1 page | SMC 262
- Archie Butt
Major Butt, who played so frequently with the President that he was said to be a member of the President’s “Golf Cabinet,” went down with the Titanic – a loss which stunned Taft.
Archibald Butt, 1909: Wikimedia Commons
Archibald Willingham DeGraffenreid Clarendon Butt (1865-1912) was an American United States Army officer and journalist, and served as presidential aide to Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Born into poverty in Augusta, Georgia, just after the Civil War, Butt rose to become one of the most beloved figures in Washington, D.C. When he was fourteen, his father passed away, leaving young Archie to support his family. Eventually, Butt became a journalist, and even the first Secretary to the US Ambassador to Mexico in 1895, where he continued to write for several American newspapers. Archie was descended from a long line of military men going back to the Revolutionary War. When the Spanish-American war broke out, three years after Archie had assumed his post in Mexico, the army was a natural choice for a man so proud of his military pedigree. His achievements in that war caught the attention of future President Theodore Roosevelt, who asked him to be a military aide in 1908. The following year, President Taft entered the White House and kept Archie on staff. The two subsequently became close friends. Butt died aboard the Titanic with his partner in April of 1912, according to reports, an officer and gentleman to the end.