The Washington Herald

Titanic Survivor, in Ill Health for Some Time, Expires in New York
His Book on "The Truth About the Titanic" Was Soon to Have Been Issued
Col. Archibald Gracie, famous for his remarkable escape from the Titanic
disaster after having helped many women into the lifeboats, died yesterday
morning in the St. Louis Hotel. 34 East Thirty-second Street, New York. He
had been in ill health for some time, and his physicians attributed his
death directly to the effects of exposure after being cast from the deck of
the sinking Titanic.

Col. Gracie's wife and daughter, Miss Edith Temple Gracie, were with him
when he died. He was fifty-four years old. The funeral will be held
to-morrow afternoon at 2 o'clock at Calvary Church, New York.

President Taft received a letter yesterday morning from Col. Gracie dated 3
a. m., December 2. Col. Gracie was in a depressed state of mind because of
his ill health, and one of the President's first tasks yesterday morning was
to write a letter of encouragement to him. The letter was mailed before the
news of his death was received at the White House.

Col. Gracie, who was a personal friend of Mr. Taft, visited the White House
shortly after the disaster to give the President information of the death of
Maj. Archibald W. Butt.

On November 23 Col. Gracie recounted to the members of the University Club
his experiences on the night of the disaster and at that time spoke of
having developed trouble with the ears and throat from the cold suffered
during his escape and said that he expected he would have to undergo an

Well Known in Capital

Col. Gracie was well known in both Washington and New York, dividing his
time between the two cities. When in Washington he lived at his home at 1527
Sixteenth Street Northwest and in New York he lived at the Union Club. He
was engaged in the real estate business there and had offices at 136

The debut of Miss Gracie, which took place Thanksgiving Day at the Hotel
Gotham, called Col. Gracie from Washington. There was a large assemblage of
society and army people at the coming-out party.

The Gracie family was originally Scotch, but had been in the United States
since Revolutionary days, and in New York was known as one of the old
Knickerbocker lines. Archibald Gracie, the grandfather of Col. Gracie,
settled in New York after leaving Scotland, and became one of the trio of
big merchants that made that city a commercial center in the early part of
the nineteenth century.

Col. Gracie's father went to New Orleans four years before the opening of
the civil war, and fought through the four years of the war as a general,
commanding the largest division of the Confederate forces, Bushrod Johnson's

Author of Some Note

Mrs. Gracie was Constance E Schack, of Danish descent. Col. Gracie was an
author of some note. At the time of the wreck he was returning from England
where he had been gathering data for a book on the war of 1812. The loss of
the manuscript was accounted by him his most grievous loss. He had also
written "The Truth About the Battle of Chickamauga" and "The Truth About the
Titanic" was soon to have gone to press.

In his story of his escape from the Titanic, Col Gracie said:

"Then down I went into the waters below, drawn beneath by the suction.

"How great was the depth to which I went I cannot say. Had it been of
greater extent than twenty-five feet, undoubtedly the blood would have
rushed from my nose and ears. My chief concern was to escape from being
boiled, as I at this time expected the water to boil from the engines below.

"When I reached the surface, finally, there was nothing to be seen about me
but a great field of wreckage of every sort and description. I learned later
that one of the funnels had fallen from the ship before I reached the
surface, and splashed its waves over young Mr. Thayer and the second
officer, who thought that the funnel would fall upon him.

"My first efforts were devoted to getting toward a mass of wreckage
consisting principally of a crate-shaped mass of wood but when I saw a short
distance beyond a boat upside down, with men struggling on it. I struck out
in that direction, took hold of one man's hand, and lifted my legs over and
secured a position thereon with members of the Titanic's crew."

Related Biographies:

Archibald Gracie IV


Original article digitized by the Library of Congress
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,

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