The Sun (New York)

Flag Draped Coffin Followed by Relatives From the Liner France
The steamship France, with the body of J. P. Morgan, came up the bay late
yesterday afternoon past flags at half mast on boat and pier drooping in a
steady rain. The coffin, covered with an American flag, was borne ashore
while bareheaded French officers and stewards and cabin boys stood at
attention and the ship's orchestra played "The Star Spangled Banner."

Followed by members of the Morgan family and a few friends an automobile
hearse moved swiftly from the pier at the foot of West Fifteenth street to
the Morgan library in Thirty-sixth street. There the body is to lie until
the funeral service at St. George's Church at 10 o'clock on Monday morning.

The pier and the waterfront near it were guarded by many police. There was
no irritation of cameras and crowds of curious persons. The funeral ship
arrived with no more demonstration than attends the coming of any liner to
this port---not as much. On vessel and pier the silence was impressive.

All through the serene voyage from Havre, on which the France made a new
speed record for herself over the long southern course, the body of Mr.
Morgan lay in its triple cased coffin in a mortuary chapel that had been
improvised by the officers on the port side of the F deck, amidships. Walls
and ceilings were covered with black velvet relieved by silver fringes and
crosses and stars of silver. Worked into the velvet of the catafalque was a
great silver cross on which the coffin rested.

At head and foot electric candelabra burned night and day. The wall lights
were darkened by crape. [sic]

The flag that was draped over the coffin was the one presented by the United
States, through Ambassador Herrick, to the France when she started on her
first voyage a year ago. It was hidden by flowers piled almost to the
ceiling. There were so many flowers, in fact, that part of them had to be
packed into an extra stateroom.

On the coffin, too, were a cross of the Legion of Honor, a silver wreath
presented by the township of Aix-les-Bains, in remembrance of the American
who gave the town a hospital, and a floral wreath from the London of Chamber
of Commerce. And against the wall at the lower end of the bier stood a
great cross of pink orchids from the Kaiser with the inscription, "William
Rex Imperator."

The France, steaming twenty-three knots, passed Fire Island at 11:18 o'clock
yesterday morning and reached Quarantine at 1:45 P. M. There J. P. Morgan,
Jr., who had motored to Tompkinsville with Deputy Police Commissioner McKay,
boarded her from the Quarantine boat, the Gov. Flower.

Mr. Morgan went to the suite of his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs.
Herbert L. Satterlee. There he found the others of their party---Miss Helen
Hamilton, who is a granddaughter of the late Mr. Morgan, Dr. George A.
Dixon, the family physician, and H. H. Harges, the Paris partner of the
house of J. P. Morgan & Co. Having greeted them affectionately young Mr.
Morgan went below and spent fifteen minutes alone in the chapel beside the
body of his father.

After thirty-five minutes at Quarantine the France headed for her pier.

On the way up the harbor it was learned that at the request of the Morgan
relatives the social life aboard the liner had followed its usual routine.

Mrs. Satterlee carried the key of the mortuary chapel and she and her
husband and Miss Hamilton visited the chapel several times each day.

It was 4:45 o'clock when the France was laid alongside her pier. William
Pierson Hamilton, son-in-law of the late J. P Morgan, Junius S. Morgan, son
of J. P Morgan, Jr., Mrs. Hamilton and her son, Pierpont Hamilton, were
among the first to go aboard from the pier. Three friends stood waiting for
the final disembarking. They were H. B. Hollins, Robert H. Bacon,
ex-Ambassador to France and former partner in the Morgan firm, and Stephen

When all the other passengers had left the ship Mr. Satterlee and J. P.
Morgan, Jr., escorted Mrs. Satterlee and Miss Hamilton along the pier to
their automobile, themselves returning to the France to walk behind the

The body of Mr. Morgan was borne from the chapel up a companionway to the
vestibule of E deck by then French sailors. Capt. Poncelet, gray bearded,
grave, cap in hand, strode before them, and behind the coffin came two
officers carrying the crown of Aix-les-Bains and the Grand Cross of the
Legion of Honor.

Behind them walked the new head of the Morgan family, his son and Mr.

The heavy coffin was removed from the ship over a narrow gangway to the
freight shed. There eight pallbearers held in readiness by J. C. Tiedman,
sexton of St. George's, lifted it into the hearse, which with its escort
moved away through the rain---through Fifteenth street to Fifth avenue and
so on to the library in East Thirty-sixth street adjoining Mr. Morgan's late

These men will represent the American Academy in Rome at the funeral: W. R.
Mead, president; W. A. Boring, C. Grant La Farge, Herbert Adams, F. H.
Blashfield, Prof. J. C. Egbert, W. M. Kendall, the Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes,
Jr., Brock Trowbridge and Prof. Andrew F. West.

Related Biographies:

John Pierpont Morgan

Relates to Place:

New York City, New York, United States


Original article digitized by the New York Public Library
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,


Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) MR. MORGAN'S BODY TAKEN TO HIS HOME (The Sun (New York), Friday 12th April 1912, ref: #19416, published 11 April 2013, generated 18th April 2021 06:31:13 PM); URL :