Frederic Kimber Seward, Sr.
Seward in 1925 passport application
Born(1878-03-23)March 23, 1878
DiedDecember 7, 1943(1943-12-07) (aged 65)
EducationColumbia University
New York Law School
SpouseSara Flemington Day

Frederic Kimber Seward, Sr. (sometimes misspelled Frederick) (March 23, 1878 – December 7, 1943) was a prominent corporate lawyer in New York City.[1] He was a passenger on the RMS Titanic, and later chaired a survivors' committee that honored the rescue ship RMS Carpathia.


Seward was born on March 23, 1890, in White Star, Delaware, the son of Reverend Samuel Swezey Seward II (1838–1916) and Christina Frederika (Kimber) Seward (1837–1906).[1] He had several siblings, among them a brother, John Perry Seward, a homeopathic physician.[2] He graduated from Columbia University in 1899 and was a member of its Glee Club.[3] He married Sara Flemington Day (1878–1932) and had three children: Frederic K. Seward, Jr. (1904–1967); Katharine Seward (1907–1982) and Samuel S. Seward III (1910–1989).[1][4][5] He studied at New York Law School and in 1908, he started work at the law firm of Curtis, Mallet, Prevot & Colt in New York City.[1][6] He served on the Board of Trustees of George Gustav Heye's Museum of the American Indian starting in 1916. During World War II he served on New York City's wartime rationing board.[5]

Seward died of heart failure on December 7, 1943, in New York City.[5]

The Titanic disaster

Seward, returning from Europe on a business trip, was on board RMS Titanic when it struck an iceberg and sank on the night of April 14, 1912. At the time of impact, he was playing cards with William T. Sloper and Dorothy Gibson in the first class lounge.[7] Seward survived the sinking, escaping in lifeboat 7, the first to leave the ship.[8][9][10] Seward filed a joint lawsuit with other survivors against White Star Lines; he himself was legal counsel for a victim of the sinking, John Montgomery Smart, and worked on settling his estate.[11] He also served as the chairman of a committee to honor the bravery of Captain Arthur Rostron of RMS Carpathia and his crew.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Frederic Kimber Seward. Who's Who in New York (city & state, 1917–1918); Knox, Leonard, Mohr & Holmes; 2024. 1918. p. 960. Frederic ... Samuel S. and Christina F (Kimber) Seward; grad. Columbia, AB, 1899; NY Law Sch.; m. Aug. ...
  2. ^ "John Perry Seward". Retrieved 2010-07-07. ... was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 20, 1868, son of Samuel S. and Chrissie (Kimber) Seward. ...
  3. ^ Catalogue of officers and graduates. Columbia University. 1900. p. 188.
  4. ^ "Her Marriage to Donald W. Gardner in St. Luke's Church, Forest Hills Gardens, Oct. 31". The New York Times. October 11, 1929. Retrieved 2010-07-07. Mr. and Mrs. Frederic Kimber Seward of Forest Hills Gardens, L. I., have sent out invitations for the marriage of their daughter Miss Katharine Seward to Donald Wati Gardner of Philadelphia, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Gardner of Brockton ...
  5. ^ a b c "F. K. Seward Dead. Lawyer 40 Years". The New York Times. December 9, 1943.
  6. ^ "Frederick K. Seward". The New York Times. April 16, 1912. Retrieved 2010-07-07. Frederick K. Seward is a member of the firm of Curtis, Mallet, Prevot & Colt of 30 Broad Street, and had been to Europe on business for his firm. He was graduated from Columbia University in 1899, bring a prominent member of the Glee Club during his college days. He is married and lives at 542 West 112th Street. He is a brother of Dr. J. Perry Seward of this city.
  7. ^ Daniel Allen Butler (2002). Unsinkable: The Full Story of the RMS Titanic. Da Capo Press. p. 92. ISBN 0-306-81110-3. Their bridge companions of the evening, Frederick Seward and William Sloper, were persuaded to join them. ...
  8. ^ "Frederick K. Seward". Encyclopedia Titanica. 17 February 2003. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  9. ^ Variously identified in documents as Frederic or Frederick
  10. ^ His obituary in The New York Times makes no reference to him surviving the sinking of the Titanic
  11. ^ "Estate of Titanic Victim Cannot Be Settled Until They Have Been Notified". The New York Times. July 14, 1912. Retrieved 2010-07-07. Frederick K. Seward, counsel for J. Montgomery Smart, one of the victims of the Titanic disaster, is still searching the world for Mr. Smart's two children. The search has now been going on for several months without the slightest clue having been obtained as to their whereabouts.
  12. ^ Locomotive firemen's magazine. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. 1905. The chairman of the committee, Mr. Frederick K. Seward, then addressed the crew in part as follows ...