white star line

To Chairman of White Star Line by



M73 64D

Sunday, April 6, 1912

My dear Mister Ismay,

Thanks for your letter received this morning. Your letter has made me feel that I was not entirely clear with regards to an acknowledgement of cancellation.  Let me explain my decision.

Weeks ago, I had a most restless night. Certain business matters kept me tossing and turning. (Kitty fell ill and retired to the adjoining room.) At some period, I became aware of an apparition by my bedside but was too tired to yell out.

Dripping wet in a blue serge suit and wearing a mustache, the apparition repeated, “Don’t go,” with such determination that I was forced to listen. Then, the apparition disappeared. After a passage of several minutes and with my wits somewhat restored, I recognized the apparition as that of Mister John Jacob Astor.

The next morning, still reeling a bit from last night’s meeting, I located the partial passenger list that you referenced in a previous letter. (According to my business associates, I was already privy to knowledge of several cancellations beforehand.) Mister Astor’s name matched the passenger list.

Mister Ismay, whether it was Mister Astor I watched, or I witnessed the effects of some undigestible string beans, I considered the entire incident. I’ve had some uneasiness about this venture with Kitty’s illness getting worse, business matters at home, and my fellow associates cancelling. However, this omen confirmed my feelings, once and for all. For this reason, I felt directed to bow out. I will be shortly on the German liner, Amerika, and hope to arrive in New York soon.

Your protestations regarding your finest boat in the world will not convince me otherwise.

Please respect my wishes to acknowledge cancellation on the Titanic.

Milton Hershey


As a member of the volunteer editorial team for 101 Words, John Lane has reviewed over 400 stories. He also has published credits in 50-word Stories, Spillwords, The Drabble, Trembling With Fear, Café Lit and elsewhere. He has stories in forthcoming anthologies by Christopher Fielden.



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1 thought on “To Chairman of White Star Line”

  1. I found this letter riveting. I was taken back to a time when correspondence of such gentlemanly fashion was the norm. And the last line was not expected. Thank you for taking me on this journey, and grateful that your MC did not take his.

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