Roseís Journal aboard the TITANIC
Rose wrote in her journal of her experiences aboard the ship after arriving in California in the summer of 1912. Here are her experiences in her words and expressions!
April 10, 1912
Today is sailing day. I wanted to wear my black dress because I am not happy. Cal told me that black on sailing day is bad luck. Mother picked out a purple and white dress with a large purple hat. She gave me a pair of earrings that matched perfectly. Then, I put on my leather white gloves. Trudy took my hatboxes and my pink coat.
We were driven to the pier to board the ship. The maids and valet were amazed at the size of the ship. We had only 1-Ĺ hours to board the ship. Cal tipped a worker with 5 pounds to ensure that our entire luggage was place aboard the ship quickly. The worker gathered 2 other men to get our luggage to the ship. I walked behind my mother and Cal.
I told Cal that I did not know what all of the fuss was about, it doesnít look any bigger than the Mauritania. He was glad to be meeting up with many prominent people. Many of them are coming to our wedding festivities in Philadelphia.
I took Calís arm as we boarded the ship. I feel like a slave going back to America in chains. Outwardly, I am a well-brought young lady. Inside, I am screaming! Then we went to our cabins. The stewards and stewardesses are unloading our trunks. Mother will be in B-52, myself in B-54, and Cal in B-56. I unpacked my paintings, and again Cal put them down. He gave me a drink of Buckís Fizz and then told he likes the Degas painting. He gave me a peck on the cheek, and then he went back to the private promenade deck that is shared by our rooms.
We went to dinner that night. There were at least 6 courses, I will certain not be able to fit my new dresses by the time we get home. But the food is really good though! Cal went to the smoking room to discuss politics and business, something he will do every night until we reach New York.
April 11, 1912
The ship docked in Cherbourg, France at night. After dinner, is when the passengers started to come from the tenders to the ship. Many prominent people are coming aboard. Many are attending my wedding with the exception of Molly Brown. Mother does not like the fact that Molly is "new money" but she is fascinated because she does not care what she says or how she acts. I wish I could be free as her like a butterfly flying around.
Mother and I had dinner with Cal. Our table had Mr. Guggenheim with his young mistress, Madame Aubert, what a scandal. Lucile and Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, who are close friends of both mother and Cal were also sitting at our table. The only things I like about Lady Duff Gordon are her designs. She is too stuffy for me. I did get a chance to see Molly Brown as she was going to her cabin. She is a wonderful woman and not vulgar like mother says she is. I also saw the Strauses (owners of Macyís, my favorite store) and the Astors who are returning from an extended honeymoon. Mrs. Astor is my age and in a delicate condition.
I took a long bath before going to bed around 10pm. Mother came to my cabin to check in on me after Trudy pin curled my hair around 9 p.m. She told me that we would be heading to Queenstown to get the last of the passengers.
April 12, 1912
We arrived in Queenstown in the early part of the day. Several tenders of mail, cargo, and people are coming aboard. Cal purchased me a beautiful lace and silk-fringed shawl in an ivory color from a vendor near the dock. It costed about 10 pounds.
We had lunch in the Cafť. I wanted to have a cigarette but Mother and Cal did not allow me to finish it. After asking questions of Mr. Ismay and Mr. Andrews, I went to the deck to get some fresh air before dinner. I was not happy at all. I looked down and saw a young steerage man no older than 21 years old sitting among other young men of different cultures. He looked like my beauty struck him. Cal came out and got me. We argued for the umpteenth time then returned to the cabin to prepare for dinner.
I was stewing with angry and barely ate anything at dinner. I poked myself with my fork then excused myself to go back to my cabin. I was composed until I reached my cabin. Then I ripped off my necklace and hairpieces. I must look like a street whore. I threw my new hand mirror and cracked it. At this point, I was in tears.
I was not going to live like this anymore. I ran from my cabin in an emotional display that is shocking. I made my way to the stern and looked over at the ocean. I climbed the rail and turned around preparing to jump. A young steerage man came over and offered assistance, which I declined. He talked to me then he was able to convince me to turn around, and not end my life. I nearly slipped off but he kept hold of me and pulled me back over.
The officers saw the commotion. Cal nearly wanted to kill the young man named Jack Dawson who saved me. I convinced Cal that I was looking at the propellers and nearly went overboard. Cal believed me and led me away. He wanted to give Jack a $20 for saving me but I convinced him that it wasnít enough. He has invited Jack to dinner on Saturday night.
After I changed to my nightclothes, Cal brought in a dark velvet box. He told me that he was saving it for the engagement gala but decided to give it to me now. It was a huge, malevolent diamond necklace but it was still a sight to behold. He told me the story behind the necklace as he fastened it on me. It feels like a dog choker. He told that there was nothing that he would deny me if I would open my heart to him. He took the necklace off, and placed it back in the box, then returned it to the safe.
I slept unusually well that night thinking about the young man who had saved my life. He seems so free. I said to myself that I must seek him out to thank him for he had done.
April 13, 1912
After breakfast, I changed to a yellow and white dress from a light lavender dress. I went to down the 3rd class area to seek out Jack. It is a flurry of activity. There are immigrants from many countries dressed in native clothes and speaking unfamiliar languages. Jack followed me to the 1st class deck so we could talk.
Several people scowled when they seen Jack because he did not fit in but I motioned with my eyes to make them mind their own business. Jack and I had a nice, long, if not invigorating conversation.
At times, he asked questions that made me feel uncomfortable but eventually I gave him the answers. Then he told me about his many jobs and adventures in California, Wisconsin, and Europe. He is well traveled for a person of limited means. He is truly fascinating and gave me a mirror into a world that I would have never known about at all. He taught to me to spit and told me of the things in California to see and do on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I want to see and experience those things.
The bugle sounded for dinner. Mother and I went back to our cabin to dress. She told me that she did not care for Jack at all but I did not worry about it at all. Mother finished dressing and headed to the dining room. I finished a few minutes later. I got my purse and headed to the dining room. I went down the stairs and saw Jack. He was immaculately groomed in clothes and hair. He was more of a gentleman than those I have seen were.
He kissed my hand and offered his arm to be my escort. We encountered Molly and he escorted her also into the dining room. I introduced Jack to many prominent people that he would have read about in newspapers only: Mr. and Mrs. Astor, the Duff Gordons, Guggenheim and mistress, Thomas Andrews, Countess of Rothes, and Mr. Ismay.
He (Jack) must have been nervous but he never faltered. He looked as he was an heir to a railroad fortune but still a member of the club. He did his best to be a gentleman even though Cal and Mother did their best to be of bad manners. Jack did raise a toast "To make it count". Everyone thought that the sentiment was good and raised his or her glasses.
Dinner was good and ended too soon. Molly was telling one of her trademark tall tales and making everyone laugh. The men excused themselves to go to the Smoking Room for cigars and brandy. I told Cal I would stay with the women.
Jack handed a folded piece of paper that stated "make it count, meet me at the clock." I decided to take a risk. I told mother that I was going to the cabin. She stayed to gossip with the other women at the table: Madame Aubert, Countess of Rothes, Lady Duff Gordon, Mrs. Astor, and Molly Brown.
I went down to the 3rd class general area. There was loud music and drinking going on. Jack and I even danced to several Irish reels and musical pieces. I even had a cigarette and some good Irish beer. I saw Lovejoy peeking in at me then he left. He is not a nice person, he is worse than Cal.
Jack and I went to the deck for a walk then looked at the stars. I made a wish but I did not tell Jack what the wish was for. Jack went back to the 3rd class area after escorting me to the 1st class entrance. I took a hot bath then went to bed. Cal came to see me but I feigned sleep, then he left and went back to his own cabin.
April 14, 1912
Trudy helped me dress for breakfast. Cal and I went to the private promenade deck. The tension is so that it can be cut with a knife. Mother went to a dining area for her breakfast. Cal confronted me and nearly slapped me. The words hurt just as much as he was to slap me, which has happened several times but did not happen this time. Then he turned the table over, and left. He did not have any concern at this time. Trudy cleaned up the mess and comforted me.
Trudy helped me with my corset when my mother came back to my cabin. Mother told me not to see Jack no more. She told me about our situation with the money. For the time, it has convinced me to not to see Jack anymore. I dressed in a dark blue velvet style dress with lace and silk on the bosom.
We went to Divine services led by the Captain. Almost everyone in 1st class was there. Lovejoy came up to Cal to tell him something during the service then left. Cal would not tell me what it was about.
After a light lunch, the Captain started to give a tour. Then Thomas Andrews joined us, then the captain had business to deal with some wireless messages. Then a young man touched my arm when were near the gymnasium. It was Jack. He motioned to me to go into the gymnasium. Mother and Cal went further and did not realize that I was missing.
Jack told me many things that I cannot write down at this time but were true. I denied my true feelings, and told him that I had to leave. I was nearly reduced to tears because he is the 1st man besides my father to show true love and concern for me.
I went to join my mother and several women for afternoon tea. Mother was absolutely at top form discussing the wedding plans and the dresses. I was oblivious to the conversation, and looked across the room. I saw a little girl and mother, a spitting image of myself. She was no older than 6 years old. Her mother was teaching her the proper way to handle the teacup and cookies.
I decided that I was not going to be that way anymore. I purposely spilled a little tea on my dress and excused myself. I told mother I had a headache and wished to lie down. I decided that I was going to see Jack.
I went to the poop deck and found Tommy and Fabirzio. He told that Jack was at the bow of the ship. He kept the secret that I wanted to see him.
I walked to the bow. Jack was there allowing the wind to blow his hair and clothes. I told him that I changed my mind. Jack was happy and took my hand. He told to step on the railing and close my eyes. He stretched my arms out like an angelís wings. Then he told to "Open your eyes."
I was amazed to see the beautiful sunset and the water below us.
"Iím flying, Jack" I exclaimed.
He started to sing the popular tune "Come Josephine in my flying machine."
Then he brought my arms down and put his arms around my waist. We were together like 2 lovers intertwined. He kissed me with passion that I had never felt in my life. Even Calís kisses were nothing like Jackís. Then we left the bow to go to my stateroom.
Jack was amazed at the room and also the paintings of Monet. He stated that he had seen Monet painting 1 time. I went to the safe to get the "Le Couer De La Mer". Jack had never seen anything like that. I told him that I wanted him to draw him like his French girl wearing only the necklace. Jack agreed to do so.
He set up the coach while I changed my clothes. I was nervous but I knew that Mother and Cal were too occupied with talk and liquor to come back anytime soon. I put on my new French silk kimono and took down my hair completely. I fastened the necklace but I had envisioned Jack putting it on instead of Cal.
I went to the doorway where the drawing was to take place. Jack had finished sharpening his pencils. I teased him a bit and flirted like a whore getting a customer to come to her. I gave him a dime and told him that I was a paying customer and did not want to look like a porcelain doll. Then I let the kimono fall. I was totally naked then Jack told me get on the couch. He began to sketch.
I was never more nervous in my life. It was the most erotic moment of my life, up till then at least. Jack made feel like a wanted and loved woman, a feeling that I still miss and will miss till the day I die and go to heaven.
Then, I slipped my kimono back on. Jack put the finishing touches on the drawing then signed it "JD, April 14, 1912" because I told him I always wanted to remember this night. Then I took the portfolio and went to the desk to write a note "Now you can keep us both locked in your safe, Rose". Jack took the velvet box with the necklace and placed in the safe. I placed the portfolio there among Calís money.
I changed to a white and pink chiffon dress while Jack waited on the promenade deck. Lovejoy called my name then I grabbed Jackís hand and ran quietly out. We led him on a wild goose chase through a good part of the ship. We went down to the cargo hold. There was a beautiful maroon Renault that belongs to a wealthy passenger. Jack and I went to the back seat. I kissed his fingers and then told him, "Put your hands on me Jack.".
My 1st time was wonderful, nothing like what it would have been with Cal. Jack was gentle and took his time. He made me feel like I was his wife and not a whore. After it was over, we got dressed and headed back to the deck.
I told Jack that was going to get off the ship with him. I decided to change my life at that point. That is when the iceberg and the ship collided. My life would never be the same again. I will write again a different day.
April 14 and 15, 1912: Part II
The separation of Jack and me is something too painful to write about here. I made the choice to see him again when I realized that Cal is a pompous donkey caring nothing for me just his appearances and money. I stayed with Jack till the end of Titanic. I trusted him completely and loved him with my heart. I even told him so. He sacrificed his life so that I may live to tell my story. He was a hero and not a coward like Cal. I wished he lived to see my life so changed by this happening.
I saw Cal one last time on the Carpathia. I told him that I wished to have no more contact with him or my mother. He agreed to keep his silence, and it was the last time I ever saw him.
When the ship docked in New York a few days later, I gave my name as "Dawson, Rose Dawson". This confirms the fact Jack will always be a part of my life.
While waiting to leave, I put my hands in my pocket and pulled out some money and the "Le Couer De La Mer" necklace. The necklace is my last link to Jack. May God rest his soul forever. I will never love another man again the way I loved Jack. He taught me many valuable things like money is not important and to make each moment count. I will keep the promises made in the icy water to make lots of babies, see them grow, and die an old lady, warm in her bed!
Until I write again, my chapter of my life on TITANIC is closed and never to be discussed again!!