YOUNG GREENSBURG WOMAN WAS PASSENGER ON ILL-FATED SHIP

Greensburg Herald Tribune

"Oh, I feel bad, ver' bad, los' money, los' friend. When I stand up I see ship come again, when I shut my eyes. I see people go down, down, down--Oh ver' bad time." And, with the remembrance of it, Mrs. Sophie Abraham, 20 years old, shuddered and buried her face in the dark hair of her little niece who leaned against her knee. Mrs. Abraham was one of the few passengers rescued from the Titanic.
At the home of her brother, Samuel Easu, who keeps a store on South Main and Mount Pleasant streets, Mrs. Abraham told her story. Her husband, Joseph Abraham, a Syrian formerly employed at the Kelly and Jones works, but who is now working in Allentown, New York, is expected home to greet his wife today or tomorrow.
In a small living room back of Mr. Easu's store, the young woman, rescued after perilous adventures in the sea, sat. About her clustered friends and a number of members of the Syrian colony. Running her fingers through the soft hair of the two little children who stood at her knees, now and then picking them up as if she never could leave them go, and showering their faces with kisses, Sophie Abraham told her story. She wore a light blue dress, a skirt of blue satin, now faded, and about her hair was thrown a scarf of a darker blue, glittering with spangles.
She would have made a subject for a painting as she sat with the children at her knees, with her beautiful regular features, olive skin, and great dark eyes, now and then heavy with weariness, again tragic with the weight of her sorrows and the experiences through which she had passed.
By the aid of her brother who acted as interpreter, Sophie Abraham old of lying awake on her bed in the ship Titanic. Troubled by sleeplessness, Mrs. Abraham had lain down in her clothing, just as she had done several times previously.
All at once came the crash. Gesturing with her expressive hands, Mrs. Abraham illustrated how the great ship rocked and swayed, and how the half dressed people swarmed up on deck. Then she told of the orders from the officers to lower the lifeboats, how women were placed in the boats, how one by one they were filled and rowed away, and then finally, how she was picked up by a sailor and thrown into the sea, the sailor missing the lifeboat in his haste. Crowding around the railing she says were men, fighting for an opportunity to get to the remaining lifeboats. Officers commanded them to stand back and make way for the women and children. Good order was restored and after the first panic, men bravely lowered the women to safety.
When she came to the surface, after her plunge, Mrs. Abraham says, she was taken into a crowded lifeboat. A big wave upset it and all were in the water. Another lifeboat picked Mrs. Abraham up with two or three others from the overturned boat. Four sailors in her lifeboat rowed away from the side of the sinking ship. Finally they joined a group of lifeboats, and the little flotilla was fastened together with ropes to afford better protection to the damaged boats.
She watched the big ship with all the lights sinking lower and lower until all the lights were out. The sun was just above the surface of the sea the next morning when she was taken on the Carpathia, she said. All night the women in her boat, sat and shivered in the biting air. Her clothing was frozen to her body after her plunge into the ocean. No one thought of eating, as Mrs. Abraham said: "Everybody scared too much, everybody glad to save life, no think of eat."
In New York she was met by many men, she said, who questioned her if she had a place to go. "I can't remember much," she said, "I get sick. I stay in nice place two nights, lots to eat, good clothes, good bed. They say I stay Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I say, "No I go home, to my family." With a grave smile lighting up her beautiful eyes, Mrs. Abraham again showered the little ones with kisses as she went on to tell how one man gave her a ticket to Greensburg and another gave her $30.00 in money.
Mrs. Abraham arrived in Greensburg between 10 and 11 o'clock Sunday morning. None of her relatives knew of her coming, none of her relatives knew she had taken passage on the Titanic. When she descended from the train, she was dazed. Stolidly she stood on the platform, a package on her arm and a suitcase at her feet. Henry Coshey and Baggageman Carns assisted her to the station, and secured Mr. Coleman's taxicab, which Mr. Coleman quickly placed at her service. In a trice after she alighted at the store of her brother in South Main Street, Mrs. Abraham was surrounded by a sobbing, laughing swarm of relatives and friends. Hugging and kissing her by turns, the one Greensburg survivor of the Titanic was greeted. But the long ordeal and the great joy of meeting her people was too much for her and she collapsed in a faint on the pavement. All day Sunday she was too ill to talk much. Monday morning however, she felt better and tried to answer the countless questions put to her by friends. With eagerness she is awaiting the coming of her husband who was notified at once by telegram of her arrival.
Mrs. Abraham had just returned from a several months' visit to her native country. Never again, she says, will she return unless she can go by land.

Related Biographies:

Sāfiyah Ibrāhīm

Citation

Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) YOUNG GREENSBURG WOMAN WAS PASSENGER ON ILL-FATED SHIP (Greensburg Herald Tribune, Monday 22nd April 1912, ref: #1223, published 28 August 2003, generated 22nd September 2020 08:38:40 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/young-greensburg-woman-was-passenger-ill-fated-ship.html