Nan Harper- Christian Titanic Surivor
Nan Harper was the six-year-old daughter of Reverend John Harper, pastor of the Walworth Road Baptist Church in London. Rev. Harper was travelling second class to Chicago to preach at the Moody Church for three or four months, and he and his little daughter were accompanied by a relative, Miss Jessie Leitch, who took care of Nan. (Mrs. Harper had died three years previously.) On the evening of April 14th Rev. Harper and Miss Leitch were standing on deck admiring the sunset. "It will be beautiful in the morning," remarked Rev. Harper before retiring for the night.
After the collision, Reverend Harper awakened his daughter, picked her up and wrapped her in a blanket before carrying her up to A deck. There he kissed her goodbye and handed her to a crewman, who put her into boat number 11 with Miss Leitch.
Reverend Harper went down with the ship.
In New York, little Nan couldn't understand why her father did not come to her in this strange new land. "I left Papa on the big boat, and he told me to go with Aunt Jessie," she said. "Now I want Papa." But Papa never came, and Nan and Miss Leitch returned to England a week later.
In later years Nan married the Rev. Pont of St. John's Rectory in Moffat, Dumfriesshire. When she was 72 she was asked if she would like to see the Titanic raised. "I don't see much point in it after all this time," she replied. Nan Pont is now deceased.
Subject: Re: [Titanic] passenger search
Re: Miss Nina Harper.
Miss Nina Harper, a second-class passenger on the Titanic, was the daughter of Rev. John Harper, a Baptist minister who also was a passenger. Nina, known as "Nan" was just 6-years-old on the Titanic, and was en route to Chicago with her father and her aunt, Miss Jessie Leitch from their native London. Rev. Harper was on his way to Chicago to begin a series of revival meetings at the Moody Church located on West Chicago and La Salle Avenues.
He had been at the church during November, December and January of 1911/12 and his success there resulted in his being recalled to conduct a second series of meetings. Rev. Harper went down with the Titanic, but his daughter and Miss Leitch survived in lifeboat number 11.
Before Nina Harper's death in 1986, at which time she was Mrs. Nan Harper Pont, of Glasgow, Scotland, she told me in a letter that she was sitting on her aunt's lap when she saw the Titanic sink. She remembered watching the lights go out and hearing the screams of the drowning. Even at the tender age of 6, her memory of that terrible night was remarkable. Eva Hart told me on many occasions that she and Nina Harper had played together on the Titanic (their ages being just a year apart) but Nina never remembered this. She did write and speak to Eva Hart for many years.
Nina Harper's mother died when she was born so after her father's death, she became an orphan and was raised by her father's brothers. Growing up, she was told not to speak about the terrible disaster. It was not until her later years that she started to speak about the sinking. Her aunt, Miss Jessie Leitch, died in 1963.
I believe that the well known photograph of the Titanic's second class boat deck in which a young girl, holding her father's hand, is young Nina Harper and her father. This is only speculation on my part but it is a possibility.