Red hardcover copy of the Titanic Disaster: U.S. Senate Sub-Committee Hearings, by Senator William A. Smith. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1912. Red leather-bound cover, with a red and white marbled text block. Cover separated from spine, but intact.
Senator William Alden Smith, a Republican from Michigan, had sailed with Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic in 1906 and demanded an inquiry into the sinking. Finding that the Taft administration had no plans to launch such an inquiry, Smith asked the Senate to pass a resolution authorizing an investigation two days after the disaster. A special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee held the Titanic hearings, which began on April 19, 1912. Smith chaired the hearings, which were held at the Waldof-Astoria Hotel in New York City and the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. A total of 82 witnesses, including J. Bruce Ismay of the White Star Line, gave dramatic testimony about ignored ice warnings, the lack of lifeboats, the ship’s speed, the failure of nearby vessels to respond to Titanic’s distress calls, and the treatment of passengers of different classes. The hearings concluded on May 28, when Senator Smith visited Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic, at port in New York to interview members of her crew. Smith’s subcommittee issued a report that led to significant reforms in maritime safety. A rare volume documenting the famed Titanic hearings by the man who chaired them. RRAuction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.