Who was Molly Brown?
Molly Brown was a name that was familiar but I couldn’t quite place it, until I remembered the movie Titanic. The loud, brash, bolshy lady who was larger than life in the movie. That was the character Molly Brown.
It is only in the last few years that I have found some fabulous examples of fearless females. Women living in adverse times who followed their intuition and their calling. Women who embrace their divine feminine, the intuitive and creative side, but also their divine masculine, the doing and taking action to create change. One of these ladies was Molly Brown. You may remember her from the Titanic movie. She was the loudest lady on the ship. Whilst in Denver in 2019, I visited the Molly Brown Museum. Born to Irish Catholics in Missouri, Molly decided to move to Colorado at 18 to live with her siblings. She married James Joseph Brown and had 2 children. Her husband struck gold and they became millionaires overnight, but this didn’t change Molly Brown. She had servants and at that time they were expected to eat in separate quarters. Molly Brown invited her servants to eat with them as a family and also encouraged them to learn the languages the children were learning so as to prepare them for other work.
Molly Brown and womens rights
Molly Brown spent a lot of time giving back to the community. She ran for Senate several times but didn’t get in as women didn’t have the vote at that time. She was instrumental in helping women achieve the vote though. Colorado was the first state where women got the vote. She taught herself several languages and was fluent in them. In 1909 James & Margaret signed a separation agreement. This was at a time when divorce was frowned upon.
Molly Brown and Titanic
In 1912 Margaret Brown was travelling in Egypt when she received a telegram to say her grandson was ill and she needed to get back home. She boarded HMS Titanic. When it began to sink, she was annoyed at how few people were in the boats and started telling the crew they needed to fill them. Apparently, two men then picked her up and dropped her 4ft over the edge into a lifeboat. She was with 22 women and 2 men. She told them that in order to survive the night they would all take it in turns to row the boat to keep warm. When RMS Carpathia came to rescue them, all of the passengers in her boat were alive. Once on board she helped translate for the 3rd class passengers and organised a fundraiser for the survivors of the ship. She wrote down the names of the families who were donating money and a list of the families who weren’t. She then left this list in the dining room hall. Those who weren’t donating quickly changed their mind and their names were crossed off the list. Margaret Brown raised $10,000 from this. When she arrived back in New York she raised another $10,000 and was made president of the Titanic Survivors Association.
In later life
She decided quite late in life that she wanted to be an actress and went off to train in drama. She became the actress that she had always wanted to be. In 1932 she passed away in her sleep. Having visited the house and reading what little I did about her, she came across as a strong and independent woman in her time. A woman who wasn’t afraid to rock the apple cart. A woman who spoke her truth, in a time when most didn’t like to hear the truth. A woman who refused to wear a corset and instead took up boxing in her garage! A woman who I believe inspired many and continues to do so to this day. I left the museum feeling inspired.
The legacy of Molly Brown
Without a doubt, Molly was a strong, fearless and charismatic woman. Reading about her life and her stories are inspirational in themselves. At this time where we are facing great changes within our communities and society as a whole it felt fitting to share this post with you. If you are feeling challenged or afraid to go against the grain stop and ask yourself what would Molly Brown do? I carry a keyring with this phrase on to remind myself to be fearless in times of adversity.
We can speak our truth.
We can rock the apple cart.
We can inspire.