Titanic letter suggests chairman Ismay responsible for collision

A letter implicating White Star Line chairman J Bruce Ismay in the Titanic disaster is valued at $10,000-15,000 ahead of an auction at Bonhams New York.

The letter, dating to April 18, 1913, offers written testimony from passenger Emily Ryerson.

Ryerson Ismay letter Titanic
The letter was written by Emily Ryerson and implicates chairman J Bruce Ismay in the collision

Ryerson recounts a conversation with Ismay hours before the collision that led her to believe he had ordered the crew to speed up while traversing the notoriously iceberg-filled waters of the North Atlantic.

"Mr. Ismay's manner was that of one in authority & the owner of the ship & that what he said was law," she writes.

Ryerson had recounted her version of events prior to the inquiry, in the summer of 1912, and while she mentioned the conversation at that time, she had not indicated that she believed Ismay had made the order.

The lot is featured in an auction of artefacts from the Caren archive, which will take place on April 7.

This facing slip recovered from the body of the Titanic's postal clerk is to auction on February 12 at Daniel F Kelleher.

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