Mr William Thompson Sloper

William Thompson Sloper

Mr William Thompson Sloper, 28, from New Britain, CT., was born on 13 December 1883, son of Andrew Jackson Sloper, former president of New Britain National Bank, and Ella Thomson Sloper.

Sloper, a stock broker and estate manager, was returning from a three-months vacation in Europe. On his tour he had met the family of Mark Fortune. Sloper apparently became so fond of Alice Fortune that he cancelled his passage on the Mauretania and booked instead on the Titanic which he boarded at Southampton as a first class passenger.

When the Titanic struck the iceberg, Sloper was playing bridge with some friends. Sloper was rescued in lifeboat 7. The lifeboat was one of the early boats sent away and First Officer William Murdoch was freely allowing men into the starboard side lifeboats when there were no women around.

According to Mr Sloper, he owed his life to Dorothy Gibson, an actress and one of his bridge companions, who got into the lifeboat and insisted that he join her. He pointed out that many persons aboard felt that the "Titanic" was "unsinkable" and therefore, did not want to leave the well lit deck to set off into he dark waters in small boats.

When the Carpathia arrived in New York, Sloper was, naturally, inundated by members of the press - as were all survivors. One of Sloper's best friends, however, was Jack Vance, a newspaper editor for the New Britain Herald. Sloper had determined he would speak only to his friend concerning his experiences.

A New York Herald reporter identified Sloper on the 19th April, as having dressed in women's clothing to escape the ship. On the advice of his father, other family members and trusted friends, Sloper did not sue the Herald nor the reporter. He decided that the fuss would eventually pass; He spent the rest of his life refuting the charge.

Following the disaster Sloper became a managing partner of Judd & Co. in New Britain, a private investment firm which in 1926 succeeded the former New York Stock Exchange firm of Judd & Co.

He married Mrs Helen Tallmadge Lindenberg on February 26, 1915 in Columbus, Ohio and raised her three daughters from a previous marriage. Helen died on July 30, 1967 at the age of 82.

In November, 1949, "The Life and Times of Andrew Jackson Sloper" written by his son was published. Although the book was undoubtedly begun as a biography of A. J. Sloper, it centres more upon the memoirs of William Sloper and the history of New Britain manufacturing concerns and industrialists.

Mr Sloper passed away on 1 May 1955. He was buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, New Britain, Connecticut.

© MichaelA. Findlay, USA



William Sloper

Articles and Stories

Ship to Shore (1984) 
Chicago Examiner (1912) 


Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Rob Ottmers, USA
Michael Poirier, USA

References and Sources

Unidentified Newspaper (New Britain, CT.), May 2, 1955, Obituary
Sloper's account of the sinking.
Connecticut State Department of Health Certificate of Death
Ship to Shore, Oceanigraphic Navigation Research Society. Spring 1984. Pages 301-413.

Link and cite this biography

(2017) William Thompson Sloper Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #268, updated 23rd August 2017 22:05:01 PM)

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