Prominent Non-Passengers Morgan and Hershey


Mark Baber

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This is interesting, and certainly doesn't make it sound like Morgan had plans to sail west on 10 April at least as of two weeks (or more) earlier.
 
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Mark Baber

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Based on the coverage that appeared in The New York Times, it seems that Morgan returned to Europe from Egypt in mid-March and moved about Italy for a few weeks before going to Aix-les-Bains, where he was staying when Titanic sank. I've now added all of the NYT articles I could find from after his return to Italy through 14 April, as well as a couple of others, to his ET biography page. Apart from the 29 March article which I mentioned earlier in this thread, there's not much about when he planned to return, but there is this, from an article published on 14 April:
quote:

In his trips abroad he has followed practically the same programme for
years, sailing at the end of the Winter, visiting France, Italy, and the
Continent generally, until the London season opens. May, therefore,
usually finds him at Dover House and, in obedience to another
established habit, he invariably returns to America in time for the
height of the season at Bar Harbor.
Consistent with this description, in both 1911 and 1912 Morgan returned to the U.S. from his "winter" in Europe in mid-to-late July.

Titanic's MV? I think not.​
 

Scott Mingus

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The Hershey Museum here in Pennsylvania has a large display board on M. S. Hershey's plans to travel on the Titanic, including a large photocopy of the newspaper article and the canceled deposit check.
 
Feb 23, 2007
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I think that part of the rumour of Mr. Morgan's plans to return on the Titanic stem from his company owning the ship and it being the maiden voyage. Also the society papers of the day kept track of who travelled on what ship. This was one more way of establishing ones position in society. Travelling on the largest ship on its maiden voyage was certainly enough to persuade many to take this voyage even for the lower classes add in that he owned it may have had some influence on him. The coal strike may have had something to do with this also. Considering that other ships were cancelling trips. News papers are fallible also, so there is plenty of reasons for this rumour to have started and persisted. He certainly may have intended to take the voyage or he may have had intentions to take the Titanic at a later date. Just food for thought.
 

Mark Baber

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Travelling on the largest ship on its maiden voyage was certainly enough to persuade many to take this voyage even for the lower classes add in that he owned it may have had some influence on him.

Hello, Thomas---

Of the new White Star liners introduced from 1902 (when IMM acquired White Star) on, the only MV that Morgan was on was Baltic's in 1904, and that, it seems, only because it happened to coincide with his travel plans, arriving in New York on 8 July. He wasn't on Adriatic's MV in May 1907, nor on Olympic's, even though he was at Belfast for Olympic's handing-over and sailed on her from Belfast to Southampton.

(Parenthetically, Morgan technically didn't "own" Titanic. Although J.P. Morgan & Co., through the voting trust, controlled IMM, which indirectly owned White Star, neither Morgan nor the Morgan firm owned IMM.)

He certainly may have intended to take the voyage

For the reasons I've stated above, I see no reason to believe this is true. I've now compiled a list of Morgan's returns from Europe from 1904, and only twice (1908 and 1910) in those years did he return to New York from Europe before July, and in one of those years (1908) he returned that early only to attend a family wedding, heading back to Europe a few days later and staying there until late August.

or he may have had intentions to take the Titanic at a later date.

That's certainly likely. Although he sailed on quite a number of older ships through 1910, even after the principal service moved to Southampton, his 1911 and 1912 returns were both on Olympic.

For the record, Morgan's returns from 1904 on were as follows; the dates given are the NYC arrivals:

1904: 8 July, Baltic II (MV)
1905: 2 August, Oceanic II
1906: 26 July, Baltic II
1907: 21 August, Oceanic II
1908: 19 June, Mauretania I; 4 September, Adriatic II
1909: 21 July, Majestic II
1910: 23 June, Adriatic II
1911: 15 August, Olympic
1912: 24 July, Olympic
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Mark, You certainly know more on the subject of his travel than I do. I was merely suggesting a possible scenerio/s that would explain why the rumour was so tantalizing to believe and persistent. I have never heard of Mr. Morgan being asked about the subject but I am sure that he could have been. Like most stories we may never know without a shadow of doubt, but you certainly make a strong case for him never to have thought about taking the maiden voyage based on his travel records and habits.
 
Jan 6, 2005
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As I'm sure everyone here knows, John Pierpont ("J.P.") Morgan was scheduled to sail on Titanic, but canceled at the last moment.

What I'm puzzled about is why Morgan would have deigned to do such a thing. He had his own ocean-going steam yacht, named Corsair II, which was perfectly capable of making the voyage. Corsair II's displacement was over 1900 tons and she was 293 feet long - nearly a third of Titanic's length. The yacht was superbly fitted with every possible luxury of the time, including its own custom china (Minton, no less) and glassware, all emblazoned "Corsair." One of her most jaw-dropping features was her own 24-foot tender. Some of Corsair II's portable fittings were recently auctioned; looking at them gives an idea of her excellence and luxe:

Artifacts from J.P. Morgan

The ship was leased from Morgan's son by the Navy during World War I (J.P. himself having died in 1913; canceling his Titanic passage only bought him a year), being returned to him and to yachting service in 1919. She also later did a stint for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, with the Navy re-acquiring her in time for use throughout the South Pacific during most of World War II. She was decommissioned and broken up in 1944.

Now, I'm perfectly aware that J.P. Morgan was much of the financial impetus behind IMM (International Mercantile Marine, the White Star Line's parent company), but given the glories of Corsair II, Titanic's "Millionaire's Suites" and A La Carte restaurant would have been like taking the bus. Why on Earth did a man with such exquisite and capable private transport at his disposal want to sail Titanic? Even more oddly, he often sent Corsair II ahead while he took White Star liners to Europe. I could maybe see leaving a yacht in harbor to save a bit of money (though J.P. hardly needed to economize, then or ever), but not sending it ahead of me while taking a commercial liner.

Anyone have any information on this?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>As I'm sure everyone here knows, John Pierpont ("J.P.") Morgan was scheduled to sail on Titanic, but canceled at the last moment.<<

Actually, we don't know this at all. It's a part of the popular mythos which has been around since 1912, but where is the primary source evidence to support this?

What we do know is that he went on holiday in France and that this is where he was when he recieved news of the Titanic's loss.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Comfort, I guess. The Atlantic was (and is) unpredictable and liable to deliver a very rough ride, and no matter the refinement of its fittings and cuisine a yacht couldn't offer the stability of a large liner. Or the speed. For pleasure cruising in calm waters the Corsair was ideal, but to get the long, boring and potentially uncomfortable Atlantic crossing over with asap there were better alternatives. Icebergs permitting!
 

Mark Baber

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As I'm sure everyone here knows, John Pierpont ("J.P.") Morgan was scheduled to sail on Titanic, but canceled at the last moment.
Oh, I don't think everybody here knows that at all, Sandy; look here.

Note: As a result of the consolidation of a number of Morgan-related threads the link in this message now leads nowhere. The thread it once linked to is now part of this one. MAB
 
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Jan 6, 2005
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Okay folks - I stand corrected on the idea that Morgan was supposed to be on Titanic. Thanks for the information.

But he's still known to have sent Corsair ahead of him while he traveled by liner, and that intrigues me. The occasional rough sea aside, Morgan must have been a very good sailor; he did a great deal of it. It makes little sense that he would have spent the money for a yacht capable of a Transatlantic crossing and then not use it for the purpose - if cruising near his destinations was his pleasure, chartering yachts would have been far more cost-effective. The oddity there is that while Morgan was in no way a cheap man, he had a profound respect for money, usually preferring to spend his on things that would appreciate, not depreciate. And for a mega-rich man of his era, he had remarkable taste; his house was an exquisitely finished brownstone on Madison, far smaller and plainer than the heavily encrusted Beaux-Arts mansions nearby. He seems to have been all for the solid comforts available to a wealthy man of his era, and could certainly splash out when it pleased him, but Vanderbilt-style conspicuous consumption for its own tawdry sake was not his style. I can see Corsair as a splendid indulgence for cruising on this side of the Atlantic, but sending the yacht ahead while its owner traveled commercial seems a bit much, even for a man of Morgan's means.
 

Scott Mills

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I had heard this before, but looking at the other thread it appears that this was never true. I do wonder though, if this appeared in print in 1912, why didn't JP Morgan make this clear to the press? Maybe he did. I am sure someone here could tell us.

Also, in regards to his yacht, I guess if we knew how he got to Europe and how he ultimately returned we'd know more. It's quite possible the yacht wasn't in Europe or he wasn't comfortable making a crossing in it (speed might also be a factor here).
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Scott: As one of America's wealthiest and most powerful men, Morgan was pretty much above trying to correct all the silly and specious stories about him. He was a private sort of man (though a very forceful one), largely because he had a nose badly disfigured by rosacea (the same disfigurement W.C. Fields had, though Morgan's was far, far worse than Fields's); his photographic portraits were always retouched. He didn't care much for the press; here's a link to a photo of what happened with a paparazzo tried to take a candid shot of him on the street in 1910:

Click on: JP Morgan and Paparazzi family photo - AncientFaces.com

My understanding is that Corsair II was capable of an eight-day crossing, comparing favorably enough to a liner. Morgan's habit was to send Corsair ahead, while he followed on a White Star liner; the yacht would be waiting for him when he arrived. My guess is that this allowed him both pleasure cruising and access to European ports for business purposes. It was an expensive little habit, that's for sure.

Ah, well. He could afford it - his wealth peaked at $1.3 billion, equal to around $28 billion today.

P.S.: If you want to know why Morgan was so camera-shy, here's a link to one of the rare photos that shows his disfigurement, unretouched:

Click on: JP Morgan's disgusting nose | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

morgan.jpg
 

Mark Baber

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But he's still known to have sent Corsair ahead of him while he traveled by liner
Yep; here's one example of that:

21 August 1907: On her arrival in New York, Oceanic II (Capt. Haddock) is
saluted by a booming gun and tooting whistle from J. P. Morgan's yacht
Corsair. Although permitting reporters to enter his cabin when they and his
son J. P. Morgan, Jr., board the ship at Quarantine, Morgan (returning from
his annual trip to Europe) is characteristically unresponsive to their
questions on any subject. After he goes on deck, however, he tells them that
when Corsair sailed from Cowes on 10 August, four days before Oceanic, the
yacht's Capt. Porter had promised to be in New York to salute Oceanic on her
arrival "and here he is." After disembarking, Morgan boards the yacht and
heads to her New York Yacht Club mooring on the East River. (Sources: The
New York Times, 22 August 1907.)
Morgan must have been a very good sailor
Well, he was Commodore of the New-York Yacht Club in 1897-98, Commodore J. Pierpont Morgan, but Corsair had a professional captain. Whether Morgan's sailing skills were refined enough for him to have sailed the yacht across the Atlantic himself, I don't know, but a first-class suite on a top-of-the-line White Star steamer was certainly a more confortable (and faster) way to cross, as Bob G. noted earlier.
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Hi Mark: Thanks for the citation! My reference to Morgan as a "good sailor" was only meant in the sense that he probably wasn't prone to seasickness in rough weather; he'd been at sea far too often for that sort of thing. I have no idea what his sailing skills were personally.
 

Jim Currie

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I agree that J.P. was a 'good sailor' in the sense that he did not get sea-sick. However, I think all his yachts of that name were steam driven. I know the first one had auxiliary sails.

Here is an interesting little bit I dug-up. Note THAT NAME! popping up again:

"Commissioned at that time(1917) as USS Corsair (SP-159), she crossed the Atlantic in June and soon began anti-submarine patrol and escort opeations off western France. During the conflict's remaining sixteen months she rescued survivors of two sinking ships, the U.S. Army transport Antilles in October 1917 and USS Californian in June 1918."

Jim C.
 

Paul E Burke

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At work my mind wanders, and I thought about J.P. Morgan and his true feelings, reaction, and actions upon awaking that morning and finding out that the Titanic was lost?

Was he in shock at the loss in a genuine way, praying for the souls lost?

Did he go in to business man mode and calculate his losses, determining if insurance on the ship would be adequate, and weight the impact of this on the IMM?

Did he ever give a formal statement (not sure if that was a thing then)?

Treat it as business as usual, ships sink, life goes on?

Or, (for the conspirators out there) thinking the plan worked, sort of worked, or at least it's done however it went down? Pick your conspiracy, Olympic insurance fraud/swap, Fed Reserve opposition, etc...

I believe I read before that he was depressed after the sinking,and it haunted him, but have not found anything about his true reaction. He "missed it" to be in France with who ever, but I cannot find anything regarding his position on the incident.

If this has been discussed here before please point me to the thread.
 

Dave Gittins

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I found a little in The New York Times. Morgan was in France at the time. He had donated a new wing to the hospital at Aix les Bains. He cancelled the celebrations that were to have been held. He is quoted as saying, " Well. somebody will pay. Monetary losses amount to nothing in life, it is the loss of life that counts. It is that frightful death." Morgan was described as "much upset" by the disaster.
 
A

Aaron_2016

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At work my mind wanders, and I thought about J.P. Morgan and his true feelings, reaction, and actions upon awaking that morning and finding out that the Titanic was lost?

Was he in shock at the loss in a genuine way, praying for the souls lost?

Did he go in to business man mode and calculate his losses, determining if insurance on the ship would be adequate, and weight the impact of this on the IMM?

Did he ever give a formal statement (not sure if that was a thing then)?

Treat it as business as usual, ships sink, life goes on?

Or, (for the conspirators out there) thinking the plan worked, sort of worked, or at least it's done however it went down? Pick your conspiracy, Olympic insurance fraud/swap, Fed Reserve opposition, etc...

I believe I read before that he was depressed after the sinking,and it haunted him, but have not found anything about his true reaction. He "missed it" to be in France with who ever, but I cannot find anything regarding his position on the incident.

If this has been discussed here before please point me to the thread.


Here are some newspaper articles from the time:


April 16th 1912

papers16th.png



April 19th 1912

papers1a.png



Two weeks before the Titanic sank the American government were investigating corruption in the US steel industry and requested that both J.P. Morgan and Mr. Frick both attend. Perhaps this is why both men did not sail to America?

March 30th 1912.

papers3a.png


Perhaps Morgan and Frick had both decided it was a good idea not to attend that investigation and cancelled their plans to sail to America?


.
 
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