The Titanic’s maiden voyage began in Southampton, England toward New York City on April 10, 1912. Captain Edward J. Smith commanded the Titanic for its maiden voyage. Foreshadowing the tragic destiny of Titanic was the near collision with SS New York when Titanic’s wake caused the New York to break free of her moorings and close within four feet of Titanic before being towed away. This incident delayed Titanic’s departure for about half an hour. During Titanic’s maiden voyage, she stopped at Cherbourg, France, for additional passengers to board, and yet again at what is now known as Cobh, Ireland (then known as Queenstown) for more passengers. However, the harbor facilities at Queenstown were unable to accomodate the the enormous size of Titanic, which forced her to anchor off shore, and passengers to board by way of small boats known as tenders. While in route to her New York destination, Titanic carried 2,240 people. One of the passengers, John Coffey, 23, left the Titanic by stowing away on one of the tenders, hidden with mailbags destined for Queenstown. He stated that he left because he was superstitious about sailing and specifically about Titanic.
White Star Line’s managing director and ship builder, J. Bruce Ismay and Thomas Andrews respectively, traveled on board to assist in any problems in performance of the immense ship. Furthermore, Titanic’s maiden voyage was comprised of very prominent passengers of the time, such as: millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and wife Madeleine Force Astor, Macy’s owner Isidor Straus and wife Ida, industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim, Denver millionairess Margaret “Molly” Brown, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and wife couturiere Lucy, George Dunton Widener, his wife Eleanor, and son Harry, journalist William Thomas Stead, cricketer and businessman John Borland Thayer, wife Marian, and seventeen-year old son Jack, the Countess of Rothes, author and socialite Helen Churchill Candee, United States presidential aide Archibald Butt, author Jacques Futrelle and wife May, silent film actress Dorothy Gibson, and producers Henry and Rene Harris. J.P. Morgan was to be among the doomed ocean liner, but had to cancel at the last minute.