The Daniels - Cleaver issue


Arun Vajpey

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Almost every source that discusses the sad story of the Allison family hints at a certain degree of animosity between the maid Sarah Daniels and the nurse Alice Cleaver. The most obvious quotation is in Don Lynch's book Titanic: An Illustrated History in which he not only wrongly labels Cleaver as a child murderer but also goes on to say that on board the Carpathia Alice Cleaver persistently refused Sarah Daniels access to baby Trevor even though he was plaintively reaching out with his arms to the maid. Apart from the lack of verification of that statement, it sounds like something out of a bad B-movie. A 10-month old baby naturally responds to his own nurse better than any third party, even the familiar maid.

Contrary to what was originally believed, it is now known that Alice Catherine Cleaver was a completely different person from Alice Mary Cleaver, the convicted child killer. Also, contrary to what several works claim, despite her young age Alice Cleaver was an experienced nursemaid, having worked for a couple of wealthy families right from her teens in that capacity before being hired by the Allisons. Also, one would have thought an intelligent, devout and caring family man like Hudson Allison would have very carefully checked into the background of a young foreign woman (Cleaver was British while the Allisons were Canadian) before accepting her to care for his only son and potential heir AND taking her back to Canada with rest of his entourage. Therefore, the witch-hunt of Alice Cleaver after the disaster never made any sense to me.

I doubt if the American or Canadian press would have known about the one-of-many-such British crimes like the Alice Mary Cleaver case. Therefore, for innocent Alice Catherine Cleaver to have been subjected to that sort of accusation, someone must have tipped off the press and the Allison relatives with false information. I honestly cannot think of anyone else who could have done it other than Sarah Daniels, who conveniently dropped off the public radar soon afterwards. Sarah would have known of the case and so the similarity of names between her colleague and the actual accused woman. That suggests that Daniels "had it in" for Cleaver for some reason and whatever that was, it mist have had its roots back in England. While this animosity could have started after they were hired by the Allisons, I wonder if it went back to a bit earlier.

What I am asking is if there is any evidence that Sarah Daniels and Alice Cleaver knew each other before they were hired by Hudson Allison? Both women were Londoners and while I acknowledge that London was a huge city even back then, a foreigner like Hudson Allison probably used an agency to hire his staff with appropriate references. That might have been the link.

Is there any source that has information about those two before they came to work for the Allison family?
 
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Dan Coghlan

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What I am asking is if there is any evidence that Sarah Daniels and Alice Cleaver knew each other before they were hired by Hudson Allison?
This is a good question, and I'm going to make an attempt to answer it. It is awfully apparent that someone doesn’t want the question answered as my computer just completely died three times and I am now answering off my iPad…

From what I have found there appears to be no connection between the 2 of them prior to them being hired by the Alisons.

Both of them appeared to have different employers prior to the hiring by the Alisons (Daniels had been working with them prior to Titanic).

I know this isn’t the greatest answer and there are definitley people more qualified to answer this than me. But I hope this gives you a clear, black or white answer.

DC
 
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Arun Vajpey

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It is awfully apparent that someone doesn’t want the question answered as my computer just completely died three times
Odd. There are also a few Alice Cleaver related threads where there is no provision to respond even though they are still open. The message said that I don't have clearance to respond to the posts.

Yes, I accept that Sarah Daniels and Alice Cleaver were working for different employers before the Allisons hired them. Also that the former started working for them before the voyage. But theoretically at least, they could still have belonged to the same Agency. Being a wealthy Canadian, IMO Hudson Allison in all likelihood went through a reputable employment agency that dealt with rich foreign customers like the Allisons. It also follows that the backgrounds of applying candidates would have been carefully checked. As I said, this would have been especially true for someone being considered for the post of a baby's nurse.

Only someone like Judith Geller would believe that the Allisons were conned into accepting a mentally unstable convicted child killer to be their baby son's nurse.
 
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