Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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Was Passenger on Titanic at the Whim of Close Friend
Richard B. Watrous, Secretary of the American Civic Association, with offices in Washington, watched the bulletin boards in Times Square with great anxiety yesterday to see if any mention would came of the saving of Major Archibald Butt or Frank D. Millet, Secretary of the American Academy in Rome. When the name of "Mr. Mile" appeared among the list of those saved Mr. Watrous became overjoyed, declaring this must mean Mr. Millet, since the French pronounced his name as if it were spelled "Millay."

"A thing which has completely unstrung me about this situation," said Mr. Watrous, "was the fact that I was a witnessed [sic] of the manner in which Millet pleaded with Major Butt to go to Europe with him for a rest and the manner in which Millet pleaded with the President to order Major Butt to go with him when the President demurred.

"No Damon and Pythias friendship could have been closer than the friendship of Major Butt and Millet," said Mr. Watrous. "The two kept quarters together and were inseparable when both were in Washington. They lived near the Metropolitan Club, Butt being, as is well known, a bachelor, and Mr. Millet's family being quartered at his home in England.

"We had a little luncheon club in Washington, composed of Secretaries of National associations located in Washington, and to this club Millet often came, as he was Secretary of the President's Commission on Fine Arts.

"In February Millet returned from Rome, where he had been to superintend the arrangement of some new buildings in the recently acquired home of the American Academy. In the six weeks that Millet had been absent in Rome President Taft had been making a strenuous campaign tour, and had just returned from it.

"Millet noticed that Major Butt was looking paler than usual, and generally run down. He announced to us his determination that Major Butt should return with him to Rome for a little rest, and that he would surely take him along in a few weeks, since he himself had to go on business connected with the academy.

Major Butt was requested to ask for a leave so that he might make the trip, but he would not do so. Millet then went to the President and made the request that he urge Major Butt to go along. There was a good deal of chaffing about it in Washington, but they finally put off together, and every one wished them a fine trip. Among all of us who knew of the close friendship of Major Butt and Mr. Millet there has been the tensest of feeling since the news of disaster to the Titanic reached us."


Mark Baber, USA


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) NEW VERSION OF BUTT'S TRIP (New York Times, Wednesday 17th April 1912, ref: #3900, published 6 October 2004, generated 18th October 2021 11:23:15 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/new-version-butts-trip.html