American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000

Molly Brown
Unsinkable Titanic Survivor


"I don't care what the newspapers say about me, just so they say something."

Margaret Tobin Brown not only survived the Titanic tragedy in 1912. According to her own account, she rowed a lifeboat for seven hours as the luxury liner sank in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. Much, but not all, of what people know about her is myth.

Maggie was from a poor, Irish Catholic family--three major social handicaps in America. Yet she was high-spirited, intelligent and ambitious! As a waitress in Hannibal, Missouri, she was advised [supposedly] by Mark Twain to move to Colorado. There she married J.J. Brown, who seven years later struck it rich in the silver mines. During 'The Gilded Age' of the 1890s, social-climbing galas at her 16-room mansion in Denver became as lavish as her wardrobe. But as she knew she had much to learn, Maggie also studied literature and languages, and was generous with her time and money for various causes.

Brown even ran unsuccessfully in 1914 for the U.S. Senate under the banner of the National Woman's Party. But books, plays, and Hollywood movies--the 1960s' The Unsinkable Molly Brown and 1990s' Titanic--have ensured that Molly Brown's character became legend. She must be very pleased!

Historic Artifacts:

OPERA CLOAK of Molly Brown's; silk crepe with bugle beadwork on collar
DRESSING TABLE BOTTLE is of etched glass
-- On loan from the Colorado Historical Society, Denver CO

MUFF that belonged to Molly Brown
PHOTO of the Brown mansion in Denver
-- On loan from the Molly Brown House, Denver CO

PHOTO PORTRAIT of Margaret Tobin Brown, c. 1890-1920
--From the collection of the Library of Congress, Washington DC

POSTER of the White Star Line's Titanic
-- Purchased from

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