Edith Corse Evans

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This article is about a Titanic fatality. For the actress Dame Edith Evans, see Edith Evans.
Edith Corse Evans
EdithCorseEvans.jpg
Born September 21, 1875
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died April 15, 1912(1912-04-15) (aged 36)
RMS Titanic, Atlantic Ocean

Edith Corse Evans (born September 21, 1875 - April 15, 1912) was a prominent American socialite who died aboard the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. She was one of only four women to die in first class.

Early life[edit]

Edith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a wealthy family. She was the second daughter of lawyer Cadwalader Evans and his wife, woman's rights activist Angeline Burr Corse.[1] She had a sister, Lena Cadwalader Evans, who was a renowned painter.

A long-time resident of New York, unmarried Edith was a member of The Colonial Dames of America and a descendant of Andrew Hamilton. She had great interest in genealogical studies.

Titanic[edit]

On the evening of April 10, 1912 Edith boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg to return home from a visit to her cousins in Paris. Along the way, she met her aunt by marriage, Malvina Cornell, and her sisters, who were returning from a funeral in London.

On April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg on its starboard side and began to sink. When passengers started to realize the unsinkable "Titanic" was indeed sinkable, chaos ensued to board the remaining lifeboats. Upon suggestion from Second Officer Charles Lightoller, Captain smith ordered, "Women and children in and lower away." The First and Second officers interpreted the evacuation order differently; one took it to mean women and children first, while the other took it to mean women and children only. Thus one of the officers lowered lifeboats with empty seats if there were no women and children waiting to board, while the other allowed a limited number of men to board if all the nearby women and children had embarked. When the lifeboats were first being lowered, Edith and Caroline Brown either dismissed the immediate need to board a lifeboat or were simply unaware, as many others were, of the peril of their situation. With few lifeboats left, they arrived at one of the last at 2:09 am. It has commonly been reported that there was not enough room for both of them in it, so Edith persuaded Caroline to get in because Caroline had children, even though she repeatedly refused. However, Walter Lord stated in his 1955 book A Night to Remember that it was hurriedly lowered before Edith could get in. Additionally, Collapsible Boat D, the last functioning one, was not filled to capacity when lowered and had 30 people aboard when it was designed to accommodate 50. It is not understood whether Edith intentionally stepped aside or not before it was lowered.

Edith went down with the ship. She was never identified among the recovered bodies.[2] On 22 April 1912, a memorial service was held for her at Grace Church in New York City, and a plaque was dedicated in her honor. There is also a plaque in her honor hanging inside of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Sayville, New York.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New York Times obituaries" (PDF). New York Times. April 21, 1912. p. 13. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  2. ^ http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/edith-corse-evans.html
  3. ^ Laurel Graeber (8 April 2005). "Where Wolfgang Amadeus Meets Wolfgang Bigbad". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Geller, Judith B. (1998). Titanic: Women and Children First. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 34. ISBN 0-393-04666-4. 

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