Like Scene on Stage," Says Dr. Alice Leeder in Letter to Mrs. Sarah Babcock
One of the most interesting accounts of the Titanic disaster which has come to light is in a letter written on board the Carpathia by Dr. Alice Leeder, New York, one of the survivors, after she had been transferred [sic] to the Carpathia in a lifeboat.
The letter is a personal communication addressed to Mrs. Sarah Babcock, 2033 Walnut st., this city. By the wavering of the handwriting, one can readily realize the state of mind in which it was written.
In the letter Dr. Leeder said there was no panic on board the Titanic, and that everyone who had to meet death met it with composure. She speaks of the generosity and kindness shown by the crew and passengers of the Carpathia in their treatment of the survivors. Following is the letter:
"Royal Mail Steamship Carpathia, Wednesday, April 16.
"My Dear Mrs. Babcock:
"We have been through a most terrible experience---the Titanic and above a thousand souls sunk on Monday about 3 o'clock in the morning. Margaret and I are safe, although we have lost everything. One of our party, also, Mr. Kenyon, was lost. He was such a charming man---so honorable and good. I sat talking to him a little before the accident---and a little later he was dead. His wife is crushed by the blow. I can say one thing, nothing could part me from my husband in time of danger. After floating about for four hours we were taken on board the steamer that was bound for Naples---but she is now taking us to New York.
"It is terrible to see the people who have lost their families and friends---one lady has lost $15,000 worth of clothing, and no one has saved anything. Many of the passengers have only their night clothes with coats over them. I shall never forget the sight of that beautiful boat as she went down, the orchestra playing to the last, the lights burning until they were extinguished by the waves. It sounds so unreal, like a scene on the stage. We were hit by an iceberg. We were in the midst of a field of ice; towers of ice; fantastic shapes of ice. It is all photographed on my mind. There was no panic. Every one met death with composure---as, one said, the passengers were a set of thoroughbreds.
"We are moving slowly toward New York. Everyone on this boat is so kind to us. Clothing and all the necessaries are at our convenience. I am attired in my old blue serge, a steamer hat; truth to tell, I am a sorry looking object to land in New York. This is rather a mixed up epistle, but please pardon lack of clearness of expression. If you want me, some time I will come to Philadelphia for a day or two in the future.
"With dear love,
"ALICE J. LEEDER."
Mrs. Babcock, together with several other members of the Quaker City Ladies' Motor Club, has been appointed as a committee to arrange a tea and reception to be held at the Majestic some day next week with Dr. Leeder as the guest of honor.