Mr Frederic Kimber Seward

Frederic Kimber Seward

Mr Frederic Kimber Seward was born in Wilmington, Delaware on 23 March 1878.

He was the son of Samuel Swayze Seward (1838-1916), a clergyman, and Christina F. Kimber (1837-1906), natives of Mendham, New Jersey and Delaware respectively who had married on 19 October 1864. He had four known siblings: John Perry (b. 1868), Lydia (b. 1870), Mary (b. 1872) and Samuel Swayze (b. 1876). Following the death of his mother in 1906 his father was remarried to Rosalie Chesterman (b. 1856) of New York.

He first appears on the 1880 census as an infant living with his family in New York City where he would remain into adulthood. He was a graduate of Columbia University in 1899 and was a prominent member of the Glee Club during his college days. He later worked for the law firm  of Curtis, Mallet, Prevot & Colt of 30 Broad Street.

He was married on 30 August 1902 to Sara Flemington Day (b. 26 October 1878), who also hailed from Delaware, and the couple had three children: Kimber (b. 1903), Katherine (b. 1908) and Samuel Swayze (1910-1989). The family appeared on the 1910 census living in Manhattan and by 1912 were residents of 542 West 112th Street.

Mr Seward had been on a two-month-long business trip in Europe and  boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 113794 which cost £26, 11s).

Frederick Kimber SewardOn the night of the sinking Seward played cards with William Sloper and his church friend Dorothy Gibson in the first class lounge when the impact occurred. Miss Gibson insisted that her two male friends join her in the first lifeboat to be launched, boat 7.

Whilst returning to New York on the Carpathia, Seward organised a group of other survivors (Karl Behr, Margaret Brown, Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson, Frederic Spedden, Isaac Frauenthal and George Harder) to honour the bravery of Captain Rostron and his crew. They would present the Captain with an inscribed silver cup and medals to each of the 320 crew members.

Following the disaster Frederic went to great lengths to trace the whereabouts of the children of John Montgomery Smart who was lost in the disaster. Seward's law firm had represented the American Cold Storage and Shipping Company, of which Smart was President. Seward only knew that the children were in Europe but knew little to no other details and employed many European papers as intermediaries, finally receiving word that a boy and girl had been discovered in a school in Belgium.

Fred and his family later moved to Queens, New York and he would later cross the Atlantic several times over. He was widowed in 1932 when his wife Sara passed away. He himself died in Queens on 7 December 1943.



Frederic Kimber Seward in 1925
Frederic Kimber Seward in 1919

Articles and Stories

New York Times (1943) 
New York Times (1914) 
New York Times (1913) 
New York Times (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 
Denver Times (1912) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 
Ship to Shore 

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Frederic Kimber Seward (12 posts)
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Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA

References and Sources

New York Herald, April 18, 1912
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Frederic Kimber Seward Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #262, updated 13th November 2019 17:15:35 PM)