Captain Edwin John Smith the captain of the Titanic he went down with the ship, here he is seen with his dog.
There are conflicting accounts of Smith’s death. Some survivors said they saw Smith enter the ship’s wheelhouse on the bridge, and die there when it was engulfed. The New York Herald in its 19 April 1912 edition quoted Robert Williams Daniel, who jumped from the stern immediately before the ship sank, in its 19 April 1912 edition as have claimed to have witnessed Captain Smith drown in the ship’s wheelhouse. “I saw Captain Smith on the bridge. My eyes seemingly clung to him. The deck from which I had leapt was immersed. The water had risen slowly, and was now to the floor of the bridge. Then it was to Captain Smith’s waist. I saw him no more. He died a hero.” Captain Smith himself made statements hinting that he would go down with his ship if he was ever confronted with a disaster. A friend of Smith’s, Dr. Williams, asked Captain Smith what would happen if the Adriatic struck a concealed reef of ice and was badly damaged. “Some of us would go to the bottom with the ship,” was Smith’s reply. A boyhood friend, William Jones said, “Ted Smith passed away just as he would have loved to do. To stand on the bridge of his vessel and go down with her was characteristic of all his actions when we were boys together.” Because of these factors as well as the accounts of Smith going inside the wheelhouse, this has remained the iconic image which has remained of Smith and has been perpetuated by film portrayals.
Initially, rumors that Smith was the officer who committed suicide by shooting himself in the last minutes of the sinking, an incident that was reported by several survivors, were reported by theWashington Times and the French paper L’Excelsior based off the survivor accounts of Ms. Gretchen Longley and Mrs. Washington Dodge; a boy who was one of the last to leave the ship also told Dr. J.F. Kemp, a passenger on the Carpathia, that “Captain Smith put a pistol to his head and then fell down.” Surviving crewmen, however, vigorously denied this rumor. Also, Smith’s appearance, with a full white beard, would have made him stand out, whereas not one of the witnesses described the officer concerned as having a beard. There is also no evidence of Smith ever having possession of a revolver or ever having fired a gun.