John Harper “preached the Gospel to the end.”

By Meghan Overdeep
November 02, 2020
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RMS Titanic
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A letter written by one of the Titanic’s most heroic victims is headed for the auction block in the U.K.

John Harper, the pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London, was traveling aboard the Titanic with his sister and six-year-old daughter to preach in Chicago when the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge of Henry Aldridge & Son told Fox News that, while Harper’s daughter and sister were put in a lifeboat and survived, Harper stayed on board the Titanic and gave his lifejacket to a fellow passenger.

John Harper Titanic
John Harper Titanic Letter
Left: Credit: Henry Aldridge & Son
Right: Credit: Henry Aldridge & Son

“Contemporary accounts state that Harper preached the Gospel to the end (especially Acts 16:31), first aboard the sinking ship and then afterward to those in the freezing water before succumbing to the inevitable,” Aldridge said.

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The letter, which is dated April 11, 1912 (three days before tragedy struck), was written by Harper to a “Brother Young,” thanking him for his help prior to his departure. Penned on Titanic stationery, it was mailed from Queenstown, Ireland, when the Titanic picked up passengers that day.

“I am penning you this line just before we get to Queenstown to assure you that I have not forgotten you and especially all your kindness while we were north,” Harper writes.

With a pre-sale estimate of $38,850 to $64,750, the letter will be auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son on November 14 along with an extensive collection of Titanic memorabilia.