Monday, 12 June 2017



The following extract illustrates the confusion surrounding cargo and value, circa 1909. Mention is made that valuable cargo was neither listed nor insured due to security reasons and one assumes that the same applied to Waratah. Clearly the insurance figures quoted in the press for cargo (Waratah) did not even come close to covering the 10 710 ingots of copper valued at £ 338 430. In the previous post I did not explore the press quoted figures for lead bars; silver bars and gold bars which would have escalated value even further:

LEAD                 300 tons   (plus 1000 tons concentrates)
METALS              112 css
RAILS                 114 
LEAD INGOTS      7660 (27 tons)
GOLD BARS         7600 (105 tons)
SILVER BARS        7350 (2.9 tons - 12.5 ounce bars)

COPPER INGOTS   10710 (95.6 - 107 tons)   

The Inquiry made no mention of cargo value and insurance - which now seems clear due to obvious reasons. Will the full truth about valuable cargo details and value ever come to light??

Note in the extract that researchers have had to rely on accounts in period newspapers. One cannot underestimate the importance of this valuable source.

Means available to establish definitively the cargo of the RMS REPUBLIC, or any other ship of the period, are severely limited.  In many cases, cargo manifests, bills of lading and other shipping documents are no longer available.  The White Star Line's records for the RMS REPUBLIC (and the RMS OCEANIC and RMS BALTIC, see website) have not been found.  While one newspaper account from the time suggested that the RMS REPUBLIC's logbooks and cargo documents were removed prior to the sinking and taken to White Star Line's Liverpool offices, the curator of White Star Line's archives in Liverpool, England believes that such documents were lost or destroyed prior to White Star Line's merger with Cunard Steamship Company in 1934.
Moreover, valuable cargos may not have been either insured or listed on cargo manifests for security of transport or other reasons that are discussed in the Report.  Research into the likely cargo of the RMS REPUBLIC has been based largely on public accounts available in newspapers and deductions based on shipments known to have been leaving New York at about the time of the RMS REPUBLIC's last voyage.  The only direct evidence of the cargo and other property aboard the RMS REPUBLIC are the claims brought by passengers and shippers, including the Navy, against the S. S. FLORIDA seeking compensation for losses caused by the collision and sinking. See website "Other Cargos."  Consequently, no one has yet definitively established that valuable cargo was in fact aboard the RMS REPUBLIC.

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