Second Class on the Boat Deck

Brian Ahern

Dec 19, 2002
Hi Ben - Have you looked at the ET bios? If you do, you'll see that most second class passenger were immigrants, either current (they were on their way to set up new lives when they boarded the Titanic) or one-time (they had immigrated to the States earlier and had gone home for visits in 1912).

It would take less time to name the second class passengers who were NOT immigrants. This is why there was a relatively small number of American-born passengers in second class. Those who were American were mostly returning from teaching or missionary posts abroad (the Caldwells, the Beckers, Clare Karnes, Mary Corey, Annie Funk). Lulu Drew was an American whose husband was originally from England and who had gone with him to visit relatives. American Samuel Ward Stanton was apparently traveling on business, and filmmaker William Harbeck certainly was. Lutie Parrish and her daughter Imanita Shelley were among the few tourists, as was Lillian Bentham. However, Miss Bentham was traveling with a large party from Cornwall (some had already settled in the States, some were planning to), and so my guess would be that she had family there.

As far as non-American, non-immigrant passengers, I believe the Carters were planning on returning to London and were only making a short trip as part of Reverend Carter's work. The Danish engineer Jacob Milling was was on a business trip. Father Byles was going to officiate at his brother's wedding. Florence Kelly and Mary Mack were both joining children who had immigrated, but I believe both were planning to return to England. The elderly Howards also had children in the States, and I'm not sure if they were going for a visit or to settle permanently. Canadian Hilda Slayter had been attempting to launch a singing career in Europe. There were a handful of cooks and chauffeurs to first class passengers in second class, but I believe most of these were English by birth (Frederick Wheeler, George Swane, and Amelia Lemore were).

I would say that most second and third class passengers had the means to start new lives in America, in that most had jobs and relatives waiting for them. Few were simply winging it.

Ben Lemmon

Oct 9, 2009
Hmmm . . . most of the ones that I am going to use in my book went over for a trip or were returning from one. What about Lawrence Beesley? Did he travel across on the Titanic for a trip or was he immigrating?

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