RhodaRosa Hunt Abbott and her Two Boys Rossmore and Eugene Abbott


May 27, 2007
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I wonder if Rhoda Abbott ever received any compensation from White Star line for the loss of her two sons, Rossmore 16 and Eugene 13. Did White Star even pay her hospital bills? Stanton Abbott, Rhoda's ex ever receive any money as well from White Star Line.

It just seems that what help she got was though her Church. If I was a lawyer back then I would make a killing for the neglect Mrs. Abbott received from White Star Line. Look out George is ranting and raving again. Actually I started this as a thread in Passenger Research because when I did a search all I found was the article by Robert Bracken on Mrs. Abbott and her and boys biography pages. So I thought why not start a thread and then anybody who's got any info or thoughts about the Abbotts can add it here.
 

Dave Gittins

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If Rhoda Abbott filed a claim in the USA, she would have received peanuts, like everybody else. Forget about making a killing. The matter was governed by black-letter law.

She would have come up against the Harter Act, which limited White Star's liability. It's a bit much to go into here. Put crudely, to get full compensation, claimants had to prove that White Star's servants had been negligent, that White Star (read Bruce Ismay) knew of their negligence and connived at it.

The US cases went on for years and even the Supreme Court got involved. The matter was eventually settled out of court for a fraction of the amounts claimed and rubber-stamped by the court on 28 June 1916.

The total paid by White Star was $665,000, of which $550,000 went to the claimants and the rest to their lawyers.

Had she sued in Britain, she would have done better. British law was more generous and the amout claimable was much greater, though still limited.

The American records would show if Rhoda Abbott ever claimed, but I don't have the full list of claimants.
 
May 27, 2007
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True, I just wonder if there's a record of a complaint filed. Also Stanton Abbott might of filed a complaint for the loss of his two sons Rossmore and Eugene. Of course they both might of filed complaints and got nothing for their pains. I could see White Star Line wheedling out of it. Poor Mrs. Abbott should of got something for her troubles. The Poor lady was in St. Vincent's Hospital for weeks after the arriving in New York because of injuries she sustained in the sinking.
 
May 27, 2007
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Thanks Dave,

I remember reading in the TNLO or ANTR that British Courts were more generous. I wonder if Stanton Abbott might of filed a claim for the loss of his two sons.
 
May 27, 2007
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Just my luck that I did a search for Rhoda Abbott and not the Abbott Family. Duh moment!
Maybe this Thread should be moved to the Abbot Family thread Group. I'll let the moderators decide.

Sorry for any inconvenience or bother.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Also you need to search for 'Rosa' Abbott, as most of the threads and scattered postings predate the discovery that her name was actually Rhoda.
 
May 27, 2007
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I know that now. Yet another duh moment for me. I figured they would have corrected the name. Makes sense they didn't though to a lot of people she still Rosa and not Rhoda. Did anybody know Rhoda and Rosa are basically the same name. Rosa is Latin and Rhoda is Greek versions of Rose. Who ever made up the passenger list all those years ago could have gotten her name right. Thats just yet another example that Mary Rhoda Hunt Abbott Williams had the worst luck imaginable. Couldn't even get the poor lady's name right. Only lucky thing that happened to her was surviving the sinking of the Titanic .
 

Dave Gittins

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One mystery that I know nothing about is the claims that may have been made in Britain after the four test cases heard in 1913 found White Star negligent and liable for damages. White Star's subsequent appeal was dismissed on 9 February 1914.

I'd assume that some claimants then lodged claims in Britain and that White Star had to pay them, no doubt after arguing about the quantum. It's known that some American litigants withdrew their claims in the USA, obviously intending to pursue them in Britain. (White Star loudly opposed their applications to withdraw).

Other than the four test cases, I've never seen any record of claims made in Britain. I fancy the records were disposed of, maybe when White Star and Cunard combined.

Can anybody do better?
 
May 27, 2007
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Thanks for looking Dave.

Somebody should check the American Records. Of course Rhoda Abbott might of thought it demeaning of her sons memories to ask for money for their deaths. Which was what she would have done if she filed a claim. Her church (Grace Episcopal Church) helped her with bills for her stay in St. Vincents Hospital.
She was also a Soldier of Salvation and this may of had an effect on her decision to file for compensation. I still wonder if Mr. Abbott filed.
 

Dave Gittins

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Attitudes to claiming varied greatly, for reasons I leave to the psychologists and experts on social history. I suspect some were content with collecting life insurance.

Madeleine Astor claimed for lost property, but not for the loss of he husband. On the other hand, Irene Harris claimed $1,000,000 for the loss of her husband, because his business died with him.

Some claims were for a few dollars for trivial property losses. Edwina Troutt claimed eight shillings and five-pence for a marmalade machine.
 
May 27, 2007
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>>Attitudes to claiming varied greatly.<<

That's what I was thinking. I could understand Astor's and Harri's reasons for filing the claims that they did. Madeleine Astor lost her husband which to her was something you couldn't put a price on. Now on her property, that was a different matter. Renee Harri's case is a different kettle of fish altogether. Her wealth as Walter Lord pointed out in the TNLO wasn't inherited it was earned by her husband Henry B. Harris. Without him there was nothing coming in. So she in a sense lost her means of support. This is in a way is odd because Renee Harris would later go on to wealth of her own as a producer in her own right.

Rhoda Abbott- It would be interesting to find out if she or her ex-husband Stanton Abbott filed for compensation. I doubt Rhoda filed or someone would have come across information of her filing unless the records were lost. Mr. S. Abbott might of filed for the loss of his sons, but the records might of been lost as well? Mystery Unsolved.
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May 27, 2007
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But no Abbotts among them. I guess Staunton and Rhoda Abbott had other fish to fry. She was in the Hospital and I don't know what he was doing. Maybe Mr. Abbott was in the ring fighting or something. Maybe he didn't claim because he A. Didn't know you could claim. B. Didn't care to claim. I think Walter Lord would have found something if there was something to find. Robert Bracken might of checked for claims when he did his article on Rhoda Abbott. Maybe somebody should get in touch with him?
 
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Can do, George. I did some poking around for my article on Rhode Islanders and it did not seem Rhoda and her husband were very happily wed at all. This is what I found out from Grace Church and other local sources about the Providence years. Bob's article here on ET picks up the details afterward.
http://www.revdma2.com/Rhodeislanders.htm
 
May 27, 2007
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Thanks so much Shelley for helping fill in the blanks. George Stanton Abbott is beginning to sound like a - of the first order. I always had the feeling Rhoda got the short end of the stick in her second marriage but it sounds better then her first marriage. Maybe Rhoda had some very pressing reasons for going to England in 1911? Like getting away from a certain gentleman who may have not been a gentleman? I could be wrong though. Thanks again Shelley for the information on Rhoda's life in Providence, Rhode Island.
 

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