August H Weikman


Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Saloon barber August H. Weikman certify after the sinking:

"I was in my barber shop reading," said Weikman, "when I felt a slight jar and realized we had struck something. I went to the gymnasium to see whether others had noticed it. I found some of the men punching the bag, while Colonel Astor, Mr. Widener and a number of others were watching them. "I had known Mr. Widener for some time, and I advised him to put on a life belt. He laughed at me. "What sense is there in that? This boat isn't going to sink,' he said to me. 'There is plenty of time. We're safer here than in a small boat, anyway.' "There were six persons on the raft and others were in the water up to their necks, hanging on to the edges of the raft. The raft was already awash, and we could not take them aboard. One by one, as they became chilled through, they bade us good-bye and sank. In the bottom of the raft was a man whom I had shaved that morning, and whom I had been told was worth $5,000,000. I did not know his name. He was dead.

Who was that man who worth 5 millions and that Weikman saw in the bottom of collapsible A? He was maybe theatre impressario Henry B. Harris? Regards,

Charles
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Charles:

The obvious answer would be Thomson Beattie, the only first class passenger who died in Collapsible A, and whose body was found a month later floating in it. There is no mention of Henry Harris making it to a lifeboat, and his body was never found.

I'm confused about the testimony that you attribute to Weikman. I don't see in his Senate testimony, or affadavit actually, that he went to the gymnasium after feeling the slight jar. Also don't see any reference he made to Astor or Widener. Was this a later affadavit?

Mike
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Mr Beattie was certainly not considered to worth $5,000,000, and I believe that Henry Harris could have easily swam to half-filled collapsible boat A after the Titanic disapears. There are no exact mentions on the fate of Mr Harris. He was seen for the last time by his wife, Renée, as she step in boat D. Weikman seems to explain that this gentleman, when the other occupants of boat A saw he was dead, plunged the body in the water. If the man did not wear a lifebelt, that explains why his body was not recovered. The text I wrote in my message does not come from an affidavit at all, but it was an interview given by Weikman to a reporter in New York if I'm right. I will try to find out where I saw it exactly. All the best,

Charles
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Charles:
If being worth $5 million is the criteria, maybe it was Astor then? What makes you think it was Harris?
Mike
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Mike: in all the books I read, they said Colonel Roebling, George Rheims and Emil Brandeis worth $3 million. Henry Birkhardt Harris and Isidor Straus worth $5 million. George D. Widener and John B. Thayer were $10 million. Finally, many books exagerate on the fortune of Colonel Astor saying he worth over than $25 million. Actually I think Astor worth $15 million. You seem to forget that Astor was crushed by the falling of the 22 meters first funnel. The same way as Charles Duane Williams. Mr Harris seems to be one of the only prominent man that we don't know the way he died. But one never knows, perhaps you're right and it was someone else who was at the bottom of the raft. Sincerely,

Charles
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Charles:

You are correct that there was not much time or distance between Harris loading his wife on 'D', and the release of 'A', even though they were on opposite sides of the ship, but I still can't find
anything that positively links him to 'A'.

Thanks to you I spent all night reading about the water-logged Collapsible A, including parts of Col. Gracie's book and the testimony of Weikman, Abelseth, Williams, Lowe, and others.

Abelseth does say that after he finally got on this raft: "Some were trying to get on their feet who were sitting or lying down; others fell into the water again. Some were frozen and there were two dead thrown overboard." But those two dead are not identified as to crew or passenger or class.

Abelseth goes on to talk about another man from New Jersey who he tried to revive, but who died. This unidentified man had a wife and child, which rules out Harris, Beattie, and Lindell (another male who died on 'A').

Let me know if you find that newspaper interview.

Mike
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Mike: I remember where I saw Weikman's newspaper interview. It was in 'Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters', edited by Logan Marshall in January 1997. Thank you for the research and the informations above. Which Abelseth account did you read? Thanks, Mike. Best wishes,

Charles
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Charles:

As luck would have it, I'm re-reading the Logan Marshall book right now. Haven't gotten to Weikman's interview yet, but I'll thumb through real quick.

Boy, there are some real wild statements printed there, though. This one is off the subject at hand, but a good example:
""Mr. Ismay was in the first lifeboat that left the Titanic," declared William Jones, an eighteen-year-old stoker, who was called to man one of the lifeboats. Jones comes from Southampton, England, and this was his first ocean voyage. He left the Carpathia tottering. "There were three fireman in each boat," he said. "I don't know how many were killed in the boiler explosion which occurred after the last lifeboat had put off. I saw four boats, filled with first cabin passengers, sink. In the boat I was in, two women died from exposure. We were picked up at 8 o'clock.""

How many untrue things are in that one statement?
Mike
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Charles:
Oops, forgot. The Abelseth account was from "The Titanic Disaster Hearings: The Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation" edited by Tom Kuntz.
Mike
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Mike: In fact, there are some inacurracies in the book, but there are several good informations and fascinating passengers' stories. We can not trust the text in it's entirety, but remember that Logan Marshall took several 1912 interviews given by passengers and crew members, and, so early after the sinking, people wished to gave good impressions and they often exaggerate their testimonies to make them even more pognant and sensational to read. Passengers were rewarded by phenominal amounts of money for a good story... All the best,

Charles
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Charles:
I just thought of something. Isn't there a good possibility that the body of whoever Weikman was talking about was eventually recovered by the MacKay Bennett or one of the other recovery ships? The other people in A had no way to weight it down when they pushed it overboard, Titanic had already sunk so it couldn't go down with it. Which leads me to another thought. Is there a list of passengers who were buried at sea by the recovery ships? Or at least descriptions of them?
Mike
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Dear Mike, I have never heard of a register listing passengers who were buried at sea, but maybe someone else know of the existence of this list. Those buried in the ocean were often people with no sign of identification on them. A prominent man have always affair papers and ID cards on him and, if it was really Mr Harris, certainly he have such papers in his clothes. But, one time again, we don't know exactly which clothing Harris took time to wear after the collision. Maybe he was still in his pyjamas with an overcoat and let the papers in his suite. Perhaps Mrs Harris mentions in her memoirs how he was dressed... I will try to find out more details.

The possibility that the body was thrown overboard remains. Remember the stories of collapsible B and the other lifeboats. When they found people dead at the bottom of the boat, they do not want to keep it anymore with them; they prefered to throw it in the sea. A body with no lifebelt sink... Sincerely,

Charles
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
1,473
6
233
First off, it has been established that Astor crushed by the fallinf funnel was an urban myth. The description of the body by the Mackay Bennet doesn't mention a a crushed body. Secondly, it is more heresay, by someone telling Weikman that someone is worth 5 million. It was an estmate not fact. It could been one of several men. One of the more wealthier millionaires aboard was Molson and he swam away from 2 shipwrecks so it may have been him. We'll never know.......
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
1,473
6
233
First off, it has been established that Astor crushed by the fallinf funnel was an urban myth. The description of the body by the Mackay Bennet doesn't mention a a crushed body. Secondly, it is more heresay, by someone telling Weikman that someone is worth 5 million. It was an estmate not fact. It could been one of several men. One of the more wealthier millionaires aboard was Molson and he swam away from 2 shipwrecks so it may have been him. We'll never know.......
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Michael: You started an interesting point of view. I have never thought it could have been Harry Molson with his two miraculous shipwreck escapes. Do you think that man, whoever he was, was thrown overboard or was buried at sea by the Mackay-Bennett, as Mike proposed above? Do you agree with the possibility that the man could have been Henry B. Harris too? You are correct in saying that Astor was maybe not crushed by the first funnel, but I think that if Astor was the man we talk of, certainly Mr Weikman would have recognized him. It is known that the colonel went each day for a shaving and he was shaved by Weikman hiself. Then, the night of the sinking, Astor shook hands with him. After that, Weikman swam to collapsible boat A and saw a man, probably very rich, at the bottom. Weikman did not know the man by name but remember that he shaved him in the C-deck barber shop the same morning. My first though was to Harris, but Molson seems to be a good possibility too. I would like to know what you think of that now, Michael. Thanks for your message. Regards,

Charles
 
D

Daniel Rosenshine (Danielr)

Guest
Hi!

Had the man been Astor, Mr Weikman would certainly have remembered him by name. If the man's worth was under or over estimated at 5 000 000 pounds by a person, he was still trying to say that the man was worth a fair bit. I doubt that Harris was worth 5 000 000. Harris was known amongst the passengers, and I'm sure Weikman would have known him too.

Roebling is often mistaken with his father, but never the less the family fortune was 5 000 000. Perhaps the man in question is Mr Roebling. His body was never recovered, but then again, he might not have been wearing a lifebelt.

I quite like the Molson theory as well.

Daniel.
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
1,007
2
223
Wait just a darn minute here. Molson would be my sentimental favorite, too, because of the beer connection. But he wasn't any richer than Beattie, and we still have the fact that Beattie's body ended up in the boat.
Mike
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
1,473
6
233
Mike:
Beattie didn't expire till the very end. Had he expired before that time, he probably would have been toppled over board.
 
Apr 26, 2005
296
0
111
Astor and Beattie were not our men. Astor would have been recognized and Beattie expired at the very end and was not toppled overboard. I do not like the Roebling theory, but it's a possibility. Molson fit very well the role. He was the richest canadian on board and we don't know his exact fate. He was known to be a good swimmer and could have swam to boat A. Yes, the Molson theory is my favorite too.

Now, does someone ever think that the man could have been Emil Brandeis? Regards,

Charles
 
D

Daniel Rosenshine (Danielr)

Guest
We may hypothesise all we like, I could list all the rich men that are unaccounted for to being in a boat or how they died. The body of the man in question may have been recovered or may have not, thus we cannot pinpoint any particular person unless further proof may be found.

For the mean time, who that person was is anyone's guess.

Daniel.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads