Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Margaret Mary Tobin was born in Hannibal, Missouri on July 18th, 1867. She lived in a little house near the Mississippi River with her parents and five siblings.

When she was eighteen she moved to Colorado with her sister and met a miner there named James Joseph “J.J.” Brown. The two were married on September 1, 1886. They had two children and bought a house in Leadville where James continued in the mining business. Over the years he became on of the most successful mining men in the country. The Browns had struck it rich. But later in life, it is said that their marriage was coming to an end—even though they lived in the same house, they completely avoided each other.

In 1912 Margaret got news that her grandson was sick while she was traveling and made the quick decision to go to New York on the first passage available. Because of her hastiness, hardly anyone knew where she was going or what ship she was taking.

On April 10, 1912 she boarded the RMS Titanic from Cherbourg France.

The voyage was pleasant and the weather was good—they were even due to arrive in New York early—until four days later when the Titanic struck an iceberg. Margaret though, showed no fear. She helped gather women to be put in the lifeboats until she was put into one herself.

Even when Quartermaster Hichens (who was in charge of lifeboat six) had given up all hope for rescue, Margaret stayed strong and threatened to throw him overboard. She told the women to row and kept their spirits up.
When rescued from the Carpathia, she still did everything she could to be of assistance. She helped aid the survivors and by time they reached New York, she raised $10,000 for destitute survivors.

For her heroism she was nicknamed the Unsinkable Molly Brown, but not until the 1930’s. She was never known as Molly when she was alive, though her friends did call her Maggie.

Margaret Brown is mostly known for her bravery that fateful night of 1912 but she also did many other great things. She was an advocate of human rights, she worked to establish the first Juvenile Court in the U.S., worked with the relief efforts during World War 1 and was also a Suffragist. She really played a big role in women’s history.

“Typical Brown luck. We’re unsinkable.”
                                          ~Margaret Mary Tobin Brown

To read the original post, please see my main blog, Inlets and Harbors.