TLS signed “Frank,” two pages, 8.5 x 11, Frank C. Snyder Real Estate letterhead, April 18, 1912. Letter from Frank Snyder, the brother of John Snyder, a Titanic passenger who survived the sinking. In full, (with spelling and grammar retained): “As you can well imagine we have been under a pretty severe strain for the past three or four days on account of the wrecking of the Titanic on which boat John and Nellie sailed. The first intimation we had of the accident was Monday morning when the papers came out, with an account of the collision stating that the boat had struck the berg but, saying that, other ships were headed for them and that the ship was floating and could be kept afloat until relief was received also saying that the first boat would reach them about ten thirty Monday morning. This was confirmed, from time to time, during the day by the White Star Line so we had no particular apprehension all day Monday and knew nothing different until about nine thirty Monday evening when a wireless was flashed over the lines that the boat had gone down at two twenty Monday morning then we knwe [sic] that only those who had succeeded in getting into the life boats were likely to be saved and you can imagine the anxiety and strain we were under until morning when the wireless reported a list of the names picked up by the Carpathia from the life boats some six or eight hours after the Titanic had sunk and were over joyed to find that the names of John and Nelle were among those reported saved. This was published in the morning Tribune and shortly after Cromwell, at the garage received a dispatch from the New York office over the signature of the White Star Line confirming the first report.
Later Victor Beam also confirmed it and still later Addison Parry, and today Thursday, Mrs. Seavenson received a wireless from Nell, signed by her saying "both save.” Edward and I joined in a cable to you Tuesday and sent it to Trudy instructing her to forward it to you as we did not know your address. This you evidently had not received Wednesday morning when you cabled to me. I at once responded repeating the good news and hope it reached you about dinner time last night, as there is some six or eight hours difference in time. We have had very few particulars since the first reports as the Carpathia will give out nothing over the wireless except the names of those rescued, not even to the United States boats in touch with them by wireless.
There is very severe criticism against the White Star Line as they evidently knew all day Monday that the boat had gone down and in the face of this continued to send out statements that she was till afloat and even said she was being towed hoping to get her into shallow water. The Carpathia is due to reach New York at eleven or twelve o'clock to night, and we hope then for more particulars Edward and Sarah have gone to New York and Mr. and Mrs Williams were there at the time of the accident. Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson started east Monday but on hearing that both were safe on the Carpathia came back home. It is most fortunate and we have not been able to figure out, how John managed it in face of the fact that women and children were given first attention and it is evident that, only those who succeeded in getting into the life boats were saved, all the others apparently everyone who remained on the ship going down with the boat. The experience of those in the boats between the time that the ship struck and the time of rescue, about ten o'clock the next morning, must have been awful, exposed, as they were, to the bitter cold with scant protection from the elements, however this is insignificant compared with the fact that they were both alive and well.
What a pity to have their wedding trip clouded by such a tragedy. Not having heard from them as to their plans do not know if they will come right home or not but expect, that they will. Lillie and I have wired them to come to us at once and stay until they know what they want to do. I expect, however, that Nell will want to be at home for a short time, at least. The whole thing is horrible and I cant but think that the Captain was at fault as he had been warned by wireless that the ice bergs were in the path of the incoming ships and still he plowed ahead at "something more than half speed" as ported. It would look as if he was trying to make a record for the ship on its first trip regardless of consequences. He evidently made it but in a different way. Lillie and I reached home Friday Mch. 29th after thirty one days of perfect weather and a most delightful program and no rough water for our landings, a month of summer weather through the tropics and West India islands. I do not know whether you have heard it or not but some of the papers are using your name as a possible candidate for Governor. This will give you something in a political way to think over. With best wishes, a pleasant continuation of your trip and a safe return Lillie and I join in love to all.” In good to very good condition, with partial separations along very fragile horizontal mailing folds, some paper loss to edges, scattered toning and soiling, and a few creases.
In the aftermath of the sinking, the scope of the disaster was not immediately clear on shore. Philip Franklin, who headed the White Star Line’s New York office, did his best to prevent the Associated Press from running the story about the ship, saying he had “absolute confidence in the Titanic... We are not worried about the ship but we are sorry for the inconvenience of the passengers.” Contradictory reports ran in the April 15 newspaper headlines: the New York Times reported the liner had sunk with tremendous loss of life, while the Washington Post assured that all of the ship’s passengers had been saved by a Cunard vessel. At the White Star Line, the message remained rosy. While Canada’s Government Marine Agency in Halifax reported the Titanic was sinking, Franklin reported that “all passengers are saved, and the Virginian is towing the Titanic towards Halifax.” Meanwhile, families of the victims thronged the White Star Line offices for news. Franklin finally received a telegram confirming that the ship had sunk and notified the press. John and Nelle Snyder arrived in New York aboard the Carpathia on April 18. A rare account of the experience of a Titanic survivor’s family member. RRAuction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.