Monday, February 11, 2008
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Arthur Larned and Emily Ryerson were a French couple with not a lot of money, but Arthur was a famous colonel so he was still in high society. Emily was an American and her family went back to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, so she was very social and was liked by so many. They had five children, Arthur Junior, was finishing his last year at Yale University when he was killed in an automobile accident.
The Ryersons were going to attend their son's funeral and were traveling on the TITANIC. They were traveling with Mrs. Ryerson's servant, Victorine Chandanson.
Mrs. Ryerson, for some odd reason, didn't want to leave her cabin and rarely ate meals outside their cabin but Mrs. Thayer once persuaded her to take a stroll on deck. Unknown to the Ryersons, he had a fourth cousin on board whom was a dining room steward.
The Titanic had hit the iceberg and their room steward came in to direct them to the lifeboats, the steward was nearly convinced to leave them alone. Mrs. Ryerson and Victorine Chandanson made it to the life boats. Mr. Ryerson died in the sinking and went to join his son that night.
In an interview by Senator Smith of Michigan, Emily Ryerson said this about Mr. Ryerson:
Q. He (Ismay) didn't say anything to you about speeding the ship up to get out of the ice?
A. No, that was merely the impression that was left on my mind.
Q. My question is not whether he spoke about their putting on more boilers and going faster; but I am confining my question to whether he said, or suggested to you, anything that indicated that they were going to increase their speed in order to get out of the ice?
A. As I say, that was merely the impression left on my mind.
Q. Nothing was said?
A. No, not in so many words -- that was the impression left on my mind.
Q. You don't wish to be understood the Titanic was trying to make a speed record across the Atlantic?
A. I should say my impression was they were going to show -- surprise us all by what she could do, on that voyage.
Q. As a matter of fact, was it discussed whether she should get in on Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning?
Q. Among passengers?
A. Yes, and in this conversation with Mr. Ismay also, there was some question about it, because I discussed it with my husband after I got down to the cabin.
Q. You wouldn't say Mr. Ismay said they were going to make a record?
A. No, I wouldn't say he said those words -- his attitude, or his language, we assumed that that was -- that we were trying to make a record. I wouldn't say he used those words.
Mrs. Ryerson never talked about the TITANIC and hated the mention of the ocean liner. Victorine married a fellow servant of the Ryersons. They had one son. In all, only one Ryerson child died of old age.