To Mrs. Annie Ryan
Queenstown, 11 April, 1912
I am hurrying to write this letter to you before I leave. Itís about 10 A.M. now and before I know it, the great ship on which I am to travel will be arriving in the harbor. This is really just a quick note anyway, to tell you that I got this far safely.
Iíve been staying for the last two nights at an emigrantís home on the quayside. It was clean and the food decent, for the money Iíve paid. I found out from some of the folks Iíll be traveling with that a few of the boarding houses are charging the likes of us large amounts of money for dirty rooms and gruel. So I was lucky to find a good place. And it is just across the street from the White Star Line Office.
The night before last, I met up with some fellows from County Meath. A couple of them have brought their pipes and violins with them, so I would not be surprised if we had some fine music to listen and dance to on the way over.
Thereís not been much to do here for the last two days. But Iíve been to confession up at St. Colmanís cathedral and visited the bathhouse. So now at least, Iíve been cleansed in body and soul.
Iím told that some of the families here to say good-bye to their loved ones, will be climbing up those cathedral steps this morning. From there they will have a view of the tenders and the Titanic herself.
There are two tenders to take the passengers out. The Ireland, is over by the railway station quay and will take out the First and Second class passengers. And the America is waiting over by the White Star dock and will be taking the rest of us out to the ship. I am thankful that I am making the journey to America on a ship built by Irishmen. At least Iíll be in good hands on the way over.
I hear that the ship has been sighted and weíll be hearing the whistle of Titanic soon. They say it will make the windows for miles around rattle.
Ma, Iíll write again when I get to America. Iím going to find a good job and save my money, so that in two years Iíll be able to bring you and the girls over. Kiss my sisters Kate and Bridget for me. Iím wearing the new shirt you made for me, Ma and carrying the rosary you had Father OíBrien bless for me (just in case, you know). Say a prayer for me, Ma, as I start out on the grandest journey of my life.