Butt in 1909
Archibald Willingham DeGraffenreid Clarendon Butt
September 26, 1865
Augusta, Georgia, U.S
|Died||April 15, 1912 46) (aged|
|Education||Sewanee: The University of the South|
|Occupation||Journalist, soldier, presidential aide|
Archibald Willingham DeGraffenreid Clarendon Butt – April 15, 1912) was an American journalist and United States Army officer. After a short career as a newspaper reporter, he served two years as the First Secretary of the American embassy in Mexico. He was commissioned in the United States Volunteers in 1898 and served in the Quartermaster Corps during the Spanish–American War. He gained notice for his work in logistics and animal husbandry, and received a commission in the regular United States Army in 1901. After brief postings in Washington, D.C., and Cuba, he was appointed military aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. He died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.(September 26, 1865
United States Volunteers also known as U.S. Volunteers,U. S. Vol., or U.S.V. were military volunteers enlisted in the United States Army who were separate from the Regular Army.
The United States Army Quartermaster Corps, formerly the Quartermaster Department, is a Sustainment, formerly combat service support (CSS), branch of the United States Army. It is also one of three U.S. Army logistics branches, the others being the Transportation Corps and the Ordnance Corps.
The Spanish–American War was fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. U.S. acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions led to its involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the Philippine–American War.
Archibald Butt was born in September 1865 in Augusta, Georgia, to Joshua Willingham Butt and Pamela Robertson Butt (née Boggs).His grandfather, Archibald Butt, served in the American Revolutionary War. His great-grandfather, Josiah Butt, was a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army during the same conflict. He was the nephew of General William R. Boggs of the Confederate States Army (CSA). He had two older brothers (Edward and Lewis), a younger brother (John), and a sister (Clara), and the family was poor. Butt attended various local schools while growing up, including Summerville Academy. Butt's father died when he was 14 years old, and Butt went to work to support his mother, sister, and younger brother. Pamela Butt wished for her son to enter the clergy.
Augusta, officially Augusta–Richmond County, is a consolidated city-county on the central eastern border of the U.S. state of Georgia. The city lies across the Savannah River from South Carolina at the head of its navigable portion. Georgia's second-largest city after Atlanta, Augusta is located in the Piedmont section of the state.
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.
The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain. The Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war.
With the financial help of the Reverend Edwin G. Weed (who later became the Episcopal Bishop of Florida), Butt attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.His mother worked as a librarian at the university, where she lived rent-free in an apartment in the library. While in college, he became interested in journalism and eventually was named editor of the college newspaper. Butt became acquainted with John Breckinridge Castleman, a former CSA major and guerrilla fighter during the American Civil War and who was, by 1883, Adjutant General of the Kentucky Militia. He joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and graduated in 1888.
The Episcopal Church (TEC) is a member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion based in the United States with dioceses elsewhere. It is a mainline Christian denomination divided into nine provinces. The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church is Michael Bruce Curry, the first African-American bishop to serve in that position.
Sewanee is a census-designated place (CDP) in Franklin County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,311 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Tullahoma, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area.
A librarian is a person who works professionally in a library, providing access to information and sometimes social or technical programming to users. In addition, librarians provide instruction on information literacy.
After taking graduate level courses in Greek and Latin,Butt traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to meet with Castleman. While in that city, he met Henry Watterson, founder of the Louisville Courier-Journal . Watterson hired him as a reporter, and Butt remained in Louisville for three years. Butt left the Courier-Journal and worked for the Macon Telegraph for a year before moving to Washington, D.C. He covered national affairs for several Southern newspapers, including the Atlanta Constitution , Augusta Chronicle , Nashville Banner , and Savannah Morning News .
Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 29th most-populous city in the United States. It is one of two cities in Kentucky designated as first-class, the other being Lexington, the state's second-largest city. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, located in the state's north and on the border with Indiana.
Henry Watterson, the son of a U.S. Congressman from Tennessee, became a prominent journalist in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as a Confederate soldier, author and partial term U.S. Congressman. A Democrat like his father Harvey Magee Watterson, Henry Watterson for five decades after the American Civil War was a part-owner and editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, which founded by Walter Newman Haldeman and would be purchased by Robert Worth Bingham in 1919, who would end the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist's association with the paper.
Courier Journal, locally called The Courier-Journal or The C-J or The Courier, is the largest news organization in Kentucky. According to the 1999 Editor & Publisher International Yearbook, the paper is the 48th-largest daily paper in the U.S. and the single-largest in Kentucky.
Butt was a popular figure in D.C. social circles, and made numerous important acquaintances during his time in the capital. [ citation needed ]When former Senator Matt Ransom was appointed United States Ambassador to Mexico in August 1895, he asked Butt to be the embassy's First Secretary. Butt wrote several articles for American magazines and published several novels while in Mexico. He returned to the United States in 1897 after Ransom's term as ambassador ended.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.
Matt Whitaker Ransom was a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and a Democratic U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1872 and 1895.
After the outbreak of the Spanish–American War in 1898,Butt was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Volunteers (an all-volunteer group which was not part of the regular United States Army but was under the regular Army's control). He had long admired the military, and no one in his immediate family was serving in the armed forces at the time the Spanish–American War broke out. Although Butt's literary career was taking off, his family's long involvement with the military and his desire to represent his family in the army during the war led him to enlist. Adjutant General of the U.S. Army Henry Clarke Corbin was influential in encouraging him to enlist.
A military volunteer is a person who enlists in military service by free will, and is not a mercenary or a foreign legionnaire. Volunteers often enlist to fight in the armed forces of a foreign country. Military volunteers are essential for the operation of volunteer militaries.
Butt was assigned as an assistant quartermaster (i.e. a supply officer). Dorothea L. Dix. Butt's new orders required him to stop in Hawaii with his cargo of 500 mules. But he found the price of feed and stables so high and the quarters for the animals so poor that he disobeyed orders and continued on to the Philippines. Although this risked the lives of his animals (and possible court-martial), none of the mules died en route and Butt was praised for his initiative. Butt remained in the Philippines until 1904, writing numerous treatises on the care of animals in the tropics and on military transportation and logistics. His reports won him significant praise by military officials.He was ordered to take the transport ship Sumner through the Suez Canal and proceed to the Philippines. But he was eager to get into the war, and secured a change in orders that sent him from San Francisco, aboard the USS
On June 30, 1901, Butt was discharged from the Volunteers and received a commission as a captain in the Regular Army retroactive to February 2, 1901. as of 2012 [update] ).Butt's social activities continued while he was in the Philippines. He was secretary of the Army and Navy Club, and had a major role in founding the Military Order of the Carabao (a tongue-in-cheek spoof of military fraternal organizations that still exists
In 1904, Butt was ordered to return to Washington, D.C., where he was appointed depot quartermaster. He was the lowest-ranking officer ever to hold this important position within the Quartermaster Corps.In 1906, when a revolution against Tomás Estrada Palma broke out in Cuba, Butt was hurriedly assigned to lead U.S. Army logistical operations there. On just two days' notice, he established a well-organized supply depot. He was named Depot Quartermaster in Havana.
Butt was recalled to Washington in March 1908. President Theodore Roosevelt asked him to serve as his military aide in April 1908—just a month after Butt's return to the United States. There were several reasons why Roosevelt chose Butt. Among them were that Roosevelt had become acquainted with Butt's organizational skills in the Philippines and was impressed by his hard work and thoughtfulness. The other was that Taft recommended Butt, whom he knew well from their time together overseas.
Butt became one of Roosevelt's closest companions.Although Butt was stout, he and Roosevelt were constantly going climbing, hiking, horseback riding, running, swimming, and playing tennis. Butt also quickly organized the chaotic White House receptions, transforming them from exhausting, hours-long events fraught with social missteps into efficient, orderly events.
When William Howard Taft became president in March 1909, he asked Butt to stay on as military aide. Butt continued to serve as a social functionary for Taft, but he also proved to have strong negotiating skills and a good head for numbers, which enabled him to become Taft's de facto chief negotiator on federal budget issues.Butt accompanied President Taft when he threw out the first ball at the first home game of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals in 1910 and 1911. Butt died at sea shortly before the season-opening game in 1912 and Taft, according to the Washington Post, was overcome and "could not be present for obvious reasons."
On March 3, 1911, Butt was promoted to the rank of major in the Quartermaster Corps,and later that year he became a member of the Georgia Society of the Cincinnati by right of his descent from his great-grandfather Lieutenant Robert Moseley, a veteran of the American Revolution. Butt was also a member of the Society of Colonial Wars and the Sons of the American Revolution.
By 1912, Taft's first term was coming to an end. Roosevelt, who had fallen out with Taft, was known to be considering a run for president against him. Close to both men and fiercely loyal, Butt began to suffer from depression and exhaustion.Butt's housemate and friend Francis Davis Millet (himself one of Taft's circle) asked Taft to give him a leave of absence to recuperate before the presidential primaries began. Taft agreed and ordered Butt to go on vacation. Butt was on no official business, but anti-Catholic newspapers and politicians accused Butt of being on a secret mission to win the support of Pope Pius X in the upcoming election. Butt did intend to meet with Pius, and he carried with him a personal letter from Taft. But the letter merely thanked the pope for elevating three Americans to the rank of cardinal, and asked what the social protocol was for greeting them at functions.
Butt left on a six-week vacation in Europe on March 1, 1912, accompanied by Millet.Butt booked passage on the RMS Titanic to return to the United States. He boarded the ship at Southampton, in England on April 10, 1912; Millet boarded the ship at Cherbourg, France, later that same day. Butt was playing cards on the night of April 14 in the first-class smoking room when the Titanic struck an iceberg. The ship sank two and a half hours later, with a loss of over 1,500 lives.
Butt's actions while the ship sank are largely unverified, but many accounts of a sensationalist nature were published by newspapers immediately after the disaster. One account had the ship's captain, Edward J. Smith, telling Butt that the ship was doomed, after which Butt began to act like a ship's officer and supervised the loading and lowering of lifeboats.The New York Times also claimed that Butt herded women and children into lifeboats. Another account said that Butt, a gun in his hand, prevented panicked male passengers from storming the lifeboats. Yet another version of events said Butt yanked a man out of one of the lifeboats so that a woman could board. In this story, Butt declared, "Sorry, women will be attended to first or I'll break every damned bone in your body!" One account tells of Butt preventing desperate steerage passengers from breaking into the first class areas in an attempt to escape the sinking ship. Walter Lord's book A Night to Remember disagrees with claims that Butt acted like an officer. Lord says Butt most likely observed the ship's evacuation quietly. Many newspapers repeated a story allegedly told by Marie Young. This tale says that Butt helped her into Lifeboat No. 8, tucked a blanket about her, and said, "Goodbye, Miss Young. Luck is with you. Will you kindly remember me to all the folks back home?" Young later wrote to President Taft denying she ever told such a story.
Even Butt's final moments remain in dispute. Dr. Washington Dodge says he saw John Jacob Astor and Butt standing near the bridge as the ship went down. 0.5 miles (0.80 km) away from the ship at the time it sank. Other eyewitnesses say they saw him standing calmly on deck or standing side-by-side with Astor waving goodbye. Several accounts had Butt returning to the smoking room, where he stood quietly or resumed his card game. But these accounts have been disputed by author John Maxtone-Graham.Dodge's account is highly unlikely, as his lifeboat was more than
Butt died in Titanic's sinking; his body was never recovered.
On May 2, 1912, a memorial service was held in the Butt family home with 1,500 mourners, including President Taft, attending.Taft spoke at the service, saying:
If Archie could have selected a time to die he would have chosen the one God gave him. His life was spent in self–sacrifice, serving others. His forgetfulness of self had become a part of his nature. Everybody who knew him called him Archie. I couldn't prepare anything in advance to say here. I tried, but couldn't. He was too near me. He was loyal to my predecessor, Mr. Roosevelt, who selected him to be military aide, and to me he had become as a son or a brother.
At a second ceremony, held in Washington, D.C., on May 5, Taft broke down and wept, bringing his eulogy to an abrupt end.
Several memorials to Butt were created over the years. A cenotaph was erected in the summer of 1913 in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.Butt himself had selected the spot earlier. In October 1913, the Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain, named for Archibald Butt and Francis Millet, was dedicated near the White House on the Ellipse. In Augusta, Georgia, the Butt Memorial Bridge was dedicated in 1914 by Taft. The Washington National Cathedral contains a large plaque dedicated to Major Archibald Butt; it can be found on the wall in the museum store.
Sculptor Jorgen Dreyer was awarded a commission to create a sculpture to commemorate Butt. The commissioned piece, which Dreyer completed on 15 June 1912, was a bust of Butt situated on a base representing a ship on the ocean. The work was entitled "The Message".
A government supply boat made of concrete was also named after Butt. It was one of nine experimental craft (all named for deceased members of the Quartermaster Corps) built by the Newport Shipbuilding Corporation in 1920 in New Bern, North Carolina.It was sold to an aquarium in Miami, Florida, in 1934 and was later sunk or scuttled in Biscayne Bay.
During his time serving Roosevelt and Taft, Butt wrote almost daily letters to his sister Clara. These letters are a key source of information on the more private events of these two presidencies and provide insights into the respective characters of Roosevelt and Taft.Donald E. Wilkes Jr., professor of law at the University of Georgia School of Law, has concluded, "All definitive biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft necessarily rely on information in Archie's letters." These letters (which overlap somewhat) have been published twice. The first collection, The Letters of Archie Butt, Personal Aide to President Roosevelt, was issued in 1924. A second set of letters, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, was published in two volumes in 1930 after Taft's death.
Butt's letters are housed in the Georgia Department of Archives and History in Morrow, Georgia, with a microfilm set also residing at Emory University in Atlanta.
Butt lived in a large mansion at 2000 G Street NWwith the painter Francis Davis Millet, who also died in the sinking of the Titanic. "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.
A wide range of reasons were given why Butt never seemed interested in women. Chief among these was that Butt loved his own mother so much that there was little room for anyone else. Even Taft thought this explanation was true.At the time of Butt's death, rumors swirled that he was about to lose his lifelong bachelor status. News accounts said he had a teenage mistress who either was carrying their unborn child or who had already given birth to a baby, or that Butt was engaged to a Colorado woman. None of these rumors were true.
Some speculation exists that Butt was a homosexual. Historian Carl Sferrazza Anthony has written that Taft's explanation only "vaguely addressed" the real reason Butt failed to marry.Davenport-Hines, however, believes Butt and Millet were gay lovers. He wrote in 2012:
The enduring partnership of Butt and Millet was an early case of "Don't ask, don't tell." Washington insiders tried not to focus too closely on the men's relationship, but they recognized their mutual affection. And they were together in death as in life.
Historian James Gifford tentatively agrees. He points out that there is clear documentary evidence that Millet had at least one homosexual affair previously in his life (with the American writer Charles Warren Stoddard).But any conclusion, Gifford says, must remain tentative:
Of course there is no conclusive evidence that Archibald Butt was gay, and I find it highly unlikely, given Archie's careful self-image control, that he ever committed to paper any overt thoughts of such a nature. He was too canny an individual for that, too conscious of the risk in military and political ranks, where such an idea would have put a quick end to any hopes of advancement. So I can only suggest that my research results in an "impression" that he was homosexual.
Millet's body was recovered after the sinking and was buried in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Butt appears and plays a significant role in Jack Finney's time travel novel, From Time to Time . In this novel, Butt is sent to Europe by President Taft and former President Roosevelt in an effort to stave off World War I. In Europe, he apparently gets the necessary assurances to make a European war impossible. However, even when informed of the ship's approaching sinking by the time traveling protagonist, he refuses to save himself and his mission when women and children will perish. His mission fails with his death.
James Walker's 1998 novel, Murder on the Titanic, includes Butt as a minor character.
Michael Bockman's 2012 novel, The Titanic Plan, features Archibald Butt as the major character in a historical-based novel involving leading industrialists and banking magnates of the day, and their plan to establish an illegal national commerce monopoly that would yield massive power and political influence to a few super-wealthy men.
Butt appears in the 2014 novel The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy by Jacopo della Quercia, where he is depicted as President Taft's closest friend and companion aboard a fictitious presidential dirigible "Airship One", which Butt pilots. The book uses period newspaper articles to report Butt's promotion from captain to major and even makes use of his letters to his sister Clara. Butt plays a major role in the story. His death is depicted as a climactic showdown between the United States and King Leopold II of Belgium aboard the Titanic.
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, sportsman, conservationist and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He previously served as the 25th vice president of the United States from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, Roosevelt is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents.
William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death.
Francis Davis Millet was an American academic classical painter, sculptor, and writer who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912.
George Washington Goethals was a United States Army General and civil engineer, best known for his administration and supervision of the construction and the opening of the Panama Canal. He was the State Engineer of New Jersey and the Acting Quartermaster General of the United States Army.
John Jacob "Jack" Astor IV was an American businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish–American War, and a prominent member of the Astor family.
Montgomery Cunningham Meigs was a career United States Army officer and civil engineer, who served as Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army during and after the American Civil War. Meigs strongly opposed secession and supported the Union; his record as Quartermaster General was regarded as outstanding, both in effectiveness and in ethical probity, and Secretary of State William H. Seward viewed it as a key factor in the Union victory.
Archibald Bulloch "Archie" Roosevelt, the fifth child of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, was a distinguished U.S. Army officer and commander of U.S. forces in both World War I and II. In both conflicts he was wounded. He earned the Silver Star with three oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster and the French Croix de guerre. After World War II, he became a successful businessman and the founder of a New York City bond brokerage house, as well as a spokesman for conservative political causes.
The Butt Memorial Bridge is a road bridge in Augusta, Georgia that carries 15th Street over the Augusta Canal. It is dedicated to Major Archibald Willingham Butt, born in Augusta and a victim of the sinking of RMS Titanic. The bridge was erected in 1914 and dedicated by President William Howard Taft, a personal friend of Butt's. It is notable that the bridge was the first memorial erected to remember the Titanic disaster, and it stands today as the only memorial in Georgia dedicated to the disaster. The bridge is made of stone, featuring four pillars topped with bronze-banded globes placed over electric lights. Four lions with plaques adorn each side and end of the bridge, while lights are strung from one end of the bridge to the other. A memorial plaque is located on the center of the bridge, dedicated to Butt's memory.
Thomas Sidney Jesup was a United States Army officer known as the "Father of the Modern Quartermaster Corps". His 52-year (1808–1860) military career was one of the longest in the history of the United States Army.
Archibald Gracie IV was an American writer, soldier, amateur historian, real estate investor, and survivor of the sinking of RMS Titanic. He was the first adult survivor to die after rescue. He survived the sinking by climbing aboard an overturned collapsible lifeboat and wrote a popular book about the disaster, which is still in print today.
From Time to Time is a 1995 illustrated novel by American writer Jack Finney, the sequel to Time and Again, which tells the story of how Simon Morley, working on a secret government project in 1970, was able to travel back in time to the New York City of 1882.
Helen Churchill Candee was an American author, journalist, interior decorator, feminist, and geographer. Today, she is best known as a survivor of the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912, and for her later work as a travel writer and explorer of southeast Asia.
The Presidency of William Howard Taft began on March 4, 1909, when William Howard Taft was inaugurated as President of the United States, and ended on March 4, 1913. Taft, a Republican, was the 27th United States president. The protégé and chosen successor of incumbent President Theodore Roosevelt, he took office after easily defeating Democrat William Jennings Bryan in the 1908 presidential election. His presidency ended with his defeat in the 1912 election by Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
The following events occurred in April 1912:
Monuments and memorials to the RMS Titanic victims exist in a number of places around the world associated with Titanic, notably in Belfast, Liverpool and Southampton in the United Kingdom; Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada; and New York City and Washington, D.C. in the United States. The largest single contingent of victims came from Southampton, the home of most of the crew, which consequently has the greatest number of memorials. Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and had a "guarantee party" of engineers from shipbuilders Harland and Wolff aboard all of whom were lost in the disaster and are commemorated by a prominent memorial in the city. Other contingents of engineers aboard the ship came from the maritime cities of Liverpool in England and Glasgow in Scotland, which erected their own memorials. Several prominent victims, such as Titanic's captain, were commemorated individually. Elsewhere, in the United States and Australia, public memorials were erected to commemorate all the victims.
The sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912 resulted in an inquiry by the United States Senate. Chaired by Senator William Alden Smith, the inquiry was a subcommittee of the Senate's Commerce Committee. The hearings began in New York on April 19, 1912, later moving to Washington, D.C., concluding on May 25, 1912 with a return visit to New York.
The Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain is a memorial fountain located in the President's Park in Washington, D.C., in the United States. Dedicated in October 1913, it commemorates the deaths of Archibald Butt and Francis Davis Millet. Both men died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912.
Sophie Adelaide Radford de Meissner was an author, playwright, diplomat's wife, spiritualist and socialite.
The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy is a historical fiction novel written by Jacopo della Quercia. The plot follows President William Howard Taft, scientist Robert Todd Lincoln, Secret Service Chief John Wilkie, Captain Archibald Butt, and others as they slowly unravel a worldwide conspiracy over a decade in the making.
The following are some of the books and papers which have been written concerning William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States:
|Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about Archibald Butt .|