Press Release: Frank Millet, Archie Butt, and the Titanic at 100
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jonathan Ned Katz, Co-director, OutHistory.org
Frank Millet, Archie Butt, and the Titanic at 100:
OutHistory.org Transcribes the Love Letters
of Francis Davis Millet to Charles Warren Stoddard
On the 100th anniversary of the death on the Titanic of painter Frank Millet, OutHistory.org has published transcriptions of all Millet’s letters to writer Charles Warren Stoddard. The letters indicate that the two had a loving, sexual affair in Venice in 1875. See: Letters of Frank Millet to Charles Warren Stoddard: May 10, 1875 - January 3, 1900
The intimacy of Millet and Stoddard is also described in a chapter republished on OutHistory from Jonathan Ned Katz’s book Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality. Photos of Millet accompany Katz’s history. Katz's chapter provides the context to understand Millet's letters. See: Jonathan Ned Katz: Francis Davis Millet and Charles Warren Stoddard, 1874-1912
This first transcription of all Millet’s letters to Stoddard was the work of OutHistory volunteer Claude M. Gruener, a gay artist and writer in Albany.
OutHistory is also publishing an original survey of the personal life of Millet’s friend, the bachelor Archibald Butt, who died with him on the Titanic. This study is by volunteer James Gifford, a Professor of Humanities at Mohawk Valley Community College. A photo of Butt accompanies the text. See: James Gifford: Archie Butt
“A fascinating aspect of Millet’s devotion to Stoddard,” says Katz, “is that just eight months after he realizes that Stoddard will never settle down with him in a domestic relationship, Millet is writing friends about his love for and impending marriage to Lily Merrill.” Katz adds: “In this era, no homosexual-heterosexual divide told people they had to be either gay or straight, and Millet is a good example of that era’s erotic fluidity.”
OutHistory.org is the free, non-profit, educational website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual history.
All OutHistory texts and photos of Millet, Stoddard, and Butt can be accessed at:
- Provides the context to understand Millet's letters.
A version of this press release was first published March 31, 2012, 9:03 pm
Chicago GoPride.com. "Historian: Prominent gay man went down with Titanic". Accessed April 18, 2012.
Queerty.com. "Revealed: Gay Love Story Between Two Male Titanic Passengers" Accessed April 18, 2012. Includes comments.