Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trenton Men Aboard Titanic... Washington A. Roebling II Among Hundreds of Passengers

Trenton Evening Times, April 15, 1912-

"Trenton Men Aboard Giant Titanic Which Meets Disaster in Ice: Washington A. Roebling II, and Stephen W. Blackwell Among Hundreds of Passengers Who Are Taken Off in Lifeboats When Maiden Voyage Seemed Likely to End in Sinking of World's Biggest Vessel" [1]

"Returning to their homes in Trenton after a two month pleasure trip abroad, Washington A. Roebling II and Stephen W. Blackwell were abroad the ocean liner Titanic, which encountered icebergs last night and is said to be so badly damaged that her passengers had to be put to sea in lifeboats, being later taken on other vessels which responded to wireless calls for help.

Frank Stanley, Mr. Roebling's chauffeur, was also a passenger on the ship, the Trenton men having taken automobiles with them.

While no word has been received direct from either Roebling or Blackwell, it is anticipated that they are safe, as no casualties have been reported." [2]

The article continues by stating that the Titanic is being held afloat by her water tight compartments and moving slowly toward Nova Scotia. Titanic's automatic bulk heads are also mentioned as preventing the sinking of the ship.

I'm so accustomed to today's age of instant information and communication, that I forget how long details and truths of events took to become known. Two years ago I posted on the sinking of the S.S. Arctic in 1854 and the amount of time it took (2 weeks) after the sinking for the news to reach New York.

Today, one hundred years later, we know what happened on this date. But on April 15, 1912, news of Washington Roebling's fate remained uncertain, though it was presumed he was safe, having left Titanic in a lifeboat.

First in a series on Washington A. Roebling II and his voyage aboard Titanic based on articles that appeared in the Trenton Evening Times in 1912.

Disclaimer: I am not a descendant of the Roebling family. I first discovered Washington A. Roebling II's story over a year ago while researching his older sister, Emily Margaretta Roebling Cadwalader (1879-1941), wife of my great-great uncle, Richard McCall Cadwalader (1877-1960). I've intended to post his story for some time, and as April 15, 2012 approached, felt that it was an appropriate time.

[1] [2] "Trenton Men Aboard Giant Titanic Which Meets Disaster in Ice," Trenton Evening Times, 15 April 1912, pg. 1. Online. GenealogyBank : Accessed 12 April 2012.

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