtier to Death, Says Woman (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #3047, published 22 June 2004, generated 22nd October 2021 02:50:43 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/butt-courtier-death-says-woman.html