Elizabeth Jane (Cochran) Seaman (1864 - 1922)

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Nellie Bly, Journalist, Dies of Pneumonia

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mrs. Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, known to thousands of people throughout the world as Nellie Bly, her nom de plume, died yesterday morning of pneumonia at the age of 57 in St. Mark's Hospital, to which she was removed a few days ago from her rooms in the Hotel McAlpin. Services will be held at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at the Church of the Ascension, Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street. Friends may view the body today at the funeral parlors of Herbert H. Baxter, 597 Lexington Avenue.

Born at Cochrane's Mills, Pa., a town founded by her father, Judge Cochrane, Elizabeth Cochrane found herself penniless when still in her teens and began her journalistic career writing for a Pittsburgh paper at $5 a week. Later she reached a high water mark of $25,000 earned with her pen in one year.

She went down into the sea in a diving bell and up in the air in a balloon and lived in an insane asylum as a patient; but the feat that made her famous was her trip around the world in 1889. She was sent by The World to beat the mark of Phileas Fogg, Jules Verne's hero of "Around the World in Eighty Days," and she succeeded, making the tour in 72 days 6 hours 11 minutes. Every one who read newspapers followed her progress and she landed in New York a national character.

In 1895, she married Robert L. Seaman, forty years her senior, President of the American Steel Barrel Company and the Ironclad Manufacturing Company. They lived happily together at 15 West Thirty-Seventh Street, and on Mr. Seaman's death in 1910 she took entire charge of the properties. Luck turned against her, however, and a series of forgeries by her employees, disputes of various sorts, bankruptcy and a mass of vexations and costly litigations swallowed up Nellie Bly's fortune. Her courage and liveliness remained, however, and she returned to journalism with all her old spirit. At the time of her death she was a member of the staff of The New York Evening Journal.

Elizabeth Jane (Cochran) Seaman Biography & Family History

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Elizabeth Jane (Cochran) Seaman was also known as:

Nellie Bly

Birth

Death


Manhattan County, NY

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Mother: Mary Jane Cochran
Father: Michael Cochran

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Military Service

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Nickname

"Nellie Bly"

Middle name

Jane

Maiden name

Cochran

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Gender

Female

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Timeline

1864 - In the year that Elizabeth Jane (Cochran) Seaman was born, on April 22nd, the Coinage Act of 1864 was passed by Congress. It mandated that "In God We Trust" was to be placed on all United States coins and created a 2 cent coin. Later - in 1956 - "In God We Trust" replaced "E Pluribus Unum" - which means out of many, one - as the national motto.

1891 - Elizabeth was 27 years old when on June 25th, in the July issue of The Strand Magazine in London, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes appeared in a series of short stories for the first time. Doyle eventually wrote 4 novels and 56 short stories with Holmes as the main character.

1902 - Elizabeth was 38 years old when the modern air conditioner was invented by Willis H. Carrier. The company that he worked for needed to find a way to control humidity and by solving this problem, Carrier created a system that could be used for cooling the rooms of a house. The Sun Belt thanks him!

1916 - When she was 52 years old, the U.S. National Park Service - part of the Department of the Interior - was created by an act of Congress in August. The Park Service was charged with the dual role of "preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment". The resources managed by the National Park Service have often been referred to as the "crown jewels" of the United States.

1922 - In the year of Elizabeth Jane (Cochran) Seaman's passing, on November 4th, British Egyptologists George Carnarvon and Howard Carter unearthed the first step leading to King Tutankhamen's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. By the end of the month they had unearthed the steps and broken through the door into the intact tomb. This was the only tomb that had remained unlooted that had been found (and is, to date). Filled with gold, jewels, and ancient everyday items, the find was priceless - in terms of money and history.

Elizabeth Jane (Cochran) Seaman Family Tree

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She had 3 brothers and a sister who pre-deceased her. I certainly never said she was an only child!

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