1873-04-01 SSAtlantic

RMS Atlantic was a transatlantic ocean liner of the White Star Line that operated between Liverpool, United Kingdom, and New York City, United States. During the ship's 19th voyage, on April 1, 1873, she struck rocks on the shore of Lower Prospect and sank, killing at least 535 people.

According to one newspaper account, the body of one of the crew members was discovered to be that of a woman. "She was about twenty or twenty-five years old and had served as a common sailor for three voyages, and her sex was never known until the body was washed ashore and prepared for burial. She is described as having been a great favourite with all her shipmates, and one of the crew, speaking of her, remarked: 'I didn't know Bill was a woman. He used to take his grog as regular as any of us, and was always begging or stealing tobacco. He was a good fellow, though, and I am sorry he was a woman."

As of 2020, Terence Bay artist Lynette Richards is working on a graphic novel based around this story.

SS Atlantic historian KathyKaulbach? reminds us that we have no information about whether this person identified as trans, gay, lesbian; any labels we add are ones that we imagine.

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