This may never be known for sure but the press made a great deal out of Mrs. Widener's pearls, which I believe she saved. Also Lady Duff Gordon had a $50,000 pearl necklace (unpaid for & uninsured) which she had w/ her on approval from her jewellers in Venice. This went down w/ the ship. I'm thinking Mrs. Astor would have had very valuable jewelry but probably not a great deal of it as it was considered bad taste for young women (Madeleine Astor was 19) to wear too much of it. Wealthy older ladies wore a lot of jewelry as this was considered in keeping with their years and social position. I don't specifically know about any diamonds - or tiaras. But perhaps others do.
Hello Craig, what you said about Mrs. Frederic Charles Douglas (Zette Baxter) is pretty interesting. I must say I have never heard about her jewels before. You said above that Stewardess Kate Gold specified herself this fact. If I may ask, what is your source for that statement? Was it in a personnal account/letter written by Miss Gold? Any help you could provide is appreciated. Thank you.
This certainly isn't conclusive, but there is no mention of such a piece in Mahala Douglas's affidavit from the Senate hearings. Also, I have checked in a book of memoirs written my Mahala Douglas's neice and there is no reference to her aunt having a jewel of that description with her on the ship. That isn't to say it wasn't Mrs. WD Douglas with it, but doesn't confirm it either.
Hi Steve, I am deeply interested to know if it's possible to obtain a copy of Mrs. Douglas niece's book of memoirs. I am doing alot of research on the First Class passengers of the Titanic and this document would certainly help me with my work.
All my best,
The Book is entitled "When We Went First Class," by Ellen Douglas Williamson and published by the Iowa State University Press. Mrs. Williamson's father and Walter Douglas were brothers. The book basically chronicals the lives of Douglas family (primarily Mrs. Williamson and her two sisters) and the very privileged life style they led from the turn of the century onward. It isn't really a "Titanic" book per se; however, one chapter entitled "Traveling by Ship" chronicles her own experiences as a passenger on quite a number of different liners, with six pages devoted to the Titanic disaster and the death of her uncle. It isn't a very scholarly book, and her recollections contain some errors, but it is an intersting read. She writes with some detail about Mahala Douglas's experience on the lifeboat, and addresses the rather unsavory topic of the lack of chamber pots on the lifeboats in a rather humerous way.
The book can be purchased at Brucemore, a National Trust property in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was the home of the Douglas family. A Brucemore website can be found at both Brucemore.org and Brucemore.com. I don't know whether you can order the book directly online, but I know they have them in stock because I just purchased my copy recently.
Thank you for your helpful collaboration, Steve. I have emailed someone from the website to obtain more information about the book, but I would like to know if you would be willing to photocopy me the Titanic-related pages from your own copy. You certainly understand that I'm basically researching the Douglases through their life on the Titanic. I would be immensely grateful for you to do so, and I would happily give you the compensation of the cost of the photocopies. Thanks again, Steve.
Don't forget the frivorlous Mrs Charlotte Drake Cardeza and her mountain of luggage , she had a lot of jewellery with her including bracelets with 65 diamonds in etc read her compensation claim it makes intresting reading , unfortunately for her she left her jewels behind and are probably on the sea bed now .Has any jewellery been found on the wreck while excavating ????
Charles, I would be happy to photocopy the pages to send you, just send me a mailing address. The Brucemore estate, even though Walter and Mahala Douglas never resided there, is a fascinating look at the Douglas family; George and Walter were business partners as well as brothers. Unfortunately, I understand that the Walter Douglas home in Cedar Rapids is not longer standing.
Charles, also did you go through the Brucemore website completely? There is a page devoted to the Douglases Titanic and it quotes the diaries of Irene Douglas (Mrs. George Douglas) and Margaret Douglas (the oldest of the three Douglas sisters, who was fourteen when the Titanic went down.) Both of these diaries contain information about the aftermath of the sinking and are in the archives at Brucemore. Perhaps the museum could provide copies of these.
Steve, thank you so much. I will email you to your address above and will tell you my mailing address. Yes, I went through the Brucemore website almost completely. The page on the Douglases is pretty interesting. I'm very happy for you to send me those pages from Mrs Williamson's book.
Don't feel ignored. I'll respond to you. Yes, much jewelry has been found by that infamous group of salvagers who keep plucking things up from where they ought to remain but I'm afraid nothing so glamorous as what you're thinking of - Mrs. Cardeza's diamonds (which I didn't know of), Lady Duff Gordon's pearls, etc. I've wondered what would happen if any of these items were to turn up. Would RMS Titanic Inc be ethical and return the pieces to the families/descendents of the passengers? I mean if something extremely valuable like these bits of jewels were to pop up someday, would we ever hear about it? "I ha' me doubts."