This is the only known letter from on board the Titanic that was dated April 15, 1912 – the date the Titanic struck the iceberg. The letter is written by Esther Hart, a second class passenger, and mother of Eva Hart who famously wrote “Shadow of the Titanic”. Esther, her husband Benjamin, and Eva were traveling to Canada to start a new life.
On the evening of the tragedy, Benjamin placed his sheepskin lined coat on Esther before she and Eva got in a lifeboat. Benjamin told Eva “You hold Mommy’s hand and be a good little girl”. Benjamin’s body was never found. Once rescued, Esther discovered the letter in the pocket of Benjamin’s coat where he had placed it for safekeeping.
The letter reads:
My Dear ones all, As you see it is Sunday afternoon and we are resting in the library after luncheon. I was very bad all day yesterday could not eat or drink and sick all the while, but today I have got over it. This morning Eva and I went to church and she was so pleased they sang “Oh God our help in ages past” that is her Hymn she sang so nicely. So she sang out loudly she is very bonny. She has had a nice ball and a box of toffee and a photo of this ship bought her today. Everybody takes notice of her through the Teddy Bear. There is to be a concert on board tomorrow night in aid of the Sailors’ Home and she is going to sing so am I.
Well, the sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now. There has been no tempest, but God knows what it must be when there is one. This mighty expanse of water, no land in sight and the ship rolling from side to side is being wonderful. Tho they say this Ship does not roll on account of its size. Any how it rolls enough for me, I shall never forget it. It is very nice weather but awfully windy and cold. They say we may get into New York Tuesday night but we are really due early Wednesday morning, shall write as soon as we get there. This letter won’t leave the ship but will remain and come back to England where she is due again on the 26th.
Where you see the letter all of a screw is where she rolls and shakes my arm. I am sending you on a menu to show you how we live. I shall be looking forward to a line from somebody to cheer me up a bit. I am always shutting my eyes and I see everything as I left it. I hope you are all quite well. Let this be an all round letter as I can’t write properly to all ’till I can set my foot on shore again. We have met some nice people on board, Lucy, and so it has been nice so far. But oh the long, long days and nights. It’s the longest break I have ever spent in my life. I must close now with all our fondest love to all of you.
From your loving Ess.
Heaps of love and kisses to all from Eva
(Photo credit: Invaluable.com)