Encyclopedia Titanica

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.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Major Archibald Willingham Butt
Age: 46 years 6 months and 19 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Engaged
Last Residence: in Washington DC, United States
Occupation: Military
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 113050, £26 11s
Cabin No. B38
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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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)

Research Articles

Phillip Gowan Titanica! (2001) The Illegitimate Daughter of Archibald Butt
Scrutinising a sensational claim by Dorothy Eells

Newspaper Articles

Le Petit Journal (17 December 1908) M. Fallieres sends messages to King George and President Taft
President of French Republic feels concerned about Major Butt
New York Times (11 August 1911) TAFT AT PRESS CLUB DINNER
New York Times (3 March 1912) MAJOR BUTT'S SUIT A WONDER
New York Times (31 March 1912) ROME NOW CROWDED
New York Times (7 April 1912) Americans in Rome
New York Times (14 April 1912) WHY MAJOR BUTT, THE PRESIDENT'S AIDE, WENT TO ROME
Washington Times (15 April 1912) Newspaper photograph of Titanic victim Major Archibald Butt
Chicago American (16 April 1912) 300 OF TITANIC'S PASSENGERS WERE BOOKED AT PARIS
Washington Times (16 April 1912) Archibald Butt, Military Aide to President Taft
Washington Times (16 April 1912) HENRY B. HARRIS, MAJ. ARCHIBALD BUTT, WILLIAM B. SILVEY
Washington Times (16 April 1912) LIST OF WASHINGTONIANS ON FATED STEAMER GROWS
New York Times (16 April 1912) MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT (1)
Worcester Evening Post (16 April 1912) NO HOPE FOR MORE SURVIVORS
Washington Times (16 April 1912) President and Friends Of Major Butt Fear He Went Down With Ship
New York Times (16 April 1912) PRESIDENT TAFT STUNNED
Washington Times (16 April 1912) PRESIDENT'S AIDE AMONG PASSENGERS ON CRIPPLED SHIP
Washington Herald (17 April 1912) MAJ. BUTT TOLD FRIENDS HE HAD FEAR OF MISHAP
Le Petit Journal (17 April 1912) Major Archibald W. Butt
Public Ledger (17 April 1912) Major Archibald W. Butt, U.S.A.
New York Times (17 April 1912) NEW VERSION OF BUTT'S TRIP
Excelsior (17 April 1912) Portraits of famous Titanic passengers
New York Times (17 April 1912) TAFT CONCERNED FOR BUTT
Denver Post (18 April 1912) ARCHIBALD C. BUTT WAS TO HAVE BEEN MARRIED THIS FALL
Washington Times (18 April 1912) CAPITAL RESIDENTS IN NEW YORK FOR CARPATHIA'S COMING
Washington Herald (18 April 1912) MAJ. BUTT IS PAID TRIBUTE BY MASONS
(18 April 1912) Major Archibald Butt (LE MAJOR ARCHIBALD BUTT)
Washington Times (18 April 1912) Major Butt's Memory Honored By Masons
Washington Times (18 April 1912) Woman Faints When Told Butt Is Among Missing
CAPT. R. [sic] H. ROSTRON Washington Herald (19 April 1912) CAPT. ROSTRON TELLS OF RESCUE
Washington Times (19 April 1912) DEATH OF MAJOR BUTT MOURNED BY WASHINGTONIANS
Washington Times (19 April 1912) Familiar Photographs of Major Archibald Butt
Daily Home News (19 April 1912) HOME NEWS GAVE CITY FIRST NEWS OF CARPATHIA'S LANDING
Washington Times (19 April 1912) J. J. ASTOR ACTED BRAVELY, DECLARE MANY WHO SAW HIM
Col. John Jacob Astor kissed his bride good-by as he placed her in the waiting lifeboat.
New York Post (19 April 1912) Loyal, says Taft of Butt
Unidentified Newspaper (19 April 1912) MAJOR BUTT MADE HIS WILL IN FEAR OF DEATH
Washington Times (19 April 1912) MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MAJ. BUTT TO BE HELD MAY 5TH
Mrs. Churchill Candee Washington Herald (19 April 1912) MRS. CANDEE LAUDS MAJ. BUTT'S HEROISM
Washington Herald (19 April 1912) Newspaper Men All Mourn Maj. "Archie" Butt
Washington Times (19 April 1912) TAFT FEELS LOSS OF AIDE AS IF HE HAD BEEN BROTHER
Washington Times (19 April 1912) WASHINGTON MAN TELLS HARROWING DETAILS OF WRECK
Washington Times (19 April 1912) WIDENER WAS HEROIC TO END, SAYS FRIEND
Traction Magnate Kissed Wife Good-By, Then Went Back To Die
L'Excelsior (20 April 1912) Archibald W. Butt
Marie Young Washington Herald (20 April 1912) ARCHIE PUT ME IN A LIFEBOAT
Cleveland Plain Dealer (20 April 1912) Butt A Courtier to Death, Says Woman
Daily Home News (20 April 1912) Jersey Women Tell Thrilling Tales
Washington Times (20 April 1912) NATION MAY RAISE GREAT MEMORIAL TO DISASTER'S HERO
New York Times (20 April 1912) PRAISE ASTOR AND BUTT
New York Times (20 April 1912) Taft's Tribute to Butt
Washington Herald (21 April 1912) MAJ. BUTT' S PLACE NOT YET FILLED
Washington Times (22 April 1912) LIVED NOT IN VAIN, SAYS BUTT'S FRIEND
Washington Times (22 April 1912) SURVIVOR TELLS OF THE HEROISM OF CLARENCE MOORE
Banker Went to His Death Like a Man
Washington Times (22 April 1912) TAFT DENIES BUTT WENT ON MISSION TO THANK PONTIFF
New York Times (24 April 1912) Silent Toast to Major Butt.
Toronto Daily Star (25 April 1912) TITANIC SURVIVOR ARRIVES
Widow says husband at the rail with Butt and Millet at the end
New York Times (28 April 1912) MILLET MEMENTOS IN ROME
Lincoln Daily News (29 April 1912) Major Butt Destroyed Papers
New York Times (4 May 1912) STRAUS MEMORIAL MEETING
Le Soir (5 May 1912) Archibald Butt
New York Times (31 May 1912) BUTT-MILLET MEMORIAL
New York Times (9 June 1912) FOR BUTT-MILLET MEMORIAL
New York Times (9 June 1912) Friends of Major Butt Would Erect a Memorial Gymnasium at His Alma Mater, Sewanee, ...
New-York Tribune (2 August 1912) DISCREDIT BUTT MESSAGE
New York Times (23 August 1912) For Butt-Millet Titanic Memorial
New York Times (23 November 1912) Underwood Buys Major Butt's House
New York Times (5 December 1912) COL. GRACIE DIES, HAUNTED BY TITANIC
New York Times (15 December 1912) PAINTING FOR BUTT FUND
New York Times (19 June 1913) MONUMENT TO BUTT SOON
New York Times (24 October 1913) FOR BUTT-MILLET MEMORIAL (1)
New York Times (11 May 1914) MANILA HONORS BUTT
New York Times (1 August 1924) LOUIS BUTT DIES HERE
Brother of Roosevelt’'s Aid Was a Cotton Buyer of Georgia

Images

Arlington National Cemetery Cenotaph
The place chosen by Major Butt as his final resting place
Epitaph for Major Butt
Major Archibald Butt
From 'Sinking of the Titanic'
Major Archibald Butt studio portrait
From 'The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters'
Major Archibald Willingham Butt
Major Archibald Willingham Butt (1)
(1913) The Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain, 1913
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Credits

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

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2016) Archibald Willingham Butt (ref: #46, last updated: 5th February 2016, accessed 2nd December 2021 05:00:31 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/archibald-butt.html