Benjamin Guggenheim


Jack Coburn

This is my first post and i have been wondering who exactly heard Benjamin Guggenheim say "we are dressed in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen" and does anyone know who he was talking to when he said it. I've checked his biography on this site and it doesn't say so if anyone has anything on this could you please post it?
Welcome to our merry band, Jack!

The quotation would be from a newspaper account, or possibly from one of the so-called $1 books that were rushed into print after the sinking. It's about as authentic as another version that I have. Guggenheim is supposed to have said, "If we are going to call on Neptune, we will go dressed as gentlemen." There are other versions of Guggenhem's end, including a more elaborate one from steward James Johnson. In part it says, "No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward."

In the immediate aftermath of the sinking, all kinds of things were published and they should be taken with a grain of salt.
Thanks for that Dave and there is one last question i'd like to know. Where was Guggenheim and his valet last seen and his chauffeur whom i think was traveling in 2nd class.
Jack, this is another case of believe what you like. Here's a bit from Logan Marshall's $1 book, quoting the same steward.

"In telling the story the room steward said the last he saw of Mr. Guggenheim was when he stood fully dressed upon the upper deck talking calmly with Colonel Astor and Major Butt."

You could ferrett through old books and newspaper accounts and get more versions. They usually have him looking calm and elegant with men like Butt and Astor.

You are right about the chauffeur being in second class. I've never seen a mention of what he did during the sinking.

The accounts from survivors must be read with a critical eye. It's amazing what people in lifeboats hundreds of metres away on a pitch dark night claimed to see. By the time the press had embroidered their stories, they were right up with Hans Andersen.