Mystic Seaport has several of E.J.'s letters in his own hand- this writing is not remotely similar to it. The text of these letters is at http://www.revdma2.com/letters.html
Mrs. Smith called him "Ted"- by the way. They referred to their daughter as "Melville".
Steven- we like far-fetched notions here! Actually the "Legend of Whispering Smith" is not a new one- there were tales of Smith being saved but going incognito due to the shame of it all, which persisted for YEARS. Sort of like Elvis Presley sightings- hmmm.. we've been here recently!
Today, I received a package in the post that revived the speculation about Captain Smith possibly surviving the disaster. The package, addressed to me, was from a certain E.J. Smith in Missouri. I don't know how E.J. came to be in Missouri, or why he would be the one sending me a WW2 paratrooper's Griswald bag (used to carry a field-stripped M1 Garand rifle) that I recently won on eBay, but one can't argue facts.
Erik, if your eyes are goingbad, mine are too as I just noticed exactly the same thing. Strange that I didn't notice it two years ago, but I may have been pretty wiped out too. Still, if the handwriting doesn't match...per Shelley's information...then it would still be a different E. Smith that penned the note, not "our" E.J. Smith.
Has anyone any research on why E.J left such a small estate of £3000+ ?
I have read this but not checked it.
If so it is remarkable. He was the highest paid captain at the time yet this is only the same as the Chief Steward left and half the estate of Chief Wilde who was paid so much less.
Ruth has found it remarkable that Captain Smith left "such a small estate of £3000+". Before either of us can double-check the Will, what would be remarkable is that any other man among his Officers or crew (unless 'better born') could - in 1912 - have left behind for the benefit of wife and daughter and of Russian wolf-hound anything like the veritable fortune that he did: approximately '£171,950+' - in today's currency.
Wilde's estate was valued £6783.3.9, but of course he had married the rather comfortably off Mary Catherine Jones, who predeceased him. I haven't checked it against the probates, but according a solicitor's summation in the family papers, the youthful Moody left £458.17.3. That included his £100 insurance policy.
There were Pitman and Lightoller imposters I can think of off hand, and of course the would-be Andrews and Lorraine Allison. In the immediate aftermath and right up to comparatively recently there have been supposed surviving crew whose names do not appear on either the crew agreements or the list of survivors on the Carpathia.
Parks, which Smith do you think sent you the package? Was it Captain Peter Pryal's beardless E.J. of St. Paul's Street, Baltimore? Or the Smith at Grand Central Railway station, who ducked the person who confronted him because he was off to buy a ticket South? Or "Whispering Smith" the tramp? Or the "Silent Smith" who died in Lima, Ohio, as reported 1940. I like the idea of a Smith with the Rock of Ages tatooed on his chest...
Well shipmates I am still checking the wills of those who served aboard because i do think it exceptional that Cptn Smith's property and effects only added up to £3,186.4s 6d. His salary was £100 a month.
Joseph Bell,chief engineer, his estate/effects were valued at £6,457.0s.10d
Andrew Latimer, Chief Steward was valued at £3082.9s.3d.
EJ did not have a lot of sons to educate privately and the days of dowries for daughters were over.
Inger do we definitely know Chief Wilde had yet profited financially by marriage since Polly probably predeceased her father..do you know ?
EJ...I would like to know what the reason is...I seem to remember that Mrs Smith had to apply to the Titanic fund for herself as well as the Wilde children later on.
The photo...reincarnationists believe that if your life is cut short you may return to complete...so perhaps it is EJ on the bridge of QM2.....
Perhaps one of us - possibly Martin - should ask Captain Warwick (in a charming Senator-McCarthy-like way) "Captain Warwick: Are you at this time - or at any time in the past have you ever been - a resident of Missouri?".
And I thought we might discover something really interesting about the Captain....like a mistress in another port or a gambling addiction. ! I still wonder though why his estate is less than one would expect as one writer put it...it may be like Inger says just a question of management...and yet..he was just about to retire with the same as the Chief Steward.
It was unusual then for wives to keep their money separate...so am intrigued by Mrs Wilde having a Will of her own.