Thursday, July 3, 2008
Mrs. Churchill Candee
Helen Churchill Candee was born on October 5, 1858 in New York City. She had many private educations while living in New Haven, CT. Helen married Edward Candee and together, they had one daughter named Edith and one son named Harold. She became known as a women's sufferagette advocate by 1894. But the marriage was short lived because she divorced in 1895 because Edward was abusive to his family and soon left never to return. She got jobs as a magazine writer for those such as Scribner and the Women's Home Journal. Helen wrote many books such as "Susan Truslow" (1900), "How Women May Earn a Living" (1900) (Her best-seller), "An Oklahoma Romance" (1901), "Decorative Styles and Periods" (1906), "The Tapestry Book" (1912), "Angkor the Magnificent" (1924), "New Journeys in Old Asia" (1927), and Weaves and Draperies" (1931).
She moved to Washington D.C. where she became an interior decorator and two of her clients were Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Smitson! Helen was very social and one of her many friends were William Jennings Bryan. She decided to take a vacation to Europe but got a telegram from Edith that Harold had been injured in an automobile accident. Helen immediately booked passage on the TITANIC which was the first ship available. Helen came aboard the TITANIC in Cherbourg in 1st class. While on board, Helen socialized a lot with famed artist Francis Millet and President Taft's military aid Archibald Butt. When the TITANIC struck an iceberg, she was asleep and was woken up by her steward/stewardess and she was told to get dressed, her life-belt on, and go up to the Boat-Deck. She gave her friend Edward Kent a cameo that she was bringing for safe-keeping while she was in the Boat No. 6. While entering the boat, she fractured her ankle. After the TITANIC sank, Edward Kent's body was found and the cameo was returned to Helen. She later gave an account to the Washington Herald.
Her books became more and more famous and soon, she became a part of the India Society in London and Les Amis de l'Orient of Paris. Helen later volunteered in WWI as a nurse and was stationed in Rome and Milan, Italy. She traveled in later years to Indonesia, Japan, China, and Cambodia and was a writer for National Geographic. Helen Candee died in Maine on August 23, 1949.