Francis Davis Millet: (name sometimes given as "Francis David Millet"; November 3, 1846 in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts- April 15, 1912) was an American painter and writer and one of those who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
Millet entered the Massachusetts regiment aged only sixteen, first as a drummer boy and then a surgical assistant (helping his father, a surgeon) in the American Civil War. He studied at Harvard and gained a Master of Arts degree, and then reported and edited the Boston Courier. He was a correspondent for the "Advertiser" at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.
In 1876, Millet returned to Boston to paint murals at Trinity Church in Boston with John LaFarge. He entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Antwerp, Belgium, and won a silver medal in his first year (never before done), followed by a gold medal in his second. In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, he was engaged as a war correspondent by the New York Herald, the London Daily News, and the London Graphic. He was decorated by Russia and Romania due to his bravery under fire and services to the wounded.
A well-regarded American Academic Realist, 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; Twain was his best man. He was also well acquainted with the impressionist artist John Singer Sargent, who often used Millet's daughter Kate as a model, and the esteemed Huxley family. He became a member of the Society of American Artists in 1880, and in 1885 was elected as a member of the National Academy of Design, New York and as Vice-Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee. He was made a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Director of the American Academy in Rome. In addition, he sat on the advisory committee of the National Gallery of Art. He was decorations director for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
He translated Tolstoy and also wrote essays and short stories. Among his publications are Capillary Crime and Other Stories (1892) and Expedition to the Philippines (1899). He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects.
On April 10, 1912, Francis Millet boarded RMS Titanic at Cherbourg for New York. He was last seen helping women and children into lifeboats. His body was recovered after the sinking by the cable boat Mackay-Bennett and was 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.