Thanksgiving Stowaway Wainwright Dies At 90

October 4, 2016

Carroll Wainwright — who ran away from his Bermuda home and stowed away aboard a ship destined for the United States in 1934 at only 8-years-old — has passed away at the age of 90.

The boy’s saga began after he was told that there was no day off school in Bermuda for the American Thanksgiving holiday, leading him to attempt to journey to the U.S. alone.

Mr. Wainwright — whose stepfather was locally-based British shipping magnate Sir Hector MacNeal — ran away from home and then stowed away on a luxury liner to get back to the US after being giving the unfortunate news regarding the lack of Thanksgiving celebration in Bermuda.

Given his mother was also a granddaughter of billionaire American railroad developer and speculator Jay Gould, it was initially speculated the boy — who became known as “The Silk-Stockinged Stowaway” in the American press — had been kidnapped from his Bermuda home.

A New York Times story said, “A descendant of the railroad magnate and financier Jay Gould on his mother’s side, and of Peter Stuyvesant on his father’s, Mr. Wainwright, who died on Monday at 90, grew up to become a prominent lawyer.

“He was a partner in the New York firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, and a trustee of some of the country’s foremost nonprofit institutions, among them the American Museum of Natural History.

“But the young Mr. Wainwright’s clandestine journey from Bermuda to New York in November 1934 very likely garnered him more ink than any of the his considerable later achievements, making headlines worldwide for months afterward.”

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Category: All, History