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Henry S. Harper

Henry Sleeper Harper
Born (1864-03-11)March 11, 1864
Died March 1, 1944(1944-03-01) (aged 79)
Occupation Publisher
Employer Director, Harper & Brothers
Known for Titanic survivor, forest conservation
Home town New York City
Board member of
The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
Spouse(s) Myra Raymond (Haxton) Harper, m. 1 Mar 1889; Anne Waterman Harper
Children Henry Harper
Parents Joseph Wesley Harper, Abigail Harper; Caroline Harper (stepmother)
Relatives Brother, Capt. William Armitage Harper; Sister, Josephine (Harper) Fiske

Henry Sleeper Harper (11 March 1864 - 1 March 1944) was a passenger on the RMS Titanic when it sank on April 15, 1912.[1] He was an "incorporator of Harper & Brothers when the firm became a corporation in 1896." Harper is remembered for his work to save the Adirondack forests from logging,[2] and for the fact that his Pekingese dog was one of three dogs to survive the sinking of the Titanic.[3]

Personal life

The son of Joseph Wesley Harper, Jr. (1839–1896) and Abigail Payson Sleeper (1829–1866), Henry was a director of the Harper & Brothers Publishing House. Henry's father had founded the firm of Harper & Brothers, which gave way in 1900 to the publishing house. Henry Harper was a graduate of Columbia University and a member of the University and Century Clubs.[4] He was married to Myra Haxton in 1888. They had no children. In 1911, he purchased a home at 133 E. 21st St., overlooking Gramercy Park from the north.[5] After Myra’s death on November 27, 1923, he was remarried to Anne W. Hopson, and they had a son, Henry.

Harper was a guest at Mark Twain's 67th birthday, held November 28, 1902, at the Metropolitan Club in New York.[6] He owned a camp at Buck Mountain Point, on Long Lake, in the Adirondacks, and served as secretary for The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.[7]

R.M.S. Titanic

Henry and his wife Myra boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, occupying First-Class Suite D33. Accompanying the Harpers was Hammad Hassu (an Egyptian dragoman, or interpreter whom Henry had bought in Egypt as a joke) and Henry's prized Pekinese dog, "Sun Yat Sen".

On the night of the sinking Henry and Myra were having dinner. They were then told to go back to their cabin, get dressed warmly, put on their lifebelts and go up to the boat deck. Henry put on an overcoat over his dinner tuxedo and Myra put on a black fur coat over her sparkly dinner dress. She grabbed a pair of gloves, a fur muff, and her mother's pearl necklace that she had given her. Then the wealthy couple boarded Lifeboat 3 along with Henry's dragoman and Sun Yat Sen. Both survived the sinking.

In 2001, for the documentary Ghosts of the Abyss James Cameron sent a robot into the Harper's cabin and found Henry's bowler hat sitting on top of what was left of the wardrobe.


  1. ^ Encyclopedia Titanica entry for Mr Henry Sleeper Harper
  2. ^ "Titanicberg - Henry S Harper". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  3. ^ "My Pekingese Dogs - Pekingese Dog Pictures". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  4. ^ "Henry Sleeper Harper". New York Times. 1912-04-16. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  5. ^ "THE REAL ESTATE FIELD - Another Important Deal on West Thirty-ninth Street -- Henry S. Harper Buys Gramercy Park Dwelling -- Tenenment House Sales -- Bronx and Suburban Deals.". New York Times. 1911-12-05. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  6. ^ "MARK TWAIN ENTERTAINED. Dinner in Honor of His Sixty-seventy Birthday Given by Col. Harvey at the Metropolitan Club.". The New York Times. 1902-11-29. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  7. ^ Full text of "A history of the Adirondacks". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  • "Henry Sleeper Harper (1864 - 1944) - Genealogy". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
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