Society Girl As Stowaway - 1919
Miss Well, Marooned in Hawaii, Hides Herself in Steamer Venezuela. Iron County Register, 1919. GGA Image ID # 19f7eeaa35
Appears Out at Sea
Daughter of Illinois Lawyer is Heroine of Remarkable Experience -- Appeals for Relief Failed to Secure Passage for Her.
Playing the unique role of society girl stowaway, Miss Josephine Well, daughter of Joseph Well, prominent in legal and political circles here, gave the brilliant set a distinct shock when she related her extraordinary experience, following her arrival home from San Francisco.
Stories of travel among the languorous islands of the southern Pacific ocean always have an appeal. Still, the interpolation of a society girl stowaway is something so far out of the ordinary that even the most captious and story-surfeited globe trotted will probably give attention to the remarkable narrative of the Peoria maiden.
Mrs. Well and her daughter left Peoria in May for California and sailed for Honolulu after a short stay on the coast.
All Large Steamships Commandeered
When they were ready to return to the states, they were startled by the information that the United States government had commandeered all of the larger steamships for the return of troops, and the smaller had reached the limit of their accommodations, reservations being made months ahead.
Cabled appeals for relief were followed by diligent effort upon Congressman Ireland of the Peoria district. He was advised that 670 Americans were at Honolulu, including Mrs. Well and her daughter, all anxious to return home.
A message from Governor McCarthy of Hawaii was the only response, stating that they could not procure passage much before October.
Miss Josephine was much disturbed by this situation. She is a student at an eastern college and anxious to commence her school duties.
Decides on Stowaway Role
Becoming convinced that it was impossible to obtain a passage before fall, Miss Well, with the approval of her mother, decided upon the role of a stowaway.
She was well supplied with money and seized an opportunity to enter the hold a few hours before the steamer Venezuela cast off. She made her appearance, much begrimed, and proffered the captain the money usually required for passage across.
She hid in a nook until the vessel was out of sight of land, and there was no chance to set her on shore again.
There was nothing to do but accept the money and the situation with the best grace possible. The captain gave Miss Well quarters with the purser's wife, and the journey was an agreeable one.
The other passengers lionized her for her nerve and originality and believe that she has the distinction of being the first society girl stowaway in the history of ocean-going vessels.
Miss Well will be the heroine at the round of social events here before she leaves for the eastern school. Her mother was apprised of the safe arrival home of her daughter and the former cabled that she expects to sail from Honolulu sometime in September.
Iron County Register, Ironton, Missouri, Thursday, 25 September 1919, p. 7, c. 3.