Lifeboat from Titanic
Lifeboat to Carpathia
Confidence Level
Brown, Mrs Caroline Lane
D (9 votes)
D (1 vote)
4 (7 votes)
12 (1 vote)

Colonel Gracie's book The Truth About the Titanic, places Mrs. Brown (as Mrs. J. M. Brown) in Collapsible D, but gives no supporting details.

The New York Times, April 22nd 1912:
    "Room had been found for several persons picked up out of the water after the Titanic had been launched… There were only two boats left on their side of the deck when Mrs Brown and Miss Evans were called… Mrs Brown was seized by one of the seamen and thrown into the boat. As it was lowered she heard the officer telling Miss Evans to ”come along” and that there was one more boat…. The lifeboat in which Mrs Brown found a seat was leaking badly at the plug, she said, and women had to take off their stockings to plug up the hole. Finally, Mrs Brown and some of the women were transferred to another boat. Just after the transfer had been made, Mrs Brown said, a whistle was heard. It had been sounded by Second Officer Lightoller. It resulted in at least a score of lives being saved, and among those rescued from a raft were Harold Bride, the wireless operator, and John B. Thayer, Jr."

New York Herald, April 20th 1912:
    "'We rushed to the deck from our stateroom soon after the first shock', said Mrs Brown. 'There were four of us standing close together. Mrs Cornell and Mrs Appleton were ordered by officers to board the second lifeboat that was lowered. When it went over the side it was scarcely more than half full of women passengers. There couldn’t have been more than twenty-three passengers in the lifeboat.
    Left on the boat deck with Miss Evans, we were hurried from lifeboat to lifeboat by the men, but each was filled with passengers, mostly women and children, before we had a chance to board one. Meanwhile the scenes on deck, orderly at first, became more panicky. We found that there remained only three more lifeboats. In one of these each of us had a place, but we were ordered to leave as the boat was overcrowded. An officer shouted to us that there was another lifeboat being launched on the other side of the vessel, and we hurried to the place.
    There you may imagine our feelings when the officer in command said that there was room for only one more woman. The men stayed back and did not crowd. Miss Evans was by my side at the time. She pushed me toward the boat, saying:-
“Please take this lady. She has children.”
    I appealed in vain for the boatman to allow Miss Evans to board the boat also, but immediately the ropes were loosened and we were lowered over the side of the steamship into the sea. Just as we started I heard a seaman shout that there was one more lifeboat yet to be launched, and Edith cried to me that she would be taken care of. I saw her start for the spot with others and that is the last I saw of her.
    According to all the accounts that I hear, it was the last lifeboat that capsized, and if it is true Miss Evans lost her life when these poor persons were tossed into the water.
    That hundreds of men jumped overboard long before the last of the lifeboats was launched was a statement made by Mrs Brown. She said that around them everywhere in the water were men struggling on rafts and swimming, supported by life preservers.
    'As we rowed away from the Titanic', continued Mrs Brown, 'we picked up all the men that we could and placed them in the lifeboat. One of these whom we saved was J.B. Thayer, Jr, of Brooklyn, who we found floating on a raft with some other men.'" 

Few passengers evoked such furious discussion among us as Mrs Caroline Brown. Numerous accounts were examined in order to reconstruct what happened to this lady, and Miss Edith Evans, as the Titanic was sinking. Quite quickly, the discussion focused in on two boats; collapsible D and lifeboat 4, as possible boats in which Mrs Brown left the Titanic. There was evidence to suggest either boat as a possibility.

For boat 4
    Mrs Hämäläinen, who was in boat 4, identified Mrs Brown as a passenger in that boat, explaining how Mrs Brown had shared articles of clothing to keep passengers warm. In the New York Herald Mrs Brown says, ‘As we rowed away from the Titanic, continued Mrs Brown, we picked up all the men that we could and placed them in the lifeboat.’ As lifeboat 4 pulled clear of the Titanic, eight men were pulled in from the water, or from davit ropes."

For Collapsible D
    In the Boston Globe on April 21st, Mrs Brown explains how ‘the rail in front of the collapsible was high,’ and also how, as her boat was lowered, A deck was beginning to flood. In the same account she mentions an officer displaying a revolver and threatening to shoot. Charles Lightoller claimed he did this at Collapsible D.
    Mrs Hoyt, listing the passengers in Collapsible D does not include Mrs Brown, but said, in the Amsterdam Evening Recorder of April 23rd, 1912, that “Mrs. Henry B. Harris, Mrs. Thorn and myself were the only first class women passengers in the boat."  At the British Inquiry, Seaman William Lucas explained how, soon after leaving the ship, it was discovered that Collapsible D was leaking. When the boat joined a collection of other boats, Lucas said that the women in his boat were transferred to lifeboat 12. This was the boat that later rescued Charles Lightoller and John Thayer, as mentioned by Mrs Brown in the New York Times.

For boat 12
    The New York Herald account, listed above, says:
One of these whom we saved was J.B. Thayer, Jr, of Brooklyn, who we found floating on a raft with some other men." 
We know with certainty that Thayer was rescued in lifeboat 12.

In addition, in the Boston Globe, Mrs Brown describes the male crew poorly, being unable to row, and how a stewardess “did know how to row and she instructed the other man in the boat how to handle their oars.”

Mrs Brown said that helping to row kept away the cold, so she also took hold of an oar. Women in both Collapsible D and lifeboat 4 helped to row. Stewardess Mary Sloan, in a letter written aboard the Lapland, said, “I took a turn to row. The women said I encouraged them, I was pleased.” Among the rowers in lifeboat 4 were Mrs Thayer, Mrs Astor, Mrs Carter, Emily Geiger, Emily Ryerson and Mrs John Bradley Cumings.

Mrs Brown says that fifteen minutes after her boat left, the Titanic sank. Boat 4 left at approximately 1.50am, while collapsible D was lowered just after 2.00 am. The Titanic sank at approximately 2.20am. Given that many passengers gave times and distances which varied widely, even in the same boat, it can be determined from this comment that a short time after leaving the ship, the Titanic sank. This is truth for both lifeboats.

After much discussion the group voted, but did not all come to the same conclusion. All those who voted, voted confidently that Mrs Brown left the Titanic in collapsible D. However, one of us felt she stayed in D,  Another one of us voted she transferred to #12/ The rest of us felt she transferred to #4.