Sunday, April 15, 2012


The house down the street from me was known as the house where the man who saved himself by dressing as a woman to get into the lifeboat on the Titanic lived. The house was surrounded by a twelve foot stockade fence with “keep out” signs all around it. The story was widely circulated and was in all the newspapers of that era. He had always denied it, but like all rumors once it starts, it never dies.
Washington Times
Monday 22 April 1912

Mrs. Fortune and Daughter Say a Coward Was in Last Lifeboat
NEW YORK, April 22---A man in women’s clothes was among the survivors in lifeboat 10, according to Mrs. Mark Fortune, Winnipeg, who was rescued with her three daughters on the boat. Mrs. Fortune’s husband, a Winnepeg real estate broker, and her son, Charles, were lost. They were not allowed to mount to the upper deck until the women and children were safely bestowed, according to her statement. Her daughters, Alice, Mabel, and Ethel, unite with her in saying that a man saved his life by his woman’s dress, one of the daughters having the seat next to his in the lifeboat.
In another article, There were two gamblers…
The Witney Gazette
Saturday 11 May 1912

The two men, says The Daily Chronicle’s New York correspondent, are known as ‘Doc ____’ and ‘Kid _______’, and they were playing with a third man when the crash came. Learning that there was no hope for the Titanic, they decided to try to get away in one of the boats. Those in authority, however, were allowing only women and children to go. ‘Doc ______’ therefore got hold of a steward who, it is alleged, had been paid to keep the identity of the gamblers secret during the voyage, and, giving him a roll of bank notes, got him to furnish women’s clothing and hats. Dressed in these clothes, the three men hurried to the deck and leaped into a lifeboat filled with women just as it was being lowered.
While Snopes debunks the rumor of the person who lived down the street from me.
The man most victimized by this rumor was ______ _. _____ of New Britain, Connecticut, who was publicly identified in a New York newspaper as "the man who got off in woman's clothing." ______ actually left the Titanic in lifeboat No. 7, the first boat launched, after he was invited to take a seat with motion picture actress Dorothy Gibson and her mother, who had been his bridge companions earlier that evening. Because many passengers did not yet comprehend the gravity of the Titanic's situation and were unwilling to trade the warmth and apparent safety of their berths for a seat in an open boat on the freezing Atlantic in the middle of the night, lifeboat No. 7 was filled to only about a third of its 65-passenger capacity, and the officer in charge of its loading therefore freely allowed _____ aboard. Boat No. 7 was eventually launched with only 28 occupants, so neither _____ nor any other man who wanted a seat within it would have had to disguise himself as a woman to sneak aboard.

When the rescue ship Carpathia docked in New York four days later, ______ was whisked away by his father and brother and taken to the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Reporters soon gathered outside his room to press him for a story, but ______ had already promised an exclusive to the editor of his hometown newspaper. According to legend, a reporter for a New York newspaper felt _____ was acting a bit too disrespectful towards members of the fourth estate by declining to talk and exacted revenge by writing a story that named ______ as "the man who got off in woman's clothing." ______ was talked out of suing the newspaper for libel by his father, and he subsequently spent many years living down the reputation he had unfairly gained.
Was there any men that disguised themselves as women. Who knows? But I doubt very much it was the man who lived down the street.

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