Mrs. Straus Stayed With Her Husband
One of the drowned is Isidor Straus. Mrs. [Ida] Straus also drowned as she decided to lovingly die together with her husband rather than be rescued, according to reports by several passengers who were there. Robert W. Daniel, a banker who lives at 328 Chestnut St. n Philadelphia and who is one of the rescued, described the scene: “Mrs. Straus was asked to get into a lifeboat and she responded that under no circumstance would she leave her husband.”
John R. Joyce, a banker residing at 220 Fifth Ave. in New York who was a passenger on the Carpathia, said that one of the rescued Titanic passengers told him that Mr. Straus had pleaded with his wife to get in one of the lifeboats, but she absolutely refused to leave him.
Mrs. Sheperd of Derby, Conn., who is also one of the rescued, reported: “One of the images I’ll never forget is of Mrs. Straus pressed closely to her husband as the last lifeboat was lowered. She was asked to save herself and get in it, but she didn’t want to.”
The well-known doctor [Henry William] Frauenthal was also one of the rescued and he recounts: “I saw one of the ship’s officers plead with Mrs. Straus to allow herself to be rescued. She yelled at him, ‘I’m not going without my husband.’”
There’s no doubt about the Titanic’s Capt. [Edward John] Smith’s being among the deceased, but there are various accounts of his death. One such story is that he committed suicide with a pistol. Others say they saw him fall into the ocean. One of the cooks suggested that he rescue himself using a life preserver, but he rejected that suggestion as foolish.
The capitalist press is attempting to sing love songs to the great millionaire [John] Jacob Astor. They describe his heroic attempts to have others rescued, and he appears to have acted like a knight or a martyr. There’s no mention, however, of similar martyrdom and heroism of the poor, but from accounts, one can tell that hundreds of the poor evinced a calmer heroism than that of Astor.
Mr. Astor’s 19-year-old wife was rescued. The reader is reminded that she is not yet 20 years old and that her husband was close to 50. He divorced his first wife in order to be with this 19 year old. His 19-year-old son was best man at the wedding.
The capitalist newspapers are parading her about as if she were America’s queen. They excitedly report to us the happy event soon to come when she will become a mother and there will be a new little Astor.
There was no food or drink on the lifeboats and no way to supply them with it. There was no shelter from the cold air. When the Carpathia arrived, she found a deceased person in practically each lifeboat, as well as several near death. Many sailors had frozen fingers from rowing for the entire night. The only food on the lifeboats was the three oranges that a sailor had taken along. He stated that this was the third time in his life he has been rescued from a sinking ship. He held up the green lantern that lit up several of the lifeboats.
There weren’t enough sailors to row the boats. Several women had to take the oars and help to row the boats. The last lifeboat was lowered too late and couldn’t get away from the sinking ship in time and the sea took it down along with the Titanic. A few saved themselves by grabbing onto seats and rafts.
When the great ship went down, the lifeboats were a quarter of a mile away. The water’s movement as the ship sank tossed the small boats around. Then the slow journey began, with no end in sight, with the hope that a ship would come and take them aboard. Hours went by on those journeys, dreadful hours of angst and unknowing, of hope mixed with the fear of death. Women cried for their husbands and sons. The few men who were aboard the lifeboats suppressed their tears and tried to comfort the women.
Hour after hour passed by in this way. With longing glances and hearts paralyzed with fear of the coming minutes, everyone looked out from all sides in the hope of spotting a smokestack, some smoke or a ship’s sail. It was bitter cold and many were injured by it. It was clear to all that they couldn’t hold out much longer.
As night passed and dawn broke, smoke could be seen on the horizon.
A joyful sound went up that was mixed with crying. It was the Carpathia, and when she arrived she found herself surrounded by lifeboats full of freezing women and children.