‡ R.M.S. CARPATHIA: An exceptional pair of letters written by Eleanor Danforth onboard Carpathia during the voyage where she picked up Titanic's survivors. The principal is a dramatic account written over eleven sides on Royal Mail Steamship Carpathia stationery and dated April 17th 1912 and offers the reader a first person account of life onboard the Carpathia and the rescue of Titanic's survivors, an abridged version is below. (sic)
I waked up about 2:30 to wonder why there was so much running around and talking in the corridor. Then I realized that the engine had quickened the speed and it flashed into my mind that possibly we were hurrying to some ship in distress. I tried to get it out of my mind, but I finally rang for the steward and then minutes later we were dressing with all haste. I went on deck, and even in the darkness I could see the glimmer of the iceberg they had struck--then some five miles away. Shortly, to my disgust, the little English doctor very politely drove me back to my stateroom. However, I soon discovered a port hole in the passageway where I could
See, and there I watched the first boat come in, the people climbing the ladder up the side of the ship or being pulled up in a swing sort of thing. A bag was let down for the babies and children. Shortly after we went up on deck again, and the boats came in one by one.
We seemed to be so perfectly helpless, there didn't seem to be much to do except stand around and watch. I did manage to get hold of two little French children (about 1½ and 3 years old) who came on half naked and got them dressed and fed and warm and taken care of. Then, I have given away underclothes, a shirt, waist, and so forth, but as I had taken as few things as I possibly could get along with, and most of those weren't suitable for what was wanted, I couldn't do much in that line.
Everything and everywhere is filled with people. We have two people in our stateroom - a girl and her mother who are both ever so nice, and we were fortunate in having people who have the rest of their family on board as they are much more cheerful. The staterooms are all full--people sleeping in the bathtubs, on the floors, on and under dining room tables where mattresses have been placed, men all mixed up with each other in the smoking room.
One woman was overheard blowing up our steward because there was kerosene in her glass of water. She said she didn't come on board this ship to get poisoned. They have had wonderfully good treatment on board this ship. Everyone has done everything-given away clothes and doubled up in their own staterooms and all kinds of other nice things. They say that when the REPUBLIC went down the rescuing passengers and crew were horrid to the rescued ones. (Stet)
The second is written on April 13th 1912 on Carpathia stationery, also included is a period newspaper cutting describing Ms Danforth's experiences.
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