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Eerie letter from Titanic passenger goes up for auction

by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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The last known letter written by a doomed Titanic passenger while on board the ship is being auctioned by a British firm on Saturday.

The foreboding letter, stained by the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean, was found in a pocketbook on the body of passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson in the recovery effort after the ship's famous sinking.

Titanic letter
A letter written by a passenger on Titanic stationery during the ship's doomed journey is up for auction in the United Kingdom. Henry Aldridge and Son

Holverson's letter to his mother was dated April 13, 1912, one day before the Titanic hit the iceberg that caused it to sink and resulted in the deaths of 1,514 passengers and crew on its maiden voyage from England to New York.

titanic-original-inline-today-160210
A 1912 photo of the R.M.S. TitanicASSOCIATED PRESS

It features a particularly ominous sentence.

"If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday A.M,'' Holverson wrote.

Titanic letter
The letter makes mention of the food and music on board as well as the presence of John Jacob Astor, the world's richest man at the time. Henry Aldridge and Son

The auction house Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire expects to get between $80,000 to $100,000 for the item, according to the official listing.

"It is in my opinion it is the most important letter written on board Titanic ever to come to market,'' Andrew Aldridge told TODAY in an email. "It is exceptional on every level including content, historical context and rarity."

The letter is written on embossed stationery with the header "On board R-M-S Titanic," and makes mention of John Jacob Astor, who was the richest man in the world at the time. Astor also died in the sinking.

Titanic letter
The letter was written by passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson, a New York businessman who was on board with his wife, Mary. Henry Aldridge and Son

"Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor is on this ship,'' Holverson wrote. "He looks like any other human being even tho he has millions of money. They sit out on deck with the rest of us."

Holverson, a successful New York businessman, had been on vacation with his wife in Buenos Aires before returning to England to board the Titanic for the trip back to America. While Holverson perished, his wife was rescued.

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Holverson's letter was eventually delivered to its intended recipient, his mother. The family has now decided to auction it off.

"It ranks as one of the most important items of ephemera from Titanic that have ever been offered for auction, a truly world class example of Titanic memorabilia,'' the listing reads.

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