Carpathia letter


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Dec 7, 2000
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I found this on the net and thought people might find this letter interesting to read.

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TITLE: On Board the R.M.S. "Carpathia"
SOURCE: Antiques & Collecting Magazine 105 no2 24-5 Ap 2000

Mr. Robert Dalby of Merrillville, Indiana shows off a cherished letter written to his grandmother, Mabel Dalby, of McKeesport, PA. Mabel's dear friend Empsie wrote the letter while she and her husband Hutch were honeymooning aboard the Cunard Liner Carpathia, the first ship to arrive and assist victims of the Titanic disaster. The British, luxury liner sank in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean on April 14-15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg, resulting in approximately 1,500 deaths. Mr. Dalby inherited the letter when his father died in 1999. We hope you will enjoy it.
Dear Old Mab.-
Upon going to my stateroom after the ship broke loose from New York dock, I was handed your cards to me, the card to Hutch and the letter to me. Golly they tasted good! You old same old, old same Mab to tuck inside the envelope a dainty remembrance for me. That dear little Madeira handkerchief! You may rest pretty secure on the point that it will never be laundried in some horrid foreign hotel where it can be rubbed to death and yours truly not at hand to say "nay." You would be surprised to see how Hutch appreciated his card too. He thought it pretty good. Of course you show your old self when you express regret that you are unable to go into Chicago and purchase for me everything in sight for my trip. It is just as well for both of us this once that you couldn't because I had to (illegible) my belongings to the very lowest point in order to get all in the quarters Hutch promised me. We worked to start out loosely loaded in order to have accommodations for cards trinkets and souvenirs as we go along. Not a bad idea either.
Ah Mab my dear pendant! It is this--Black are diamonds shaded stone is opal. Clusters of three around edge left white are whole pearls. The whole thing is set in platinum. The triangle at the top is the link for the chain to run through and on it are three diamonds. I am crazy for you to see it. I had to leave it and my engagement ring in Hutch's safe deposit box as I feared harm might come to them besides the worry over them would wear me out. I hated beyond all reason to leave them behind, especially the pendant as you know how crazy a girl is over something new.
Hutch's club gave us a set of sterling silver, beautiful, consisting of--1 doz knives, 1 doz forks, 1 doz small spoons, 1 doz soup spoons, 1/2 doz tablespoons-all matched. Plain Colonial pattern. Got 2 different $50.00 making a jolly $100. Got a cut glass punch bowl + stand from Papa's business associates, wonderfully beautiful. Got large sterling tea, coffee, sugar, cream and bowl set from business friend of Hutch's in Pgh. Got mahogany tray over two feet long from Katharine Deene; drop light from Dunnie; linens, several odd sets spoons & forks, water color picture, Copeley print, 1 1/2 doz Madeira napkins & your mother wrote me the dearest letter Mab. She is more than kind. Lunch cloth, brass candelabra, copper mission coffee & tea set, odd dippers (4), quilts, salad forks and smaller things I love dearly that which I haven't time to relate. People must love me after all, for people sent me things who didn't even know the exact date.
We dined at the Waldorf Astoria in N.Y. also at Murray's. Sailed the 11th and when out 1200 miles had the mission of picking up the survivors of the illfated "Titanic" thrust upon us. The horror of it all! The suffering and the grief when these poor people were on board was terrible. Of course some of our plans now have to be changed because we are late since returning to New York, but we were all very glad to be able to serve the poor grief stricken people in our humble way. And talk about a honeymoon! No spooning in it. I hardly saw my new found lord from Sunday to Thursday as we gave up our stateroom altogether that the two extra berths might be made up in it to accommodate four ship wrecked people, while we went into quarters with a man and a wife who eat at our table from St. Louis. Everyone doubled up all possible. You don't know how funny it was to sleep with that couple in the other half of the tiny room. We women turned in first in the two lowers and then the men came in after we drew our curtains. They rose first and dressed and got out and then we tackled it, us two women. They were jolly over it and we had lots of joking. We have been together all the time. No one dreams we are newly-weds and we told them we had been married over two years. You see we have gone together for so many years all the froth and goo-goo is absent which helps us run the bluff. One dear old man, a Judge from Adams, Mass., asked me yesterday, when talking about his young son seven years of age, whether we had any children. Honest! Well I said a weak "No" and knocked on wood. Ah me!
The honeymoon dearie has been badly eaten into by this horrible experience of which you have read in all papers. It has taken the spirits out of me and taken the beauty out of the sea. It is now a foe rather than nature's beauty.
Good-bye you old faithful soul, I love you as much as ever, which is pretty near a whole lot. Love to all. Hope wee Gordon is better.
Your same, Empsie
"At Sea" April 24-1912
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Aug 20, 2000
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Hi Daniel,

Thank you for posting that letter. It was very interesting.

Best regards,

Jason
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