The Story
The Story

The Collision

The Republic had completed her most recent cruise of the Mediterranean and arrived in New York on January 13, 1909. The cruise that she had just completed was notable in that her officers, passengers and crew had observed first-hand the tragic consequences of the December Italian earthquakes. They had witnessed the massive relief effort organized at Naples, and her newly invented and recently installed "wireless" had intercepted many communications relating to the disaster. The Republic also carried refugees from the disaster to the United States.

The Republic's Wireless Room

After her passengers, mail and cargo were unloaded and new passengers, mail and cargo loaded, she departed the White Star Line pier, New York, at 3 p.m. on Friday January 22, 1909.

Notice rail cars entering pier.


White Star Line, Pier 48, New York
Foot of W. 11th Street, Bank Street

She carried 461 passengers of whom 250 were First Class, mostly prominent and wealthy figures of the era including several embarking on a two month "Thomas Cook" tour of the Mediterranean.1

In the steerage the Republic carried 211, of whom 160 were homeward bound Italians whose relatives had suffered from the earthquake. They were going to Sicily and Calabria. Not a few of them were making the trip to learn if mothers and fathers or sisters and brothers had been left alive by the calamity which overwhelmed south Italy. Most of the others in the steerage were Portuguese bound for the Azores and Madeira, with here and there a Slav rattling money in his pocket, who was returning home to be a great fellow in his own town while the money lasted. There were no second cabin passengers. [Emphasis supplied.2]

New York Sun, January 24, 1909, 1:6.

...She [the REPUBLIC] was due at Punta Delgada in the Azores January 29; Gibraltar, February 2; Genoa, February 5; Naples, February 7; and Alexandria February 11. ...

loc. cit.

The REPUBLIC expected to return to New York again on or about February 25th 1909.3



1Trans-Atlantic passage aboard the Republic was only one component of the tour. Passengers on this tour were to disembark at Alexandria, Egypt, for other itineraries/transportation. Tours to the Orient, Thos. Cook and Son, New York, Season 1907 - 1908, Library of Congress DS43.C78.
2The Second Class section of the vessel may have been under charter.
3Subsequent New York departures for the REPUBLIC were scheduled for March 6 and April 23, 1909. N. Y. Post, January 13, 09, 4:5.