Archibald Butt Tribute

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Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby Gail » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:00 pm

Came across this yesterday while reading an old book. Robert J Burdette (no relation to me ;) ), was a humorist/writer and clergyman. The attachment is a tribute he made to Archibald Butt in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster. I thought someone might be interested in it.
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Re: Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby VW1956 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:07 pm

Hello J G Burdette. Nice find. I have certainly not seen that before. Another piece of the history of Titanic. Ken.
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Re: Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:46 pm

No Ken I haven't seen that before either. However it is a really lovely tribute but so sad too. It is certainly another piece of Titanic's history and well worth the read.
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Re: Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby Dave Gittins » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:47 am

They don't write 'em like that anymore!

It's pretty typical of the extravagant praise handed out after the sinking. George Bernard Shaw remarked that those who had never heard of Captain Smith before "wrote of him as they would hardly write of Nelson." I fancy Butt died as miserably as anybody that night, but it wasn't done to say so.
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Re: Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby Achmet Pamba » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:29 pm

Robert, thanks for sharing that item about Archie. The memorial service in question took place in Washington on May 5, 1912, and the address you've shared with us was originally supposed to be read by Secretary of War Henry Stimson. In addition to "Major Butt the Soldier," other addresses were about "Major Butt the Georgian" (delivered by Georgia Senator Hoke Smith), "Major Butt the Washingtonian Newspaperman" and "Major Butt the Mason." The opening address was delivered by President Taft, who described his friendship with Archie and the latter's duties as a military aide, and the interior of the National Theater was crammed with so many people that an additional three thousand mourners were turned away at the door.

Archie Butt was a tremendously popular person in 1912, and the fact that this huge memorial service was dedicated solely to him says a lot about the kind of man he was and the reason why he had so many friends.

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Re: Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby Gail » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:47 pm

Thanks for the additional information, Achmet. I wasn't aware of that.

Edit: The attached document in my first response is a page from the book "Robert J. Burdette: His Message".
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Re: Archibald Butt Tribute

Postby sinuhe » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:41 pm

Not only a memorial service, but a more consistent tribute to Major Butt and his long time friend, the distinguished american painter Frank Millet, was erected in Washington. The Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain is a memorial fountain located in the President's Park in Washington, D.C. Dedicated in October 1913, it commemorates the deaths of Archibald Butt (the military aide to President William Howard Taft) and Francis Davis Millet (a journalist and painter, and Butt's close friend and housemate). Both men died during the sinking, only Millet's body was recovered. An inscription around the lip of the bowl reads: "In memory of Francis Davis Millet - 1846-1912 - and Archibald Willingham Butt - 1865-1912. This monument has been erected by their friends with the sanction of Congress."

Butt lived in a large mansion at 2000 G Street NW (now demolished).Since about 1910, Butt and Millet had lived together in the house. (Millet's wife, Lily, resided in the Millet home in Italy.) "Millet, my artist friend who lives with me" was Butt's designation for his companion. They were known for throwing spartan but large parties that were attended by members of Congress, justices of the Supreme Court, and President Taft himself.

I think Major Butt was a god man, as well as Millet, and if he helped loadind the boats or remained an observer as Walterd Lord points out, it is of no importance. None of them jumped into the boats or tried to make their way to one. Of the passengers of Titanic, both men are my favorite figures and I always admired them, Sinuhe.
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