The Strange Disappearance of Miss Ann Isham

May 12, 2005
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Daniel,

While it cannot be determined for certain that Ann Isham WAS locked below in her cabin, equally we cannot discount the possibility. No one, so far as is known, recalls seeing her at all during the voyage and as there is too much mystery regarding her presence on board, much less on April 14, it is impossible for anyone to say conclusively what happened to her, except that ultimately she died.

All any of us can put forth are theories until some documented proof of this woman's wherabouts that night comes to light.

I'm personally hoping that steward Cullen's account/s will be found.

Randy
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Ben,

Faulkner's memoirs state that Howard Case transfered to C-11 from his original room on E-deck.

Hope this helps.

Mike
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the information; most helpful.

In which case, Faulkner's delegated area appears to have been somewhat forward of the Isham vicinity. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Faulkner appears to have had charge of the Wick party (across the corridor in C-7). Did he make any mention as to the whereabouts of George and Mary Wick's cabin? Just a stab in the dark..

Thanks again for your e-mail

Regards,
Ben
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Ben,

I'm afraid Faulkner made no mention of the Wicks. At least we have a general idea just where they were thanks to Caroline Bonnell and the Cave list.

Regarding Faulkner's delegated area, I would imagine that he may have also served the Wick party as well as the Pears. I don't believe Faulkner had charge of too many passengers which was why he particularly remembered Case.

I'm working on Rosa Abbott's account right now for you.

Best,

Mike
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Sorry I confused everyone. I didn't mean to say that no locking of doors was reported, as that was certainly not the case. There were no reports that someone was actually locked in their cabin and couldn't and didn’t get out. The Williams door I think was blamed on being jammed, rather than locked, and the Chaudanson incident resulted in the door being opened again.

One other incident of a closed door that I can think of at the top of my head is the Spencer one. However there they locked themselves in the cabin rather than someone locking them.

Daniel.
 
May 12, 2005
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Just because no one reported other incidences of persons locked in rooms does not at all prove they did not occur. My position is that as we are already aware of a few situations involving the locking of doors of passengers' rooms, we should be mindful that other similar, though as yet undocumented, situations doubtless occured that night.

I originally did not want to place too much stress on the possibility that Isham died while locked belowdecks but, despite Gracie's feelings that she did not, I believe that based on what we know, which is admittedly little, she still could very well have met her fate in just that very way. In fact, that she remained in her cabin either by choice or circumstance is so far the only theory of what happened to Isham that has at least a few clues to support it. What do we know? We know that -

a) the cabins in that quarter of C Deck were apparently locked by the stewards at some point after the general evacuation (per Gracie's account).

b) that stewards did not as a rule check cabins before locking them (the Chadausson & Williams accounts, etc).

and

c) that a first class steward reported that a first class lady passenger who perished adamantly refused to leave her cabin and in his opinion remained below indefinitely (per Birkhead account).

Again, while we cannot yet substantiate either the identity of the steward or whether the steward in question was referring to Isham, the latter account is nontheless a matter of public record, related by a Carpathia eye-witness (and a journalist by the way) whose account is on the whole a fairly reliable one.

I hope the steward - Cullen, Faulkner, whomever - was wrong and the mystery lady of this tale at least made it to the boat deck to have a try for it that night. However, if the steward had made thorough inquiries on the Carpathia and was therefore correct in his assertion that the lady in question had drowned, then this would mean that he could only have been referring to Ann Isham, as details of the actions of the other ladies lost in first class are sufficiently well-known to exclude them as candidates. Indeed he could not have been referring to Straus, Evans, or Allison.

Randy
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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Again, let's not take the newspaper article too seriously. I'm not saying that the steward didn't exist, or that he was lying. He could have given a very accurate account-untill it was printed.
As a newspaper in 1912, which headline would you want?
"WOMAN REFUSES TO LEAVE CABIN"
-or-
"WOMAN REFUSES TO LEAVE CABIN. PAYS FOR IT WITH LIFE"
Our only clue that she died is in that last sentence, which reeks of sensationalism. It was common practice to take a journalistic license to big stories. Again, I'm not questioning the honesty of the steward, I'm just weary of basing our solution to the mystery on one 7 word sentence in a 1912 newspaper known for sensationalism.
David
 
May 12, 2005
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David,

Point well taken.

Just a few clarifications, though. The NY Herald and its sister the distinguished Paris Herald were not strictly of the "yellow press" as far as I can tell - that would fall to the NY World, the Sun, & especially Hearst's American.

Also, I have since read the Birkhead piece in full. There was no such headline as you suggest. It was an in-depth article relating a great many interviews with survivors and these are not quite of the sensationalistic type we are all used to reading. The bit about the steward was only a brief part of the story.

Randy