Eloise Hughes Smith

Mary Eloise Hughes Smith (August 7, 1893 May 3, 1940), also referred to as Eloise Smith or Mrs. Lucien P. Smith, was a survivor of the 1912 RMS Titanic disaster. Her first husband, Lucien P. Smith, scion of a wealthy Morgantown family with vast holdings in the Pennsylvania coal fields died in the sinking; she later married a fellow survivor.[1] Mrs. Smith's recollections of the sinking have been quoted in numerous documentaries about the sinking of the ship, and she has been portrayed in at least one fictional depiction of the disaster.

Eloise Hughes Smith
Mary Eloise Hughes

(1893-08-07)August 7, 1893
DiedMay 3, 1940(1940-05-03) (aged 46)
  • Lucian P. Smith (February 1912 - (his death) April 1912)
  • Robert Williams Daniel (1914 - (divorced) 1923)
  • Lewis H. Cort, Jr. (1923 - (his death) 1927)
  • C.S. Wright (1929 - (divorced)
ChildrenLucian P. Smith II
(29 Nov 1912 - 24 Oct 1971)

Lucian Philip and Eloise Hughes Smith boarded Titanic on Wednesday evening, 10 April 1912 in Cherbourg on their way home from their honeymoon. The couple had considered taking the older, smaller, and slightly faster Cunard liner RMS Lusitania home but ultimately decided to buy a ticket for the maiden voyage of the newest, and most luxurious ship in the White Star fleet, Titanic. Their trip had included a transatlantic crossing to Europe aboard Titanic's sister ship RMS Olympic and sightseeing in Italy, France, the Middle East and Egypt.[2] She survived the sinking of the Titanic to give birth to her son Lucian Philip Smith II on 29 November 1912.[3] Two other newly married women on the Titanic later had children as well.[1]

She later married a fellow survivor, Robert Daniel, a bank executive, in 1914.[4] In 1923 Smith divorced Daniel and married Lewis H. Cort, Jr. Cort died several years later, and she married C.S. Wright in 1929. They lived in Charleston, and soon divorced.[1]

Smith was a member of the Vinson political family; the daughter of United States Representative James A. Hughes and Belle Vinson. As children, Smith and her sister had made the acquaintance of President Theodore Roosevelt.[5] She was a popular public speaker. She was active in Republican Party politics and campaigned for women's suffrage. She worked for a time at the pension bureau in Washington D.C.[1]

Smith was quoted extensively in the 1912 best-selling book The Sinking of the Titanic by Jay Henry Mowbray.[6] Her letters and other recollections were also used by the documentary filmmaker Melissa Jo Peltier in the A&E Network documentaries Titanic: Death of a Dream and Titanic: The Legend Lives On to illustrate the hours between the Titanic's encounter with the iceberg and the rescue of the survivors by RMS Carpathia,[7] and in the documentary Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster. She was portrayed in the documentary television series Seconds from Disaster by Jennifer Lee Trendowski in the episode featuring the Titanic.[8]

Smith died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of 46 in a sanitarium in Cincinnati.[9][1]


  1. "Huntington Quarterly - A Titanic Story". Huntingtonquarterly.com. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. Whited, Brandon. "The Trials of Eloise Hughes Smith". Encyclopedia-titanica.org. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  3. Lucian P. Smith 29 Nov 1912 - 24 Oct 1971, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. Accessed September 2019.
  4. "Mrs. Eloise Hughes Smith Reweds". The New York Times. 11 April 1923. Retrieved 2007-06-21. Mrs. Cort's first husband, Lucien P. Smith of Uniontown, Pa., was drowned when the Titanic sunk [sic] and the encounter in mid-ocean between Daniel and his widow culminated several years later in their marriage.
  5. Geller, Judith B. (October 1998). Titanic: Women and Children First. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-393-04666-3.
  6. Mowbray, Jay Henry (1912). The Sinking of the Titanic. Philadelphia: C. Winston. pp. passim. Archived from the original on 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
  7. Melissa Jo Peltier (1994). Titanic: Death of a Dream (documentary). United States: A&E Network.
  8. "Sinking of the Titanic". Seconds from Disaster.
  9. Truman, Cheryl. "What happened to Titanic passengers with Lexington ties?". Lexington Herald-Leader.
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