To close out our summer series on some of the well-known celebrities who were supposed to sail on Titanic, we’ll look at three men: two who were business associates, and one of the most popular evangelists of his time.Henry Clay Frick of Pittsburgh was a wealthy industrialist and chairman of Carnegie Steel Company. He and his wife and booked a suite aboard the Titanic in February 1912, but when the time came for the ship’s maiden voyage in April, Mrs. Frick sprained her ankle during a Mediterranean cruise and needed to be hospitalized. They cancelled their passage on Titanic and remained in Italy until she recovered.
Henry Clay Frick
Financier John Pierpont Morgan had invested in many large corporations and had a great influence on America’s finance during the early 1900s. He helped create General Electric and U.S. Steel, and was a close colleague of Henry Clay Frick. Morgan helped to resolve the U.S. banking system during what came to be known as the Panic of 1907.
Among J.P. Morgan’s business interests was the International Mercantile Marine, which controlled Britain’s White Star Line, owner of the Titanic. He had his own suite aboard the ship, with a private promenade deck. He was to have sailed on her maiden voyage, but instead remained at a French resort.
A conspiracy theory surfaced many years ago, which claimed that men intending to stop J.P. Morgan’s plan to create a large central U.S. bank were aboard Titanic, and Morgan had ordered Captain Smith to deliberately sink the ship. No evidence proving the theory has ever been found.
John Pierpont Morgan
John R. Mott was a popular evangelist to countless university students and a longtime official with the YMCA. He inspired many young people to consider foreign mission work. He and a colleague were offered free passage on Titanic by White Star Line, but they declined, taking the liner Lapland instead. When the men reached New York and heard about the disaster, they looked at each other and said, “The good Lord must have more work for us to do.”
For his work in establishing Christian student organizations that promoted peace around the globe, Mott and another worker shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.
John R. Mott
Please join me next time, when we’ll visit the home and hear the story of one of Titanic’s most well-known passengers, Margaret “Unsinkable Molly” Brown.
Photo credits: Encyclopedia Titanica, Smithsonianmag.com, Wikipedia.org.