World Naval News
New York Times - Ships and Shipping
Monday, 14 September 2015
Titanic survivor's letter defending famed 'coward' on doomed liner to be auctioned off
13:23, 14 SEPTEMBER 2015
The letter was sent six months after the stricken cruise
liner plummeted to its demise when it hit an iceberg
in the North Atlantic
Lost souls: But the letter being auctioned is between two survivors
of the 1912 shipwreck of the Titanic
A letter from
one Titanic survivor to another
is set to be
sold at auction - and it contains reference to one of the
terrible scandals of the shipwreck.
The missive was penned by Mabel Francatelli, the
secretary of Scottish landowner Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon,
a man who stood accused of cowardice after the maritime
disaster which claimed 1,514 souls in 1912.
Duff-Gordon and wife Lady Lucy, along with secretary
Francatelli and two friends, were part of 12 passengers
who were rowed to safety on Lifeboat Number One.
Survivor's script: Mabel Francatelli wrote to a fellow survivor six
months after after the Titanic sinking
The rescue vessel had a capacity of 40, but the accusations
against Duff-Gordon detailed that he paid a colossal cash bribe
to the lifeboat crew to save his own life.
Duff-Gordon and his spouse faced questioning by Scotland Yard
detectives when they made it back to the UK, and their name
was shamed for the remainder of the baronet's life,
according to the Express
Although he admitted he did promise cash, he said it was not a bribe,
and a subsequent British Board of Trade inquiry agreed the cash was
a “charitable donation”.
Shop wrecked: Mabel Francatelli and addressee Abraham Lincoln
Saloman were among 12 wealthy passengers who survived on Lifeboat One
The letter from Francatelli to fellow Lifeboat One survivor
New Yorker Abraham Lincoln Salomon - which appears
to defend Duff-Gordon, calling his treatment 'injurious' -
is being sold by Lion Heart Autographs on September 30.
The hand-written letter which covers three pages of Plaza Hotel
stationery is hoped to sell for at least £4,000 and includes
details such as: “We do hope you have now quite
recovered from the terrible experience.
"I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble
and anxiety added to our already awful experience by the
very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London.”
High life: The handwritten three-page missive was written on
Plaza Hotel notepaper
Francatelli was not questioned by police, and the letter
she sent has a postmark dated October 12, 1912, six
months after the cruise ship went down, and is addressed
to Salomon at 345 Broadway, New York.
Other lots on sale at the auction are a lunch menu for
first-class passengers saved by business tycoon Salomon
which is dated the day before the sinking
, and a ticket from
unusual weighing chair located in its opulent Turkish Baths.
As addressed: The letter went to Abraham Lincoln Saloman
at his home in NYC
The menu lists a feast including fillets of brill, veal and
ham pie, roast beef and Cumberland ham.
It is signed in pencil on the back by another first-class
passenger, Isaac Frauenthal, who is believed to have
dined with Salomon that day, and was rescued in Lifeboat Five.
Source: Daily Mirror, UK.
Santiago Alejandro Mac Culloch
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Titanic survivor´s letter defending famed ´coward´ on doomed liner to be auctioned off.
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