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Archibald Willingham Butt - Titanic Victim

Major Archibald Butt. Aid to President Taft. One of the Heroic Dead, Stepping Aside That Others Might Be Saved.

Major Archibald Butt. Aid to President Taft. One of the Heroic Dead, Stepping Aside That Others Might Be Saved. © Harris & Ewing. Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic (1912) p. 145. GGA Image ID # 108dceec24

ARCHIBALD WILLINGHAM BUTT visited Texas, and the newspapers made him a target for many of their jokes. After his death on the Titanic the Editor of the Houston Post published the following poem:

Archibald, Archibald, Willingham Butt
You have somehow made us feel like a mutt;
Always we've made you the butt of our jokes,
Always we've handed you giggles and pokes,
Gibed at you, jeered at you, laughed at you, took
A joy in just reaching for you with the hook;
Now when we think of you language is weak,
Now we sit here and with tears on our cheek,
And a lump in our throat, and a hurt in our breast—
It was good-natured raillery—naught but a jest—
But we'd give the world could we only recall
The gibes and the jeers and the giggles and all!
We shall see you forever till life shall grow pale
As you stood hat in hand with a smile, at the rail
Of the ship as she sunk, with a cheery good-bye
To those you had helped to the boats. In your eye
There was nothing to fear. Yours to strive and to plan
For the weak, then to go to your death like a man,
With a smile on your lips and a call o'er the foam:
"Remember me, please, to the people back home."
Oh, the years of the world have been many and wide,
In each age of the world have been heroes who've died
For their fellows—whose deaths were impressive and grand,
But you—facing death with your hat in your hand
And a smile on your lips—oh, all language is weak!
There's a hurt in our heart, and a tear on our cheek!
God rest you, brave knight, in your sleep 'neath the foam,
You're enshrined in the hearts of us "people back home."

—Judd Mortimer Lewis in the Houston Post.

"Archie Butt," in National Magazine, Boston: Chapple Publishing Company, Ltd., Vol. XXXVII, No. 3, December 1912, p.589


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