August H Weikman


jason

Member
Sep 8, 2009
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As far as Weikman's testimony, I would not take the $5 million figure dogmatically. All that can really be drawn about the man from Weikman was that he was a wealthy first-class passenger who was well-known enough to be pointed out. That alone could be just about anybody.

However, there are other indications that an unidentified first-class passenger was on board Collapsible A who died. The man wearing only BVDs, for instance. I am thinking that he did not survive --- this could not have been Beattie since he was wearing evening clothes. Abelseth also remembered a 1st class passenger who said he had a wife and child --- this does not match either Beattie, Rheims, Williams, or even Daly (who had 8-18), the only 1st class men known to have possibly been on A.

If we take a risk and combine Weikman's and Abelseth's testimony, then from the millionaires Charles Provost listed we can elimiated Roebling, Rheims, Brandeis, Harris, and Widener (since Weikman knew him); also Molson. That leaves only Isidor Straus and John B. Thayer. However, I am sure that those men were not the only millionaires on Titanic, so that, unless any new information turns up, it is unlikely we will ever identify with certainty Weikman's rich man.
 
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Daniel Rosenshine (Danielr)

Guest
If we are reffering to the man that was wearing unerwear, I doubt that Thayer or Widener were very underdressed. Thayer definitely was well clothed, and I don't doubt that Widener was as well.
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Hi Everyone,

Excuse my exteme lateness to this discussion but it seems too good to resist. The fascinating phenomenon of how 1st class passengers died has always intrigued me, but it is rarely touched upon.
This is my effort to revive it:

Firstly, I would agree with Jason in not taking 5,000,000 too "dramatically". "First class" is enough to work on.
It seems to me that Weikman, in mentioning that he had "shaved" the passenger in the morning, suggests it is unlikely that our man was bearded. Otherwise Weikman would use a different expression. It sort of implies that he was clean-shaven. This rules out Astor, Molson, Thayer, George D. Widener and Brandeis. If he was plunged over the side, devoid of life-jacket, Harry Widener, Washington Roebling and Henry B. Harris emerge as possibilities.
Something has troubled me for a while. We know that Rheims and Beattie made it to A, but what of their companions. McCaffry and Loring for example were in an ideal position to make it to the boat. I think it was Michael P. who told me recently that Rheims and Loring stripped down to their underwear before taking the plunge. Ableseth could be refering to Loring or Rheims as the man with a wife and child. If Loring was clean-shaven (and if we ignore 5,000,00) he could me the man who died.
I'm certain that Beattie was the man Ableseth told to "brace up". "New Jersey" was just a mistake.
Don Lynch said that a man asked Williams if he could rest on his shoulder as he felt "so cold and tired". Could this be the same person?

As to the deaths of other passengers, I have tried to establish who died with who and how. But this was in vain as the bodies were spread evenly. The only passengers whose deaths we can account for are Clinch Smith, Milton Long, Thomson Beattie,Duane Williams and Isidor Straus. Possibly Astor, Widener and Thayer also.
Does anyone know of ny rare accounts or have any suggestions as to how people met their fate.

I share Charles' frustration about Henry Harris. I think he may have stuck with Brandeis and Baumann with whom he had dined that night.

If anyone is still interested in this, please reply.
Sorry about the length

Regards

Ben
 
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Jason Bidwell

Guest
Hey Ben,

I doubt that Beattie was Abelseth's "New Jerseyman." First off, as I recall, Abelseth said he first met that man on an English train heading to the dock in Southampton. That makes it unlikely that Abelseth's New Jerseyman was a first class passenger, and also rules out Beattie, since Beattie boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg. Whoever compiled the list of the people on Collapsible A on this site seems to think that the New Jerseyman was Arthur Keefe, though on what evidence I cannot say.

Your suggestion of Loring as the underwear-clad man has a lot of merit if Loring was witnessed to strip down before abandoning ship; on the other hand, his brother-in-law George Rheims was on A, and as far as I know didn't see him there - this doesn't rule Loring out, but it doesn't help his case either.

McCaffry's body was recovered, fully clothed, so he could not have been the first class passenger in the underwear, if - a big if - that individual is who both Abelseth and Weikman were talking about.

Based on Weikman's account, you are quite right that we should be looking for an unbearded man. But should we exclude Thayer senior on that evidence? As I recall, he had a moustache, but not a beard, and so he could very well have had a shave from Weikman.

Jason Bidwell
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Hi Jason,

That's a good point about the improbability of a 1st class passenger sharing a cabin with a 3rd class.
However, have you read "Titanic, the Canadian story" by Alan Hustak?
Quote:"The following morning, April 10, 1912, Sloper joined the Fortunes, Ross, Beattie, and McCaffry and took the boat train to Southampton. As they boarded at Southampton and took the boat train, I won't rule him out for now. In any case, that man died very late i.e well into the morning so his body would have been left on collapsible
A.
I don't think McCaffry was the underwear-clad man but he may have been aboard col. A. Perhaps he was the man mentioned by Williams who was lowered over the side.
If Weikman knew George D. Widener we can eliminate him. Thayer is a possibility, moustaches considered!

What about Herbert Fuller Chaffee?

Regards
Ben
 
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Jason Bidwell

Guest
Ben,

I've never read Hustak's book, but if he says Beattie and McCaffry boarded the ship at Southampton then I think he is in error. Although the Fortunes and Sloper embarked at Southampton, the ET biography of McCaffry states that he and Beattie both boarded at Cherbourg (sharing the same room) and Eaton & Haas' "Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy" also lists both men as coming on board from Cherbourg.

McCaffry may very well have been aboard A - since his friend Beattie made it, he was presumably in a decent position to reach it. I don't have many of my books where I'm working from, so I don't really know who you mean by "the man mentioned by Williams who was lowered over the side." If all Williams said about him was that he "was lowered over the side" then we should keep in mind that there are 1000 other candidates for the man "lowered over the side"!

John B. Thayer is my personal favorite for the unidentified 1st class passenger in Collapsible A; I can't prove it, I just think he fits the available evidence better than most. Of course, if it wasn't him, then I'm completely wrong.

Herbert Chaffee is a good candidate as well. Evidently his holdings amounted to $150 million in today's money, but what that translates to in 1912 money I have no idea.

I suppose the descriptions of this mysterious rich man aboard A are too vague and imcomplete to ever reach any positive conclusions about it; there are too many possibilities. But it's better that talking about Rigel, anyway.
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Hi Jason,

It's interesting about the boarding of the Canadians. Did the Thayers really board at Chrebourg? I am confused because Marion Thayer posted a letter on the ship. "Jack got 5 photos of it"..If this refers to the New York near miss, they must have boarded at Southampon.

I think Thayer is one of the stronger possibilities, although I have always thought he died when the poop deck became too steep after the ship had snapped. (Gracie was the last survivor to see Thayer and the Wideners shortly after the lowering of Col. D.

Is there a photo of Herbert Chaffe. Does anyone know if he was bearded?

Although it is a bit of a needle in a haystack, I hope we can continue this line of investigation, and branches of it.

Regards
Ben
 
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Jason Bidwell

Guest
Ben,

In his account of the shipwreck written in later life, Jack Thayer said that he and his family boarded the Titanic at Southampton (and he describes the New York incident, although mistakenly calling the ship "Oceanic"), so I assume that must be where they got on. Eaton & Haas do place them at Cherbourg, but unless they have special information, or Thayer was being fanciful, we should probably accept Thayer's own word.

Your idea of how Thayer might have died is just as valid as mine. He might have frozen to death. Or been crushed by a funnel. Or been beaten to death by Gamin de Pycombe. No one knows. It's these mysteries (and the accompanying scraps of evidence) that make the story interesting.

I know nothing more about Chaffee than what can be found on this site. If anyone does have a Chaffee photo I would hope they would get it placed on this site.

Jason
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
579
1
86
Dear everyone,
Being pretty familiar with several accounts written by George Rheims, I must say that I find it highly unlikely that his brother-in-law Joseph Loring ever made it to Collapsible A. In several accounts, Rheims recalled how Loring and himself stripped down to their underwear, but that Loring was hesitant to jump over the side of the ship, instead bidding Rheims farewell, and telling him to watch after his family. Rheims then leapt overboard, but Loring did not.

As you know, after a swim, Rheims reached Collapsible A, and his accounts give a fairly detailed description of the occupants of the boat. Loring was not among those that he described. I find it unlikely, given the relatively small number of occupants in Collapsible A, that Rheims could have missed his brother-in-law sitting nearby. In fact, Rheims states that he never saw Loring at all after their parting words as the bow was plunging under.

In addition, the photograph that I have of Loring shows that he had facial hair. I think that the evidence is more than sufficient to eliminate Joseph Loring as a candidate here. However, I do believe that Rheims was the man who at least three occupants of Collapsible A saw wearing only underwear, and in fact, Rheims stated he was wearing only underwear while standing in the boat.

I hope that this helps, seeing as it only eliminates one "suspect."
My sincere best wishes to all of you during the Holidays,
Tad Fitch
Tad
 
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Jason Bidwell

Guest
Hello Tad,

Thanks for filling us in on Rheims and Loring. My brain must have been asleep because I don't know how I missed putting two-and-two together regarding the underwear-clad man being Rheims, who was on Collapsible A wearing only underwear. Now we're back to wondering who Weikman's 5-million-dollar man was.
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Hi Everyone,
I've been away for a while and missed the posts. Thanks a lot for the responses. I think we can cross Loring off the list. If he didn't jump overboard he may have headed stern-ward (as I believe the Philadelphians did).

Back to the col. A occupant. If we are restricting it to millionaires, Chaffee seems a potential candidate. Benjamin Guggenheim was clean-shaven but I have always thought he went down with the ship (possibly even in the grand stair-case as the film suggests).
Walter Douglas was clean-shaven and his attire (evening dress) would have attracted attention. He was not the underwear-clad man but may have been the man to whom Weikman was refering.

I still like the Roebling or Harris Theories.

Aside from this, COMPLETE stab in the dark, but does anyone know how the married man died. Men like Gee, Jones and Loirng can be accounted for because they were travelling alone and became acquainted with other men who took the plunge. I refer particularly to men whose bodies were not recovered e.g Kenyon, Meyer, Pears etc.

Sorry if this is unrealistic.
Hope you are all well

Ben
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Ben, I'll put my money on Froze To Death for anyone up on deck, married or not, who was still aboard when the ship went down...unless they were in the water where Funnel 1 landed when it collapsed. Those whose bodies were not recovered were either scattered by wind wave and current if they had lifebelts on. Those who didn't probably sank to the bottom if some of the sea fauna didn't decide to have them for breakfast.

Sorry if this seems a tad graphic, but that's the ocean for you. It has no respect for the living or the dead.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
Thanks Michael,
Froze to death seems the likely possiblity for most. It's a shame we can never really know how they reaches the water i.e slid/jumped or was washed off the boat deck. There must have been a great many killed by the other funnels and the gigantic stern after the ship split.

With some passengers, their icy encounter is described by those who were with them and survived. Others got their wives onto boats and can not be accounted for after that.
The ellusive collapsible A occupant may have been one of these.

Regards

Ben
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
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Easley South Carolina
For anyone near the split in the hull, we can add such possibilities as being clobbered by flying debris, falling onto jagged metal or wreckage, or even being cut in half if they were too close to a cable that snapped.(Yes, a snapping metal cable has that much energy.) A dicidedly grisly exit from this veil of tears into the next world, but a reletively quick one. Far more fortunate then the ones who ended up in the water.

If you gotta go, might as well get it over with quick.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Jason Bidwell

Guest
I don't know. This guy once told me about a accident he had seen involving a big rig. The driver had been decapitated, and this fellow described the contorted expression on the driver's face as one of "total fear." Evidently the driver had survived long enough after the decapitation to realize what had happened; he didn't last for very long, I'm sure, but give me 20 minutes in freezing water over a few seconds of knowing your head (or your upper torso) has just been severed from the rest of your body.

Jason
 
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Ben Thomas Sebastian Holme

Guest
I wonder how quick was death for those who went down inside the ship i.e cabins, engine room, smoking room (Thomas Andrews, Butt and Moore??)
Just another morbid thought for the day

Ben
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
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Easley South Carolina
That depends on whether or not they were alive when the ship went down.. I would hazard a guess that anyone trapped in the bow section was likely already done for when the ship nosedived. Anyone caught in the stern section would have been killed instantly if they were still around when it imploded.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Marilyn Burgess

Guest
I have information that the barber on the Titanic
escaped when he was blown off the ship during an explosion.

He clung to a bunch of deck chairs roped together until he was picked up.

However, I cannot find his name anywhere in the list of crew members.

Has anyone else heard of him.

Shiny
 

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