Francis Davis Millet

( November 3rd, 1846 - April 15th, 1912)

Francis Davis (David) Millet was one of the best known American painter and many of his canvasses can be found in the leading galleries of the world. He served as a drummer boy with the Sixtieth Massachusetts volunteers in the Civil War and from an early age took a prominent part in public affairs. He was director of the decorations for the American Academy in Rome. He was a wide traveler and author of many books. He also translated novels by Tolstoy. Millet was close friends with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Mark Twain, both of whom were at his 1879 marriage to Elizabeth Merrill in Paris, France, where Twain was his best man.

Francis Millet boarded RMS Titanic as a first class passenger at Cherbourg with friend Archibald Butt. Whilst onboard he wrote a letter to a friend (posted at Queenstown) describing the passengers on the Titanic, it read in part :

"Queer lot of people on the ship. There are a number of obnoxious, ostentatious American women, the scourge of any place they infest and worse on shipboard than anywhere".

Francis was last seen helping women and children into lifeboats. His body was recovered after the sinking by the cable boat Mackay-Bennett and his remains were buried at East Bridgewater Central Cemetery.

In 1913 a fountain was erected in Washington, D.C. in memory of Millet and his friend Archibald W. Butt.

Francis Davis Millet paintings include:

Woman on Divan (Date Unknown)
The Artist's Bedroom in Antwerp (c. 1871-73)
Turkish Water Seller (1874)
The Turkish Guard or A Bashi-Bazouk (c. 1877-78)
Reading the Story of Oenone (c. 1882)
A Cosey Corner (1884)
Mr. Sargent at work on Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885-85)
A Difficult Duet (1886)
Old Harmonies (Date Unknown)
How the Gossip Grew (1890)
Playing with Baby (1890)
Between Two Fires (c.1892)
The Expansionist (1899)
Wandering Thoughts (Date Unknown)