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NOTE FROM THE TEAM OF THE 2017 EXPEDITION TO THE R.M.S.

TITANIC:

On April 15, 1912, the R.M.S. Titanic sank beneath the wave-less surface of the North

Atlantic Ocean, taking over 1,500 souls with her. One of the lost was managing director

of the Harland & Wolff shipyards and the ship’s chief designer, Thomas Andrews. An

experienced architect, Andrews was onboard the Titanic taking notes that could be used

to improve the Titanic's sister ship, Britannic (referred to in Andrews's journal by its

original title of Gigantic). When the ship sank with Andrews on board, the journal he

kept with him disappeared as well, not to be seen again for over one hundred years.

The journal was discovered on a scientific research expedition to the shipwreck of

the Titanic in July of 2017 in the massive debris field between the stern—where Andrews

was been spotted just moments before the ship broke apart and went under—and bow

sections of the wreck site. Having deteriorated after over a hundred years on the ocean

floor, some pages of the journal are missing. Using cutting-edge technology and hours

of meticulous care, this artifact has been transcribed into the pages you will read here.
April 11, 1912—08:30

As wonderful as things have transpired so far, I feel almost like a proud father

writing this today. The ship is running like the dream she is, though I’ve barely had the

time to appreciate her as I’ve spent most of the voyage traipsing around the decks,

speaking to passengers about anything from the size of their staterooms to the

impressive dining in the First Class Lounge. Most of all, they seem more than delighted

to commend myself and the White Star Line for all of the luxury surrounding them at

every turn. “A floating palace.” That’s what they call Titanic. And I am all but inclined to

agree.

What the passengers don’t see, though I sometimes wish they could, is the

magnificent city that bustles decks below their feet, where the reciprocating engines

stand as tall as buildings, tended to by the best of the best. I couldn’t help but stare in

awe for a moment during my visit earlier; the pride of mankind looming up before me

like iron gods and all I could think of was that it was my own creating that brought them

to be here.

I must cut this entry short, though I’m sure there shall be many more to come. I’m off

to breakfast with Mr. Ismay to talk about modification ideas he has for the Gigantic—

most of them, I am sure, concerned with adding luxury as opposed to actually improving

the design of the ship—and then a more than likely captivating lunch with Dr. O'Loughlin,

the ship’s surgeon. We’ll reach Queenstown soon after, and then the real test of this

monstrous steel creature will begin.

T.A.
April 11, 1912—13:30

The ship has arrived in Ireland, both to board new passengers and to allow some to

depart. Many superstitions, brought onboard by the new passengers, have begun circling

and become worrisome to some of the others. Several first class ladies, mostly young and

naïve and for whom it is easy to believe these stories, have approached me with their

concerns. They say that the ship is doomed, that there has been many a bad omen against

the voyage. I’ve even heard that a few of the overtly superstitious have elected to stay

behind in Queenstown instead of getting on this ship that is, in the words of one woman,

“doomed to approach a terrible fate.” To these people, I politely smile, nod, and then walk

away, shaking my head at their ignorance. There are no such things as “fate” and “omens.”

There is only God’s will which, I believe with all my heart, is fully in favor of this voyage.

For the beauty of this ship and the success of this voyage so far, there is no manner of

convincing that will sway me otherwise.

T.A.
April 11, 1912—23:00

It was a beautiful ending to our first day out at sea. As I watched the sun set beyond

the horizon tonight, my mind traveled the miles back to Helen, and to our beautiful girl,

Elizabeth. The night before I left for Belfast, Helen and I put Elizabeth to sleep, kissing

her goodnight, and then we stood on the balcony at Dunallon, watching the sun set as it

did earlier tonight. Though, I must admit, the overall effect of the sun, red and enormous

with its rays forming a rainbow of fire on the horizon and reflecting off the surface of the

calm ocean with nothing around for miles was a different effect entirely from our estate

in Northern Ireland. I so wish my two girls were here to witness this absolute paradise,

witness what it feels like to be in Heaven on planet Earth. Perhaps, in the morning, I shall

be able to find the time to write a letter to them—to see if it is indeed possible to transcribe

pure bliss with a paper and pen.

T.A.
April 12, 1912—07:00

I awoke early this morning, hoping to catch quiet moment or two alone on the boat

deck. I am writing this as I stroll forward on the port side. I should be writing my letter,

as I keep reminding myself, but the words to say what I wish continue to escape me.

The sun has not yet risen fully, but its rays still leak through past the cloudless horizon,

lightening the darkness with tinges of the blue sky promised for the day ahead. Beneath

my feet, the gentle sway of the Atlantic soothes me, as does the consistent hum of the

engines, working heartily through the night while the passengers on the Titanic sleep

peacefully in their beds.

Later today, I shall be meeting with my team to exchange notes and thoughts about

the ship’s journey so far. For now, however, I am content just to stand in the slight breeze

on the boat deck and watch the sun complete its journey back to me.

T.A.
April 12, 1912—13:00

I met with Captain Smith today. There have been warnings of sheet ice from ships

ahead of us in the travel lanes. These warnings, the captain assures me, are nothing over

which to worry. He informs me of his plan to sail further south than originally planned,

which will allow us to miss the ice that has floated down past a latitude usual for this time

of year in the North Atlantic. More to his concern is the fact that we seem to be nearly four

hours behind schedule, and this decision to sail south only increases our delay. He told

me that Ismay has been pressuring him to increase our speed so that we might make up

for our lost time. “Bruce Ismay’s only interests,” as I told the captain, “involve the White

Star Line's bottom line. He is no captain. The choice is entirely up to you.”

As I am taking supper with Mr. Ismay the evening after next, I have decided to speak

to him about his conversations with Captain Smith. As for now, however, I am meeting

with the Guarantee Group to go over our notes about the ship together.

T.A.
April 12, 1912—19:00

I enjoyed dinner with a few of the elite passengers of first class tonight, including

Benjamin Guggenheim, a proper gentlemen with more money to his name than probably

half of steerage combined. There was also a woman with whom I’d never had the pleasure

of acquainting myself before, Margaret Brown. She is from America and has the

peculiarity of someone who was raised outside of the world of propriety and manners. Not

that I mind; her presence is new and refreshing, and she definitely knows how to make us

laugh. J.J. and Madeleine Astor also joined us later into the evening, and the subject

shifted from Margaret—or Maggie, as she asks most to call her—to my politely explaining

to Madeleine that the ship is far from unsinkable. The idea, which I highly suspect is the

work of Mr. Ismay’s overactive and sometimes boastful imagination, is absolutely absurd.

It is true that this ship is the best of its class, as I explained to Madeleine, and the safest

in many respects. The sixteen watertight bulkheads are like no other ship sailing the

ocean. This ship could stay afloat with any four of the forward compartments filled, or any

two of the middle compartments. The ship was made to stay afloat. I designed it to be

safe. But no ship can be made that is not susceptible to the might of God. Madeleine

seemed to be listening intently as I explained this, but I am not sure that any of the words

spoken truly got through to her.

T.A.
April 13, 1912—16:00

The weather remains simply blissful today. Though I haven’t seen much of it. I spent

the entire morning in my cabin on A deck working on my letter to Helen. I want to tell her

about how marvelous Titanic has turned out to be, and about how I can’t wait to get her

and Elizabeth aboard to show her around. One of the issues that ails me, however, is

finding the correct way to phrase the emotions and thoughts I feel inside. A wordsmith, I

am not, and so the words do not come easily.

T.A.
April 13, 1912—16:30

Much as it grieves me to say, I am taking a short break from my letter writing. Rather,

I am taking an indefinite leave of absence from it. As much as I want to describe the

Titanic until my hands fall off, I simply can’t. I cannot think of anything, any series of

words and sentences that could possible tell my one true love about the love that has the

second largest hold on my heart.

The sun is hanging low in the sky, tired after a long day of holding itself up. I can easily

relate to such a feeling. The radiance of the glowing circle nearing the horizon reminds

me of Elizabeth, how the world seems to light up whenever she smiles or laughs, how it

seems to get even brighter when her mother smiles back at her. There is no beauty like it.

Could it truly be that simple? Could the sentences suddenly flowing like water through

a floodgate into my mind really be the ones I need for the letter I have already decided is

a lost cause?

T.A.
April 14, 1912—06:00

I’ve awoken before even the stars have gone to sleep this morning, eager to get down

to the mailroom to hand off my letter. I can’t wait for Helen to read it. This letter feels

different from any other that I have sent to her in the past. I feel that it is something Helen

will look at every time I am away and hold as if it were myself there instead of a piece of

paper—as if the words are coming off my lips instead of off the page.

Making my way through the decks and corridors, I finally arrive and hand the letter

off to the steward on duty with a smile.

Now, I am back on the boat deck, again before the rest of the passengers have crawled

out from their beds, and a pleasant—though almost eerie—calm has fallen over the whole

ship. It is peaceful. There is not a breath of wind, and the only sound is the turbines and

the slight break in the water as the bow moves forward. For a moment, the world around

me is serene, and all concern of words and ice and even bad luck are gone, replaced by my

sudden confidence that this ship, in all its grandeur, will make history by the time our

voyage is through.

T.A.
April 14, 1912—11:30

After the first class church service let out, I saw Mr. Ismay stepping away with Captain

Smith to discuss something in hushed tones. Though their voices could not be overheard,

the pieces of paper passed between the captain and the chairman of the White Star Line

were unmistakable, as I myself had seen several over the past couple of days: ice warnings.

There were at least a dozen of them. The exchange lasted only a moment longer before

the captain, his shoulders rather tense, took his leave and walked away in the direction of

the bridge. Careful not to be spotted eavesdropping, I have taken out my journal and have

proceeded to stare at the Forward Grand Staircase’s wonderful woodwork. With any luck,

Ismay will assume that I am merely taking my notes about the ship and not its nosy

passenger who fancies himself a captain.

T.A.
April 14, 1912—16:30

April 14, 1912—16:30

In my anxiety over waiting for my dinner with Ismay tonight, I made my way forward

to the Marconi Wireless Room, one of the only places on the ship I had yet to inspect

during the voyage. A bright young man by the name of Harold Bride was operating the

system, feverently receiving messages, as well as sending ones out from passengers. We

are apparently close enough to Cape Race that we can transmit telegrams from passengers

to their relatives and friends waiting for them in New York. The operator, I was surprised

to see, had an irritated expression on his face as he furiously tapped out a message in

Morse. After completing the message, he slammed his headphones down on the table,

only then glancing up and catching sight of myself in the doorway. He swiftly apologized,

to which I assured him that it was not a problem, as I could see he was busy. I asked him

what it was that had caused him to lose his temper, and he informed me that he’d had to

tell several ships to stop sending ice warnings, as he was busy sending passenger

messages. According to Bride, the Marconi wireless system broke down for a while on

Friday and, though they have it working now, they are swamped with the backlog of

messages still to be sent.

"So you see sir," he said to me, "I am far too busy to run each individual ice warning

up to the captain. He has informed me only to notify him if the warning is significant.”

There was not a terrible amount of conversation after that point. Merely a few

comments back and forth so that I could assess the current status of this particular section
of the ship. After this, I left Mr. Bride to continue his work alone and walked aft, back

toward my cabin to prepare for my dinner with Mr. Ismay.

I write this as I sit in my cabin now, waiting for the minutes to tick by until I can finally

have a word with the chairman. He and I have known each other for years now, the

concept of the Titanic's monstrous size and luxury the product of his own imagination;

he has always been interested in making his headlines, building White Star up to be the

grandest shipping company in the world. Now I find myself pondering the lengths he will

go to and the risks he will take to have his headlines printed on tomorrow's paper.

T.A.
April 14, 1912—20:00

The very blood in my veins seems to be on fire, the heat at a stark contrast with the

chill that has fallen over Titanic's decks. To say that the dinner was a catastrophe of epic

proportions is a tragic understatement.

After the pleasantries between myself and Ismay had been dealt with, I very bluntly

asked the questions to which I needed to know the answers. I asked him if he truly has

been whispering in the captain's ear, instructing him to ignore the ice warnings in order

to make it to New York on time; I asked if he has been showing the ice warnings to other

passengers, then boasting that the ship is unsinkable and that there was therefore nothing

to worry about; I asked him if he'd actually put the people of this ship in danger just so

that he could have his precious headlines, though not in such specific terms.

He did not even blink when he answered. He told me that, as the chairman of the

White Star Line, his occupation was, in short, to sell tickets. The swiftest way to sell

tickets, he informed me, is to draw attention to the achievements of the shipping

company's fleet, especially its star, which we both knew Titanic is.

In response to the question of passengers' safety, Ismay's response was chilling, to say

the least. "Thomas, the only thing that sells papers faster than success is failure. If the

Titanic were encounter trouble, any at all, on her maiden voyage, the press would jump

on the story faster than a wild animal on wounded prey. It's human nature."

I could hardly believe my ears. Surely Mr. Ismay could not be speaking in honesty?
It was not a moment later that he stood up to leave the table, his final words still

echoing in my mind now. "However, if something does happen, Thomas," he told me, "it

will not be I that any inquiry looks to. It shall be the captain at the helm at fault for the

accident itself, and you at fault for not designing a safer vessel to protect those on board."

More words spilled from his mouth afterward, but I was well past the point of hearing

them. All that my mind could comprehend then, and still what my mind is plagued with

now, are the insinuations of Ismay's comments; he is not captain, nor the ship's chief

architect. He is merely a passenger on this ship. If it came down to any inquiry over an

accident or, Heaven forbid, a death, Bruce Ismay would not be interrogated and accused.

I would be. And now, as I write this sitting in my cabin, the thought is still latched onto

my brain like a parasite, refusing to let me rest.

T.A.
April 14, 1912—23:40

I've tried to sleep, tried to free my mind of the seeds of thought planted there by Ismay

earlier in the evening. My pocket watch reads 11:40 as I write this. The new day is almost

upon us, though the starless night outside seems blissfully unaware of the idea. I suppose

now would be as good a time as ever to read over my notes about—

Something has happened. What, I am not quite sure. Below me, I felt the ship's engines

come to a halt and then begin again. Something is not right. The engines almost seem like

they have switched to—

I am not sure if it is Mr. Ismay’s words, still tainting my thoughts and making me

overcautious, but I am absolutely positive that something is wrong. Not thirty seconds

after I felt the engines' hum disappear, the entire ship seemed to shudder. To some, it may

have seemed like nothing, just something that would happen on an everyday voyage in a

large ship. I know better. The engines hadn't just stopped and begun again, they'd been

thrown into reverse. We'd tried to avoid a collision with something and subsequently

failed. Surely, though, with a shudder so slight there could not be much damage?

T.A.
April 15, 1912—01:30

It is my fault. Hundreds upon hundreds of people will die tonight, and it will all have

been my fault.

Not ten steps out of my cabin, I nearly ran over a steward sent by the captain to retrieve

me and bring me to the bridge as soon as possible; we had not run aground or collided

with another ship, but with an iceberg—one that had scraped up against the side of

Titanic's hull just below the waterline. Captain Smith had sent Fourth Officer Boxhall

down to assess the damage before I had arrived, and the latter reported that water was

flowing in quite rapidly to several forward compartments, including boiler room number

6 and the mailroom. Captain Smith insisted that I personally accompany him to inspect

the damage in the mail hold so that we might further understand our situation.

The captain informed me that the iceberg had been spotted too late and that the ship

had not had enough warning to turn fully. The officer on duty on the bridge had ordered

the watertight doors closed in order to prevent the spreading of any sea water that might

have leaked in. Up until that point, things had seemed hopeful.

Then we arrived in the mailroom.

The room was already flooded significantly, at least a meter of water already on the

floor, and more pouring in by the second. The sight hit me, shocked me to my very core.

I built the Titanic to be one of the strongest ships on the seas, one of the safest

transatlantic vessels on which to travel, and yet, now…


The captain informed me that forward six compartments had begun filling with water

following the accident. My head and heart were both pounding. This was worse than even

our worst case scenarios; the ship could easily stay afloat with four of the forward

compartments flooded. With five, perhaps she could stay afloat long enough to get a ship

nearby to come to our assistance, but six?

As my mind raced, my eye caught one of the countless envelopes floating in the dirty

seawater. The name on the front made my breath catch in my throat. Helen Andrews. My

letter to her was already underwater, as everything around us soon would be in only a

short time.

We returned to the bridge quickly after, Captain Smith already aware of my prognosis.

To my surprise, Mr. Ismay was among those awaiting our arrival. When the captain

informed him that everything around us would soon be at the bottom of the Atlantic, he

almost refused to believe it.

“You are certain?” he asked me. “Titanic will sink?”

"Why are you concerned?" I asked, as hard and cold as the berg that had brought our

destruction. "You've gotten your wish, Mr. Ismay. Come tomorrow, all will know the name

Titanic."

To the captain, I said: “Wake the passengers. Get them to the lifeboats, as many of

them as you can. For, as sure as this ship is made of the finest iron and steel money can

buy, the Titanic will soon be deeper in the ocean than the light can touch, and half the

people aboard along with her. This will be a night of great loss, Edward. An hour, maybe

one and a half. That is all some have to live.”


The time after that is a blur. I can remember rushing back upstairs, knocking on every

door I passed, grabbing emergency lifejackets and thrusting them into reluctant

passengers’ arms as I pushed them toward the boat deck. I went myself to the deck at one

point, encountering several hesitant crew and passengers, not wanting to leave the safety

of what they thought was surely an indestructible monstrosity for a flimsy wooden raft,

miniscule in the scale of the ocean that was about to swallow them whole.

On my way to my room, I passed through the Aft Grand Staircase, in all its glass and

crystal and intricately-carved wooden glory. Glory that will never be seen again after

tonight. The clock read 1:00.

Now I’m finally in my stateroom, examining every single detail, every little decoration

that has been placed for a specific purpose on the ship. Every single surface that, in just

moments, will be submerged in the icy Atlantic Ocean. Reclaimed by God’s mercy that he

has so generously given and that we—yes, myself included—have abused in our hubris.

The blueprints are still on my desk, as they were moments before this disastrous

collision occurred. I stare at them now, having to resist the urge to throw them across the

room. How they have failed me. How I have failed the people of this ship.

T.A.
April 15, 1912—02:00

It won’t be long now. The floors are tilting unnaturally, making standing difficult. The

lights are beginning to flicker; the boys in the engine room are finally beginning to lose

the battle that can never be won. I can hear the cacophony of metal creaking and wood

splintering as the ship struggles—as the people on its decks struggle—to survive. Titanic

has lasted longer than I ever would have thought. It seems that she is as desperate to cling

to life as her passengers and crew. It would also seem that she is just as doomed.

The lifeboats are gone. People are running and screaming; chaos is ensuing. And still,

I can hear the ship’s band playing. Though now, good ole Wally has given up his attempts

at calming the crowd with his cheery melodies; the strings of their instruments now spill

forth the sweet tune of Nearer My God To Thee. How fitting. If only the passengers could

take comfort in the notes that are being nearly drowned out by the screams and cries of

the soon to be departed.

I’ve left my stateroom, with the intent of going upstairs to join the madness, to give

my own lifejacket to another more deserving soul. Not that it will help. The water is

freezing, below zero. It isn’t drowning most should worry about. It is the threat of frostbite

and hypothermia, slow and painful killers that will be the death of most everyone who

goes into the water tonight. Something to my right catches my eye as I step out of my

stateroom. There, in the abandoned first-class smoking room, there is a painting. It is

simple, not lavish by any means. And still, it captivates me to walk through the people

who have crowded into the staircase for warmth and comfort in their moments before

death and into the smoking room. It seems so out of place among the chaos and insanity
all around. The painting—called “Plymouth Harbor,” I do believe—shows only small ships

sailing in and out of the title harbor one light morning right after the sunrise. I realize that

it is the last sunrise I will ever see. It will be the last time I see this harbor. The Titanic

will never arrive there to screaming crowds of people and newspaper headlines of the

greatest ship in the world. The mail will never be unloaded at the dock. Helen’s letter will

never reach her. That is the biggest regret I have in these final moments.

Helen, my love, if this journal is found and returned to you, I do wish you to know that

you were the last thought in my mind. You and Elizabeth are the center of my world, and

I regret more than anything my inability to see you once more. And since my letter is

already lost and you will never see its pages, please allow me to tell you what you would

have read.

My Dearest Helen and Elizabeth,

Titanic has set sail and she is running beautifully. It is no doubt the highlight of my

career so far. People will remember her, and they will remember me. But none of

that matters so long as you remember me and are proud of the legacy I have given

you.

You are the two most important women in my life. You must never forget this. And

to prove it to you, to prove my undying love, please allow me to tell you the story

of the sunrise over the Titanic this morning. The rainbow of reds and yellows and

oranges were brighter than I’ve ever seen them, reflecting off the glassy sea so

serenely, and I realized that, despite the beauty of the ship I’ve created, despite the

beauty all around me right now, I can’t help but thinking that the only beauty I
really wish to see at this very moment is you. Your eyes, your smiles, your faces.

You are the only light I need, my dears.

Love your dearest husband and father,

Thomas Andrews, Jr.

The lights are almost gone. My pocket watch reads 2:19 in the morning. The creaking

and groaning are growing louder, as are the screams of the already lost. A series of

numbers are flooding into my mind. Before leaving Queenstown, I memorized a lot of

numbers. Total number of passengers and crew expected to be on the ship after

Queenstown: 2,208. Total number of places on the lifeboats on board the Titanic: 1,178.

Total number of people for whom there was no hope tonight, and so whom I have failed:

1,030. My God, I can only hope that they forgive


Artifact Note: What happened next is a mystery, though most experts agree that

Andrews’s entry was cut short by the breaking of the ship along the Aft Grand Staircase,

just feet from where he was standing. This, however, is purely speculation. The last

moments of Thomas Andrews’s life remain one of the mysteries of the Titanic to this day,

and it may remain that way forever.