Encyclopedia Titanica


Newark Star

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Newark Man Says Tale Told by Seaman as to "Money Boat" in Which He Left Titanic is Untrue
Reports that bribes were offered the sailors who manned the boat in which C. E. Henry Stengel of Newark; Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and Lady Duff-Gordon and several others left the Titanic are branded as absolutely untrue by Mr. Stengel. The report was circulated by an able seaman, Robert Hopkins, when he asked for assistance at the City Hall, New York. Hopkins declared that had he been in what he described as the "money boat" he would not have to apply for assistance. Questioned he said that all of the sailors in the dinghy in which Mr. Stengel and Sir and Lady Duff-Gordon escaped, were paid for putting off as quickly as possible.

Others in the boat were Miss Francatelli, of London, and A. L. Solomon, a wholesale stationer, of New York.

"I don't know the fellow," Mr. Stengel said yesterday. "He must be looking for sympathy or money. I know Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon did give the crew something after we were taken on board the Carpathia, but it was merely a reward for the work they had done."

"How did you come to escape in the captain's dinghy?" Mr. Stengel was asked.


"I was on the starboard side of the Titanic. After the first shock I went up to see what happened. I wouldn't have thought anything of it if I hadn't seen Captain Smith's face. Then I knew we were in danger.

"I rushed down to the cabin where I knew there were some life-preservers. I got one for myself, and one for my wife. Then I ran out on deck again.

"I watched them fill for [sic] or five lifeboats with women. There were a few men who jumped in as the boats were being lowered. Then I went to the bow. There was a dinghy there a small rowboat , about sixteen feet long, with four oars. They were loading the boat. Five passengers got in, including myself. An officer was ordering in all. He said to me, 'Get in.'

Just as the boat was being lowered, Mr. Solomon jumped in. Besides the passengers there were three stokers, two seamen---ten in all.

"The crew wouldn't stick to the oars. They lighted cigarettes, laid down in the bottom of the boat and yelled jokes at each other.

"This is what really happened. The men weren't working the way they ought to have done. Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon said, 'You take care of us safely and I'll make you all a present.'

"Lady Gordon, who wasn't feeling well, added, 'I've quite some money myself.' Sir Cosmo then gave each one of the sailors a cigar and afterwards, on the Carpathia, an order on Coutt's Bank, London.["]

Mr. Stengel asserted that he did not know the amount.

"When we were rescued," continued the leather manufacturer, "the little boat was thought of so slight value that it was set adrift. Then I remembered my overcoat was in it. I asked if they couldn't get the overcoat back. Then one of the sailors said he had it with him. He gave it back to me and I made him a present of a dollar.

"Our boat was the last to leave the starboard side of the Titanic."

It was pointed out to Mr. Stengel that Lord Gordon was quoted as saying: "We sang hymns to keep our spirits up and drown out the cries of the dying."


"No, we didn't sing anything," Mr. Stengel replied. "The men were joking and laughing.

"'Is that you, Boxy?' one of the men yelled to a man in another boat. 'What have you got there?

"'I've got a bunch of dagoes,' the fellow called back."

Mr. Stengel added that he had not been subpoenaed to appear at the hearing before the Senate committee in Washington.

"I am quite willing to give testimony," he said.

Mr. Solomon was equally emphatic in discrediting and denying the story of the "money boat."


Mark Baber, USA


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) STENGEL DENIES BRIBES WERE GIVEN TO SAILORS (Newark Star, Wednesday 24th April 1912, ref: #3178, published 10 July 2004, generated 21st March 2023 05:14:30 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/stengel-denies-bribes-were-given-sailors.html