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This letter is a tremendous example of a first hand account of the sinking of the Titanic and its aftermath. (Page 4 of 4)

handwritten letter dated April 24, 1912, from John Snyder to his father, Frank. "We were both asleep when the boat hit...When we reached the top deck only a few people were about and we all were told to go down & put on our life belts...We were almost the very first people placed in the Lifeboat. Only a very few people were on deck at the time and they thought it much safer to stay on the big boat than to try the life boat".

He goes on to say how once in the lifeboats they could see from afar the boat sinking. "Finally the bow went under - that the finest boat in the world was doomed - we hit between 11:40 & 11:50 and the Titanic sunk at 2:22 in the morning."

(Photo courtesy of Phillip Weiss Auctions)

Rare Titanic photos and letters

An archive of incredible photos and handwritten letters acquired from the descendants of Titanic survivors John and Nelle Pillsbury Snyder, who were returning from their honeymoon when the tragedy struck. They were some of the first people to board lifeboats and later rescued by the Carpathia, the first ship that arrived at the disaster scene on the morning of April 15, 1912.

The collection is due to be sold by Philip Weiss Auctions on October 22, 2011, and the current minimum bid is $36,000.