The loss of White Star Line's palatial passenger liner Republic has many intertwined stories, with each passenger and crew member having at least one story each to tell. The great majority of these personal remembrances have little or nothing to do with the Republic's rumored treasure. But they are, nevertheless, of human interest.
In this section, we'll be adding those stories ...
There was a book written in 1898 regarding a ship named Titan which was lost in collision with an iceberg on her maiden voyage. See:
Republic, too, parallels Titanic in this respect as well. A 1900 (?) book The Golden Greyhound concerns a secret shipment of $50 million of gold from New York to support a Russian Bond
issue, to be transferred to the Russian battleship Czarovitch. One of the characters has accompanied the gold for fear of shipwreck. The plot, here, however, is a story to foil the gold's theft.
See: The Golden Greyhound
In connection with this disaster the following strange story is related by the New York correspondent of the Daily Telegraph: -
Shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday, when the Republic had already put out to sea, a well-dressed man, apparently of good education, called at my office and desired me to "cable to London about the shipwreck." I asked, "What shipwreck?" and he replied, "The White Star Liner Republic will be run down before daybreak to-morrow."
I told my visitor that newspapers dealt chiefly in ascertained facts, and that prophecies were not worth much attention. "Why don't you go to the New York offices of the American papers?" I queried; "they are chiefly interested." "That is the first place where I have been," he said. "They won't take any notice, and I want you to send a line to London."
I was about to dismiss my visitor as a crank, but I first asked him whether he knew anybody on the Republic. He replied that he had some dear friends aboard. His only reason for his gloomy prediction, he admitted, was a dream. I told him that a dream was very often unreliable, to which he answered, "Yes, I agree that one dream means nothing, but I dreamt this thing two nights in succession. The details were the same each time, and I awoke in a fright on each occasion in the early hours of the morning."
On my asking the man if he expected to be paid for his information, he replied, "No, I merely want it to go on record. I don't even want my name mentioned, and you won't hear from me again."
My visitor then went away, and I dismissed the subject as trivial until the next day, when the afternoon papers were publishing reports of the collision, which actually occurred nearly twelve hours after my visitor had been explaining his amazing premonition.
Shipping Gazette and Lloyd's List, Monday, January 25, 1909
PREMONITION OF DEATH
Women Insisted Upon an Accident
Policy Before Sailing on Ill-Fated
A Boston telegram to the New York Tribune contained the following regarding the death of Mrs. Eugene Lynch of that city, and her determination to take out an accident insurance policy:
"Unable to shake off the premonition that she was to meet with injury or worse in her first trip across the ocean, Mrs. Eugene Lynch, of this city, the woman who was crushed to death in her stateroom when the prow of the Florida jammed through the steel and timbers of the Republic, made her husband take out an accident policy of $10,000 for himself and her over his protest.
"This was her last act before she left this city for New York to sail. The policies were issued by the Preferred Accident Insurance Company, of New York, at its Boston office. This series of policies is seldom issued to women, and Mrs. Lynch was apprised of that fact. So strongly was she under the impression of impending danger that she insisted that she be given a special policy which pays the amount when the policyholder is killed or injured at sea."
The contract referred to is a popular one issued by the Preferred Accident and known as the "Travel" policy. The policy is $6 per year for $2,500; $12 for $5,000; $24 for $10,000 and $48 for $20,000.
The Eastern Underwriter, Feb. 4, 09, 17:3.
... Another noteworthy fact was than [sic] on her way from the Hudson River pier yesterday the Republic crushed in a portion of the Quebec Steamship Company's steamer Bermudian, which was loading there for Bermuda.
Brooklyn Standard Union, January 24, 1909, 1:2
Before going to bed some one had said something about the possibility of the ship's striking an iceberg, so that when the shock came my first thought was that we
had struck a berg.
Dr. J. Arthur Lamb, Kalispell, Mont.
Washington Evening Star, Jan. 26, 09, 9:5.