The passengers of the RMS Titanic were among the approximately 2,206 people who sailed on the maiden voyage of the second of the White Star Line's Olympic class ocean liners, from Southampton to New York City. Halfway through the voyage, the ship struck an iceberg and sank in the early morning of 15 April 1912, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 people, including approximately 703 of the passengers.
The Titanic's passengers were divided into three separate classes, determined not only by the price of their ticket but by wealth and social class. Those travelling in first class, the wealthiest passengers on board, were prominent members of the upper class and included businessmen, politicians, high-ranking military personnel, industrialists, bankers and professional athletes. Second class passengers were middle class travellers and included professors, authors, clergymen and tourists. Third class or steerage passengers were primarily immigrants moving to the United States and Canada.
Passengers[edit | edit source]
First-class[edit | edit source]
The Titanic's first-class passenger list was a who's who of the rich and prominent of the upper class in 1912. A single person berth in first class cost £30, the equivalent of £1 and up to £80 (£1 today) for a parlor suite and small private promenade deck. First class passengers enjoyed a number of amenities including a gymnasium, a squash court, a saltwater swimming pool, electric and Turkish baths, a barbershop, kennels for first-class dogs, lifts and both open and enclosed promenades. First class passengers also traveled accompanied by personal staff—valets, maids, nurses for the children, chauffeurs and cooks.
] Members of the British aristocracy made the trip: Lady Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes, wife of the 19th Earl of Rothes, embarked at Southampton with her parents, Thomas and Clementina Dyer-Edwardes, and cousin Gladys Cherry. Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, 5th Baronet of Halkin, and his wife, Lucy were on board as well. Sir Duff-Gordon was a wealthy Scottish landowner and Olympic fencer medalist, while Madam Lucile was a leading fashion designer who served a wealthy and exclusive clientele including the British Royal Family. Colonel Archibald Gracie IV was a real estate investor, member of the wealthy Scottish-American Gracie family, embarked at Southampton. The Cavendish of London among other prominent British couples were on board as well. Sir William Pirrie, chairman of Harland and Wolff was to travel aboard the Titanic, but illness prevented him from joining the ill-fated voyage, however White Star Line's Managing Director J. Bruce Ismay and the ship's Harland and Wolff designer, Thomas Andrews, were both on board to oversee the ship's progress on her maiden voyage.
Some of the most prominent members of the American social elite made the trip: real estate builder, businessman, and multimillionaire Colonel John Jacob Astor IV and his 18-year-old pregnant wife Madeleine, who were returning to the United States for their child's birth. Astor was the wealthiest passenger aboard the ship and one of the richest men in the world, his great-grandfather John Jacob Astor was the first multimillionaire in America. Among others were industrialist magnate and millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim; Macy's department store owner and member of the United States House of Representatives, Isidor Straus and his wife Ida; George Dennick Wick, founder and president of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company; millionaire streetcar magnate George Dunton Widener; vice president of Pennsylvania Railroad; author Jacques Futrelle, and their friends; John Thayer and his wife Marian Thayer; Charles Hays, president of Canada's Grand Trunk Railway; William Ernest Carter and his wife, American social elite Lucile Carter; millionaire, philanthropist and women's rights activist Margaret Brown; tennis star and banker Karl Behr; journalist William Thomas Stead; famous American silent film actress Dorothy Gibson; author and socialite Helen Churchill Candee; prominent Buffalo architect Edward Austin Kent; President William Howard Taft's military aide, Major Archibald Butt, who was returning to resume his duties after a six-week trip to Europe; Broadway producers Henry and Rene Harris; writer and painter Francis Davis Millet and pioneer aviation entrepreneur Pierre Maréchal Sr.
White Star financier J. P. Morgan and Milton S. Hershey, founder of Hershey's chocolate, made plans to sail aboard the ship's maiden voyage but canceled at the last minute.
Second class[edit | edit source]
Second class passengers were predominantly leisure tourists, academics, members of the clergy and middle class English and American families. The ship's musicians travelled in second class accommodations; they were not counted as members of the crew but were employed by an agency under contract to the White Star Line. The average ticket price for an adult second class passenger was £13, the equivalent of £1 today. and for many of these passengers, their travel experience on the Titanic was akin to travelling first class on smaller liners. Second class passengers had their own library and the men had access to a private smoking room. Second class children could read the children's books provided in the library or play deck quoits and shuffleboard on the second class promenade. Twelve-year-old Ruth Becker passed the time by pushing her two-year-old brother Richard around the enclosed promenade in a stroller provided by the White Star Line.
Two Roman Catholic priests on board, Father Thomas Byles and Father Joseph Peruschitz, held Mass every day for second and third class passengers during the voyage. Father Byles gave his homilies in English, Irish and French and Father Peruschitz held his in German and Hungarian.
Rev. John Harper, a well-known Baptist pastor from England, was travelling to America with his daughter and niece in order to preach at the Moody Church in Chicago. It was reported that he shared the Christian Gospel with others in the frigid water until succumbing to the cold.
Schoolteacher Lawrence Beesley, a science master at Dulwich College, spent much of his time aboard the ship in the library. Two months after the sinking, he wrote and published The Loss of the SS Titanic, the first eyewitness account of the disaster.
The Laroche family, father Joseph and daughters Simonne and Louise, were the only known passengers of black ancestry on board the ship. They, along with Joseph's pregnant wife Juliette, were travelling to Joseph's native island of Haiti. Joseph hoped that a move from their former home in Paris back to Haiti, where his uncle Cincinnatus Leconte was president, would take his family away from racial discrimination.
Another French family travelling in second class was the Navratils, travelling under the assumed name Hoffman. Michel Navratil, a Slovak-born French tailor, had kidnapped his two young sons, Michel Jr. and Edmond from his estranged wife, assumed the name Louis M. Hoffman and boarded the ship in Southampton, intent on taking his children to the United States. Michel Sr. died in the sinking and photographs of the boys were circulated throughout the world in the hopes that their mother or another relative could identify the French toddlers, who became known as "The Titanic Orphans."  After arriving in New York, the children were cared for by Titanic survivor Margaret Hays until their mother, Marcelle Navratil travelled from Nice, France to claim them.
Third class[edit | edit source]
Third-class, or steerage passengers were predominantly immigrants, hoping to start new lives in the United States and Canada. Third class passengers paid between £7 (£1 today) and £9 (£1 today) for their ticket, depending on their place of origin; ticket prices often included the price of rail travel to the three departure ports. Tickets for children cost £3 (£1 today).
Third class passengers were a diverse group of nationalities and ethnic groups. In addition to large numbers of British, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants, there were passengers from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Russia, Turkey etc.), the Middle East (primarily Lebanon and Syria) and Hong Kong. Some travelled alone or in small family groups. Several groups of mothers were travelling alone with their young children—most going to join their husbands who had already gone to America to find jobs, and, having saved up enough money, could now send for their families.
Large families were common—John and Annie Sage were immigrating to Jacksonville, Florida with their nine children, ranging in age from 4 to 20 years; Anders and Alfrida Andersson of Sweden and their five children were travelling to Canada along with Alfrida's younger sister Anna, husband Ernst and baby Gilbert; Frederick Goodwin was moving with his wife, Augusta, and their six children to his new job at a power plant in New York. In 2007, scientists using DNA analysis identified the body of a small fair-haired toddler, one of the first victims to be recovered by the CS Mackay Bennett, as Frederick's youngest child, 19-month-old Sidney. The Sages, Anderssons and Goodwins all perished in the sinking.
The youngest passenger on board the ship, two-month-old Millvina Dean who, with her parents Bertram Sr. and Eva Dean and older brother Bertram, were emigrating from England to Kansas, died in 2009. She was the last survivor of the Titanic disaster to die.
In order to compete with rival shipping company Cunard, the White Star Line offered their steerage passengers modest luxuries, in the hopes that emigrants would write to relatives back home and encourage them to travel on White Star Line ships. Third class passengers had their own dining facilities, with chairs instead of benches, and meals prepared by the third class kitchen staff. On other liners, the steerage passengers would have been expected to bring their own food. Rather than dormitory-style sleeping areas, third class passengers had their own cabins. The single men and women were separated, women in the stern in two to six berth cabins, men in the bow in up to ten berth cabins, often shared with strangers. Each stateroom was fitted with wood panelling and beds with mattresses, blankets, pillows, electric lights, heat and a washbasin with running water, except for the bow cabins which did not have a private washbasin. Two public bathtubs were also provided, one for the men, the other for women.
Passengers gathered in the third class common room where they could play chess or cards, or walk along the poop deck. Third class children played in the common room or explored the ship—nine-year-old Frank Goldsmith recalled peering into the engine room and climbing up the baggage cranes on the poop deck.
Ship's regulations were designed to keep third class passengers confined to their area of the ship. The Titanic was fitted with grilles to prevent the classes from mingling and these gates were normally kept closed, although the stewards could open them in the event of an emergency. In the rush following the collision, the stewards, occupied with waking up sleeping passengers and leading groups of women and children to the boat deck, did not have time to open all the gates, leaving many of the confused third class passengers stuck below decks. This caused many third class passengers to drown because the room where they were in flooded and the gates were still closed. Anthony Abbing was most likely one of these unlucky ones.
Several passengers on the Titanic came were of Arab origins. At the time, many carried identification from the Ottoman Empire that stated they were from Greater Syria which included the modern day countries Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. Passengers from modern-day Lebanon, for instance, had hometown villages which correspond to modern day Lebanese villages. Kamal Kobeissi of Al Arabiya said "Even though the list of victims who died on the Titanic denotes who among them was Arab, it is difficult to find enough information on their Arab nationalities and what circumstances drove them to board the doomed ship. This even applies to Encyclopedia Titanic, the most comprehensive source on the 1912 tragedy." The names of Arab people on the passenger register do not necessarily correspond to the original Arabic. For instance "Badr" was rendered "Badt," Yusuf" was rendered "Joseph," and "Boutros" was rendered as "Peter." Of the Arab passengers who died, all were from modern day Lebanon except for one Egyptian. According to Mayor of Hardin, Lebanon Bakhos Assaf, 93 passengers originated from what is today Lebanon and Hardin had 20 passengers, the highest number of any Lebanese place. Of the Hardin passengers, 11 adult men died, while eight women and children and one adult man survived.
Ticket-holders who did not sail[edit | edit source]
Several notable and prominent people of the era, who held tickets for the westbound passage or were guests of others who held tickets, did not sail. Others were waiting in New York to board for the passage back to Plymouth, England on the second leg of Titanic's maiden voyage. Many unused tickets that survived, whether they are for the westbound passage or the return eastbound passage, are quite valuable today. Among those who held tickets for a passage, but did not sail were John Pierpont Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, Milton Hershey, Theodore Dreiser, Guglielmo Marconi, Edgar Selwyn, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.
Survivors and victims[edit | edit source]
On the night of 14 April 1912 at around at 11:40 pm, while the Titanic was sailing about 400 miles (640 km) south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the ship struck an iceberg and began to sink. Shortly before midnight, Captain Smith ordered the ship's lifeboats to be readied and a distress call was sent out. The closest ship to respond was Cunard Line's Carpathia 58 miles (93 km) away, which would arrive in an estimated four hours—too late to rescue all of Titanic's passengers. Forty-five minutes after the ship hit the iceberg, Captain Smith finally ordered the lifeboats to be loaded and lowered under the orders women and children first.
The first lifeboat launched was Lifeboat 7 on the starboard side with 28 people on board out of a capacity of 65. It was lowered at around 12:45 am as believed by the British Inquiry. Collapsible Boat D was the last lifeboat to be launched, at 2:05. Two more lifeboats, Collapsible Boats A and B, were in the process of being removed from their location on the roof of the officer's house but could not be properly launched. Collapsible B floated away from the ship upside down, while Collapsible A, half-filled with water after the supports for its canvas sides were broken in the fall from the roof of the officers' quarters. There were arguments in some of the lifeboats about going back to pick up people in the water, but many survivors were afraid of being swamped by people trying to climb into the lifeboat or being pulled down by the suction from the sinking Titanic, though it turned out that there had been very little suction. At 2:20 am, Titanic herself sank. A small number of passengers and crew were able to make their way to the two unlaunched collapsible boats, surviving for several hours until they were rescued by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe.
At 4:10 am, the RMS Carpathia arrived at the site of the sinking and began rescuing survivors. By 8:30 am, she picked up the last lifeboat with survivors and left the area at 08:50 bound for Pier 54 in New York City. Of the 718 passengers and crew rescued by the Carpathia, six, including first class passenger William F. Hoyt, either died in a lifeboat during the night or on board the Carpathia the next morning, and were buried at sea. 
In the days following the sinking, several ships sailed to the disaster area to recover victims' bodies. The White Star Line chartered the cable ship CS Mackay-Bennett from Halifax, Nova Scotia to retrieve bodies. Three other ships followed in the search: the cable ship Minia, the lighthouse supply ship Montmagny and the sealing vessel Algerine. Each ship left with embalming supplies, undertakers, and clergy. Upon recovery, each body retrieved by the Mackay-Bennett was numbered and given as detailed a description as possible to help aid in identification. The physical appearance of each body—height, weight, age, hair and eye colour, visible birthmarks, scars or tattoos, was catalogued and any personal effects on the bodies were gathered and placed in small canvas bags corresponding to their number.
However, the ship found so many bodies that the embalming supplies aboard were quickly exhausted. Health regulations permitted that only embalmed bodies could be returned to port. Captain Larnder of the Mackay-Bennett and the undertakers aboard decided to preserve all bodies of First Class passengers, justifying their decision by the need to visually identify wealthy men to resolve any disputes over large estates. As a result the majority of the burials at sea were third class passengers and crew. Larnder himself claimed that as a mariner, he would expect to be buried at sea. However complaints about the burials at sea were made by families and undertakers. Later ships such as Minia found fewer bodies, requiring fewer embalming supplies, and were able to limit burials at sea to bodies which were too damaged to preserve.
Bodies recovered were preserved and taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the closest city to the sinking with direct rail and steamship connections. A large temporary morgue was set up in a curling rink and undertakers were called in from all across Eastern Canada to assist. Relatives from across North America came to identify and claim the bodies of their relatives. Some bodies were shipped to be buried in their home towns across North America and Europe. About two-thirds of the bodies were identified. Of the remaining 150 unclaimed bodies, 121 were taken to the non-denominational Fairview Lawn Cemetery; 19 were buried in the Roman Catholic Mount Olivet Cemetery, and 10 were taken to the Jewish Baron de Hirsch Cemetery. Unidentified victims were buried with simple numbers based on the order in which their bodies were discovered.
In mid-May 1912, over 200 miles (320 km) from the site of the sinking, the RMS Oceanic recovered three bodies, numbers 331, 332 and 333, who were among the original occupants of Collapsible A, which was swamped in the last moments of the sinking. Although several people managed to reach this lifeboat, three died during the night. When Fifth Officer Harold Lowe and six crewmen returned to the wreck site after the sinking with an empty lifeboat to pick up survivors, they rescued surviving passengers from Collapsible A, but left the three dead bodies in the boat: Thomson Beattie, a first-class passenger, and two crew members, a fireman and a seaman. After their retrieval from Collapsible A by Oceanic, the bodies were buried at sea.
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