Astor's Death - Condition of the Body


Mar 18, 2000
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A few thoughts:

Possibly Astor didn't give Madeline his pocket cash, because he felt she had an 'adequate' amount on her - and of course, once on shore, she would have no trouble!

Re: his watch stopping at 3:20. I would think his watch was *far* better made than other people's were - and waterproof enough to keep from stopping as quick as other's did.
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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All,

I consider it highly unlikely that Astor would have suspected the end was near, and the same applies to the other men at boat #4 at this juncture. I'm not entirely sure of the timing, but the passengers may have been lulled into a false sense of security by the light of the "mystery ship" still visible(?) off the port bow. We know that Astor had seen the light - Gracie had pointed it out to him earlier, and this may account for his apparent optimism, hence the money discovered on his body. Several men who had loaded their wives into "port-side" boats (from which the light was visible) had on their person a large amount of posessions when later recovered (ex. Astor, Holverson, Minahan). Perhaps they were collecting items preparatory to transfering to another ship?

Just some thoughts.

Regards,
Ben
 
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Denise Rajauski

Guest
I've always wondered just how many of the men *really* knew with absolute certainty they were doomed. Even when they went into the water,how many thought in the first moments, 'I'm still alive, I can float in my lifejacket until rescued.'

For those who did know from the first, what mental strength it must have taken. What thoughts would they have had? I often wonder particularly what Thomas Andrews was thinking-was he thinking of what was occuring as he stood there alone in the last minutes,was he thinking of his wife and child, was he too stunned to think of anything?

Denise
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Kritina,

"Well, I should obviously never give an opinion." You should always give your opinion here, because you are valuable.

None of us were there and so our ideas of what happened will be different. I find it interesting about different people's ideas of what went on that night. And what is really interesting is that perhaps none of them are right, maybe something totally different happened.

Always post your thoughts. That is how I learn, from other people posting their thoughts here. Evenm when i do not agree with them, I go and research it.

Geoff, my kids wouold have gotten the money before I left on my trip and made sure that my insurance wwas paid up. hehehehehehehehehehe OIf course they have no idea that Phil Hind talked me into to leaving my millions to ET, but then they didn;t ask. hehehehehehehehehehe hehehe

Maureen.
 
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Martin Renner

Guest
Did J.J. Astor think that he was going to be saved (i.e. the ship was "unsinkable") or did he "go down like a gentleman," whatever that means?

Forgive me if this has been asked a million times- this is my first proper thread here & I'm curious as to what you think.

I'm just having trouble understanding why one of the richest (THE richest??) men in the world would accept his fate so readily. Especially (if this is true) when his mistress was carrying his unborn child (or was that just a J. Cameron-ism?).....

I just can't see Bill Gates doing the same thing in a similar situation, but that's part of the mystique- the difference- between then & now, isn't it?

I'd love to hear your opinions..... thanks!
-Remmy.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Mar 16, 2000
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She wasn't his mistress, but his wife. It was Ben Guggenheim who had the mistress.

By the end, Astor must have known that his chances were slim, but people generally don't just quit. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, as they say. Many thought they could somehow escape, such as the gym instructor, who discarded his lifebelt in the hope of swimming more freely. He didn't make it, but Colonel Gracie, who was equally determined, did.

Remember too, that Astor was a soldier. Not a very valiant one, but one who understood the code of honour. I suspect that some of our military members would not find his actions strange.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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It is likely that Astor did "make a try for it", as the condition of his recovered body suggests that he was one of the swimmers killed by a falling smokestack. He may have been aware that a number of men had been admitted without argument to boats on the starboard side, and perhaps he considered that as an option. But he had no doubts at all about what was expected of him as a 'gentleman', and of the consequences of failing to live up to those expectations - condemnation, social isolation, ruined self-esteem. The core of Astor's life was not his wealth but his 'position', and that's what he stood to lose. Whether his decision to take his chances in the water was prompted by heroism or self interest, the motivation remains the same - death before dishonour.

As for Bill Gates, his position would have been more comparible to Ismay - he would have owned the ship and probably the iceberg as well.

Bob
 
Apr 16, 2002
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LOL!
But Bob, I've heard that Astor's body was NOT crushed by the funnel. His body description does not mention it. It has only been published recently. Like so many other myths, one person who tries to make the story more interesting by putting things that never happened in their books, start the chain, and it keeps finding it's way into the story.
 

Don Tweed

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May 5, 2002
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Like the story of Gates Bob!!!
So instaed of Windows 95 it would have been Portholes 95!!!
happy.gif

-Don
 
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Martin Renner

Guest
Oops. Dumb mistress/wife slip. Of course she was his wife, not his mistress (*slaps self in face*).

So.. thanks for the replies! So he might've made a "try for it".. I can see that happening. Makes more sense that just accepting his fate. Smith, on the other hand, HAD to go down with the ship.

As for Gates- ha!
happy.gif
Yep, he probably WOULD've owned the iceberg. Nice call.
happy.gif
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Martin, there's always the possibility that Smith, far from going down with the Old Canoe, also "made a try for it". I think you'll find that debate covered elsewhere in the forum.

Bob
 
Jul 20, 2000
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While some accounts suggest that Astor declined the offer of a seat in a lifeboat thanks to Gracie we know that Astor asked to join Mrs Astor in boat 4. Lightoller turned him down.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Good point, Lester, and it's hard to believe that he did so solely for the benefit of his young wife in her 'delicate condition'. But once he was alone and without any means to convince others (and perhaps more importantly himself) that there could be any 'gentlemanly' reason to board a lifeboat, he seems to have made no further attempt to do so.
Bob
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi Bob,

Quite likely and just perhaps Astor was also reflecting on the fact that he had not taken heed of whatever it was Captain Smith said to him and got himself and Mrs Astor into an earlier boat. I understand they were near boat 5, but went inside?
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Bob!

>(exits, crushed and soot-blackened, stage left)

I laughed out loud when I read that, old chap. Thanks for your good-humored response -- it really brightened my day! :)

All my best,

George
 

Smith Mize

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Dec 20, 2002
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Well, I don't quite understand what they mean by "Going down like a gentleman" either, but, I do know the condition of Astor's body.
In my book 882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic it states that:

"His body was found crushed and covered with soot, which would suggest that he was killed when the forward funnel toppled over. His body was identified by the initials inside his collar, some jewelry, and by a pocketbook containing 225 pounds and $2,440 in cash."

I don't know for sure, but I'm going to go by what the book says.

- Smith [email protected]