Major Archibald Butt

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Hi, all! (and Doug Willingham, please take note.) :)

I've just received a brand new book which, although not a Titanic book, is nevertheless a volume that serious passenger researchers will want to take a look at.

The book was written by my friend Michael Bromley and is titled "William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency." The book is a reappraisal of the Taft presidency as well as an examination of the role of the automobile in Taft's administration and the politics of the Titanic era.

What does this have to do with the Titanic, you ask? Well, Michael made major use of the letters written by Archie Butt during the Taft administration, and his book contains dozens and dozens of references to Archie throughout its entire length. (The book's cover even contains a photograph of Archie that will probably be unfamiliar to most people.)

The book is 439 pages long and contains dozens of photographs. (There is even a photo of Archie and the other three members of Taft's "Golf Cabinet"; Archie is dressed in civvies and is wearing a homburg hat, and -- from his appearance -- you'd swear that President Taft was playing golf with Adolf Hitler!) :)

Although Michael's book was not written with the casual Titanic buff in mind, it will *definitely* be of interest to those passenger and crew researchers who would like to 'delve beneath the surface' and learn more about the day to day life of one of the Titanic's most prominent victims.

Any ET members who might be interested in obtaining a copy of Michael's book should contact me via email for ordering information.

All my best,


Thanks a lot for posting about this new book! Doug's going to be thrilled to hear about it. He's away this weekend but I'm copying this thread and forwarding it to him so he won't miss it on his return.


Thank you for the heads up on Michael Bromley's, "William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency". It's a must have. George, I checked out the site you gave me, and practically every image of Taft in a motor car also shows Archie. Regarding his egg nog recipe and New Year's Day party, included in this book, his published letters on this are among my favorites. One of his mother's family who lives in Augusta recently informed me that the recipe appears also in "A White House Christmas", by Alvin Rosenbaum, and that he submitted it for inclusion in the collection of recipes of members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Augusta where Archie was baptised.

Randy, the numerous images of Archie in this new book support your theory that a little time spent with the Library of Congress photograph division would probably produce tens, perhaps a hundred images of Archie, especially if one did a thorough search for Taft photographs, too. I'm sure many of us could spot Archie among the men surrounding Taft in any number of photos, as he would seldom have been identified.

A prized image would surely be Archie on the S.S. Berlin, sailing from New York, or any photograph of him in Rome before he started home. To me, candids are the most revealing and intimate images. To catch him in conversation, perhaps chuckling over an amusing story, or in a receiving line showing him facilitating introductions as the President's chief social aide, would say so much more than the stiff, formal portraits of him with which we are all familiar.

Bit by bit, with the help of writers and researchers such as Bromley, Behe and Bigham, and eventually perhaps even Willingham, we might further reveal the man who was Archie Butt and in a sense restore him and his humanity to a world that has for the most part forgotten him.

Best regards,
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