Major Archibald Willingham Butt

Archibald Willingham Butt

Major Archibald Willingham Butt, 45, was born on 26 September 1865.

A resident of Washington DC, USA, Major Butt boarded the Titanic at Southampton with his friend Francis D. Millet. Travelling as a first class passenger (ticket number 113050, £26 11s), Major Butt occupied cabin B-38 .

An influential military aide to President William Howard Taft and President Theodore Roosevelt, Archibald Butt was born into a prominent Augusta, Georgia, family. After his graduation in 1888 from the University of the South in Tennessee, Butt began a career in journalism, first writing for the Louisville Courier Journal and later as a reporter in Washington for a group of Southern newspapers. While working in Washington he became secretary of the Mexican Embassy with General "Matt" Ransom, Confederate officer and former United States senator from North Carolina.

In 1898 Butt left Mexico to enter the United States army as a lieutenant during the Spanish-American War, and decided to make the military a second career. He served in the Philippines from 1900 to 1906, then in Cuba before becoming military aide to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Butt's health began to deteriorate in 1912 because of his attempts to remain neutral during the bitter personal quarrel between Roosevelt and Taft. Needing rest, he took six weeks' leave from the White House and sailed for Europe with his close friend Francis Millet, who was en-route to Rome on business at the American Academy which he directed. They were returning to Washington on the Titanic .

Following the disaster rumours circulated that Marie Grice Young had conversed with Major Butt during the sinking and she was forced to write to the president to set the record straight.

After their deaths the Millet-Butt Memorial Fountain was erected to their memory in Washington, DC.

Credits
Alan Hustak, Canada
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

References and Sources
Contract Ticket List , White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Alan Yorker, USA (Titanic Commutator Vol: 23, No. 145, 1999)

Pictures

Major Archibald W. Butt, U.S.A.

(1912) 

MAJOR ARCHIBALD W. BUTT, U.S.A.

 
Major Archibald Willingham Butt

(1908) 

MAJOR ARCHIBALD WILLINGHAM BUTT

 
Major Archibald Willingham Butt (1)

(1909) 

MAJOR ARCHIBALD WILLINGHAM BUTT (1)

 
M. Fallieres sends messages to King George and President Taft

(1908) 

M. FALLIERES SENDS MESSAGES TO KING GEORGE AND PRESIDENT TAFT

 
Portraits of famous Titanic passengers

(1912) 

PORTRAITS OF FAMOUS TITANIC PASSENGERS

 
Major Archibald W. Butt

(1912) 

MAJOR ARCHIBALD W. BUTT

 
Archibald W. Butt

(1912) 

ARCHIBALD W. BUTT

 
Major Archibald Butt

MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT

 
Major Archibald Butt studio portrait

MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT STUDIO PORTRAIT

 
Archibald Butt

(1912) 

ARCHIBALD BUTT

 
HENRY B. HARRIS, MAJ. ARCHIBALD BUTT, WILLIAM B. SILVEY

(1912) 

HENRY B. HARRIS, MAJ. ARCHIBALD BUTT, WILLIAM B. SILVEY

 
Newspaper photograph of Titanic victim Major Archibald Butt

(1912) 

NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPH OF TITANIC VICTIM MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT

 
Familiar Photographs of Major Archibald Butt

(1912) 

FAMILIAR PHOTOGRAPHS OF MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT

 

Articles and Stories

Epitaph for Major Butt

EPITAPH FOR MAJOR BUTT

 
Woman Faints When Told Butt Is Among Missing

Washington Times  (1912) 

WOMAN FAINTS WHEN TOLD BUTT IS AMONG MISSING

 
STRAUS MEMORIAL MEETING

New York Times  (1912) 

STRAUS MEMORIAL MEETING

 
PAINTING FOR BUTT FUND

New York Times  (1912) 

PAINTING FOR BUTT FUND

 
TAFT FEELS LOSS OF AIDE AS IF HE HAD BEEN BROTHER

Washington Times  (1912) 

TAFT FEELS LOSS OF AIDE AS IF HE HAD BEEN BROTHER

 
MANILA HONORS BUTT

New York Times  (1914) 

MANILA HONORS BUTT

 
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MAJ. BUTT TO BE HELD MAY 5TH

Washington Times  (1912) 

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MAJ. BUTT TO BE HELD MAY 5TH

 
MRS. CANDEE LAUDS MAJ. BUTT'S HEROISM

Washington Herald  (1912) 

MRS. CANDEE LAUDS MAJ. BUTT'S HEROISM

 
President and Friends Of Major Butt Fear He Went Down With Ship

Washington Times  (1912) 

PRESIDENT AND FRIENDS OF MAJOR BUTT FEAR HE WENT DOWN WITH SHIP

 
MAJ. BUTT' S PLACE NOT YET FILLED

Washington Herald  (1912) 

MAJ. BUTT' S PLACE NOT YET FILLED

 
For Butt-Millet Titanic Memorial

New York Times  (1912) 

FOR BUTT-MILLET TITANIC MEMORIAL

 
MAJOR BUTT MADE HIS WILL IN FEAR OF DEATH

Unidentified Newspaper  (1912) 

MAJOR BUTT MADE HIS WILL IN FEAR OF DEATH

 
NEW VERSION OF BUTT'S TRIP

New York Times  (1912) 

NEW VERSION OF BUTT'S TRIP

 
Butt A Courtier to Death, Says Woman

Cleveland Plain Dealer  (1912) 

BUTT A COURTIER TO DEATH, SAYS WOMAN

 
WIDENER WAS HEROIC TO END, SAYS FRIEND

Washington Times  (1912) 

WIDENER WAS HEROIC TO END, SAYS FRIEND

 
Arlington National Cemetery Cenotaph

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY CENOTAPH

 
WASHINGTON MAN TELLS HARROWING DETAILS OF WRECK

Washington Times  (1912) 

WASHINGTON MAN TELLS HARROWING DETAILS OF WRECK

 
MAJOR BUTT'S SUIT A WONDER

New York Times  (1912) 

MAJOR BUTT'S SUIT A WONDER

 
Loyal, says Taft of Butt

New York Post  (1912) 

LOYAL, SAYS TAFT OF BUTT

 
NATION MAY RAISE GREAT MEMORIAL TO DISASTER'S HERO

Washington Times  (1912) 

NATION MAY RAISE GREAT MEMORIAL TO DISASTER'S HERO

 
MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT (1)

New York Times  (1912) 

MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT (1)

 
SURVIVOR TELLS OF THE HEROISM OF CLARENCE MOORE

Washington Times  (1912) 

SURVIVOR TELLS OF THE HEROISM OF CLARENCE MOORE

 
FOR BUTT-MILLET MEMORIAL

New York Times  (1912) 

FOR BUTT-MILLET MEMORIAL

 
Major Butt Destroyed Papers

Lincoln Daily News  (1912) 

MAJOR BUTT DESTROYED PAPERS

 
DEATH OF MAJOR BUTT MOURNED BY WASHINGTONIANS

Washington Times  (1912) 

DEATH OF MAJOR BUTT MOURNED BY WASHINGTONIANS

 
[There are 39 more items in the Archibald Willingham Butt document archive]

External Links

Arlington National Cemetery Web Site (Unofficial): A. Butt Page ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY WEB SITE (UNOFFICIAL): A. BUTT PAGE  
The Illegitimate Daughter of Archibald Butt Titanica!  (2001)  THE ILLEGITIMATE DAUGHTER OF ARCHIBALD BUTT  
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