The Diary of J.J. Astor, RMS Titanic

The diary of:
John Jacob Astor
From April 10-April 14 1912

April 10, 1912

Everyone is excited and hurried to board the magnificent Titanic. As I write this I myself am filled with a sense of adventure and discovery. Once my dear wife decided to join me on this wonderful voyage, I knew that this would be the chance of a lifetime.


As soon as I had heard of the Titanic I knew that I had to board the ship on its first voyage. Even though the cost for first class suites was high, I had no trouble raising money to pay for the voyage for my pregnant wife and me. The only problem, my wife is pregnant, and that means she gets sick more easily. She took a little coaxing, but then she was good to go.

Even the restrooms are overflowing with a sense of excite. First classmen are discussing the amazing capabilities of the Titanic with Third classmen. Sentences such as “I can’t believe I am going to board the Titanic!” and “She is unsinkable and extremely powerful” were floating around. Everyone was speaking of the Titanic as if she belonged to them, and nobody felt left out. When one boy said excitedly, “What if she sinks?” we all laughed and reminded him that this was the indestructible ship. Everything about this day seems to be jovial.

We have just boarded. Everyone is in awe of the magnificence of the Titanic. After shown our accommodations, we were given a brief tour of the Titanic’s first class deck. We were shown the swimming pool, the stateroom, the lounge, and the grand staircase. The grand staircase was very grand indeed. My wife has now left to spend some time in the spa, in hopes of lessening her seasickness and back aches.

April 12, 1912

My manservant, Hindes, has just returned with an invitation from Mr. Baxter, whose suite is just down the hall from mine. Mr. Baxter’s letter said that he was a business man, and that he would like to meet me, as I am a famous millionaire. I walked down the hall, and told him that I agreed and that we should meet in the stateroom. Mr. Baxter excitedly suggested the 14th, around 11:30 p.m., for by then things may have hopefully slowed down a tad bit. I agreed, but was surprised at the delayed time.

April 13, 1912

I have heard that the Titanic has received ice warnings from ships ahead. Pish Posh, as my dear mother would say. The Titanic is indestructible!
April 14, 1912

After speaking with Captain Smith, I have been reassured that a little ice is no danger to the Titanic. I swam in the pool today. While floating along on my back I reminisced about my recent 47th birthday. My wife and I took a visit to China, and had a splendid time. We are currently planning on visiting Bermuda for my 48th birthday. It should be very nice there.

The talk of icebergs has aroused many passengers and crewman. Arguments have become frequent, and many people have and are praying to avoid collision. I myself know I have nothing to fear.

Mr. Baxter and I have been discussing the amazing features of the Titanic. Some of the things we have been discussing are that the Titanic is 882 1/2 feet long, and that she is still capable of staying afloat. Mr. Baxter is just the gentleman I am looking for to help run my business.

Just now there was a deep rumbling along the side of the Titanic. It occurred about 11:40. Many people are frightened, although I am just curious as to what just happened. I am now leaving to go talk to Captain Smith.

It has only been 10 minutes after the rumbling, and rumor is that the water is already 14 feet above the keel. It must be a rumor, though, for the Titanic is indestructible. Isn’t she?
April 15, 1912

Captain Smith just told me that the ship is indeed sinking. It has been estimated that the Titanic has only an hour and a half before she is completely under water. I rushed to my wife to tell her the terrible news, and she is very scared. They are saying that the women and children only go into the lifeboats. They have a shortage of lifeboats. I asked to join my wife because she is pregnant but I was refused the seat.

I just wished my wife goodbye. She wanted to stay, but I wouldn’t allow it. I am very fearful I may never see her again. Most of the launched lifeboats are only half way full, though. ‘Tis said that nobody is taking this danger seriously enough to listen to the crew members. I have decided to write until I am on the verge of death, and send this in a bottle in hopes of it reaching my wife.

The last lifeboat has been launched. The Titanic is sinking at a much quicker pace now. Captain Smith has now released the crew from their duties. All who were left were offered life jackets, but there are not enough. I gave mine up to give someone else a chance at life. I myself know that it is the end. The bridge just went under. Everything that is capable of moving is crashing into the stern. I say a quick prayer and squeeze my eyes shut. We are now at a fifty degree angle from the water. The Titanic has now broken in two. I am being suffocated by icy waters up to my chest. If this is found, please give it to my dear wife.




John Jacob Astor





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