This book tells the history of the famed ship the RMS Lusitania as well as the story of one of Erie County’s finest young men, James Blaine Miller.  Miller had joined the U. S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Service immediately after graduating from college and had risen to the rank of Captain.  Wanting more education, he took a leave of absence to go to Glasgow, Scotland to study. Europe was at war and the ship he booked passage on was commandeered by the British.

The story of a grand but ill-fated ship and a fine courageous man. Their stories merge in that last cruise from New York to Liverpool in 1915.

Photos. Indexed. Soft Cover. 2013.


Excerpt from Miller: September 22, 1914.  Blaine’s ship, the Patterson, was about 700 miles away when his wireless operator received the call for help.  According to Blaine’s report: The Patterson was on her return from Goodnews Bay with the crew of the Yukon on board.  The Patterson was moored in a cove, having found shelter from a northwest gale a few hours before.  But on receiving the distress call, the vessel started at once for Unalaska to take coal and discharge her passengers: they traveled in the gale, fighting winds all the way and arrived after 16 hours of steaming.  She was refueled with coal on the night of the 21st, and started for the wreck at 5 p.m.  (This was about 30 hours after receiving the distress call.)  No other ships had started at that time.

Excerpt about the Lusitania: The Lusitania was the largest, fastest and most luxurious of these three ships.  It was regarded as a floating palace.  The decorations in first class were rich and magnificent, beyond description.  Second class accommodations were truly fine, and in third class (steerage) it was one of the few ships to offer travelers cabins with berths rather than a dormitory style sleeping arrangement.

Sometimes it was not possible to know exactly how many passengers would be aboard ship until shortly before sailing, and sometimes not even then.  On this particular day, May 1 (1915,) the British commandeered the Cameronia as an auxiliary cruiser and 37 passengers plus five members of the crew were transferred with their luggage to another British ship, the Lusitania.  Of the passengers seven were assigned to the first class section (Blaine, who had been booked on the Cameronia was assigned to A-33), thirty were placed in second class staterooms and the five crew were all women.

Additional information

Dimensions 8.5 × 6 × .75 in

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