** biographical details on boys clothing: Anne Morgan

Biographies: Anne Morgan (1873-1952)

Figure 1.--One of the unhearelded heros of World War I is American philantropist Anne Morgan, the youngest daughter of financeer J.P. Morgan. She and a remarakable group of young American volunters played a critical role begining the recovery in Picardy from the destitution of World War I. This might noit look like recovery in process, but getting the bakeries operating again was an important step in the recovery of Pikardy.

John P. Morgan and the rich in genral are today vilified by the modern social justice warriors few of who understand that American workers were the best paid and most prosperous in the world. Wjich os why Europeans came to America in the ir millions. Nor have many social justice warriors ever heard of Morgan's youngest daughter -- Anne. She is a true, but under appreaciated American hero. She supported wirker's rights, women's rights, aid to the devestated French people during and after Word War I, and wrote a popuklar book for girls. . She was awarded a medal by the National Institute of Social Science (1915), the same year she published her book, The American Girl. She was even more appreciated in France where she did her greatest work, coming to the aid of vthe devestted province of Picardy, devestated by the Germans. She was the first American woman appointed a commander of the French Legion of Honor (1932). And she eturned again during World War II. Anne has none of her father's fame, but proved a firce to be recinned with in her own right. Anne might be legitimately called a scocial justice warrior, but not the wokey, poorly educated modern version.


Anne's patents were noted financeer John Pierpont Morgan and Frances Louisa Tracy Morgan.


Anne was born on July 25, 1873, at Cragston the Morgan family's country estate. It was on the Hudson River at Highland Falls, New York. She was the youngest of four chikdren, three girls and a boy.


Anne was educated both at home and in private schools.

Women's Movement

Anne had a desire for a degree of independence for herself and other young wome, beyond what was mormally accorded to young omen. Which is one reason she began spending time in France. Not that France was more liberal at the time, it was a soiciety less open to women than America. But it mean that she was away from her family and under little scrutiny. She became part owner of the Villa Trianon near Versailles, France, with Elsie De Wolfe, a socialite, and Elisabeth Marbury, an agent (1903). The three women became known as the Versailles Triumvirate. And along with with Florence Jaffray Harriman, tThey organized the Colony Club -- the first private women-only social club in New York City. She worked with the American Woman’s Association (AWA). This involved both women's rights and social work. She won an award from the National Institute of Social Science.

The Arts

Morgan and De Wolfe funded Cole Porter’s first Broadway musical, 'See America First', which Marbury produced.

Labor Reform

Anne Morgan arrived on the scene during the height of the Progressive Movement. The labor movement was gaining strength, especially demands to protect child and women wokers. Northern cities, especially New York Cit were tghe epicenter of the movement. Morgan began focusing on women workers. Factory workers had were working long hours in cramped spaces and often unhealty consitiomns. Low wages are often mentioned. Low is a realtive term. We would ceratinly describe them as low using modern metrics. Rarely mentioned is that that were actually higher than wages in Europe. And by non-monetay metrics (diet, housing, clothing) they were better off than comparable European workers. This is not to say that they were adequately compensated for their labor, but it is to say that the issue of wages is more complicated than often presented by liberal historians. Never mentioned in American history text books is that the most capitalist country at the time (America) paid the highest salaroies to orkers which was the main reason so many Europeans emigrated to America. Certainly the most egregious situation was that of child and women workers. Strikes began occuring to protest conditions, but at time the Labor Movement was not yet ell developed, especially for unskilled workers. Morgan weighed into this melieu and became a vocal advocate, especially for women workers. New York City was the center of the American fashion/clothing industry. Immigrant women, often quite young, worked in unsafe sweat-shops for some of the blowest wages being paid. Factory owners tried to break up poicket lines by hiring what what one author described as 'thugs, prostitutes, and private police'. Morgan and several other pominent New York socialites (such as Mary Dreier, Alva Belmont, and Marbury) joined the striking garment workers. They became known as the 'mink brigade' because of their personal wealth. Morgan and her colleagues sometimes joined the picket line on the theory that the police would be less violent if women from prominent families were present. Morgan helped organize committee within the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) to assist the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory strikers. Her committee helped pay strikers' fines when they were arrested. And they initiated some legal actions against the police. Morgan withdrew her support, however, after factory workers rejected a proposal for higher wages without a union (early-1910). She continued to work with the WTUL. This was all just before the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in Greenwich Village. It killed 146 workers, including 123 women and girls.

Independence (1913)

J.P. Morgan, Anne's father, died (1913) We do not know to what extent he was a restraining influence. Fathers reading this page will know that it is not all that easy to restrain a head-string young daugter. At any rate she receuved a $3 million inheritance. That was an enormous sum in 1913. Any it came without any restrictions of limigtations as to how she used it.


Morgan punlished her book, The American Girl (1915). It was full of all sorts of thoughful advise and sage wosdom for gils growing up in America. And this is at a time that the vast majority of girlks and young women saw their future in marriage and finding the right man to support her. Now we in no way want to impugne motherhood and home making. But Morgan provides a great deal for any young woman to think about. Ghe book was a series of essays that include 'Her Education' and 'The Girl And Her Future'.


Morgan has real love for France. We are not sure just how this occured. The American monied class was more orinted toward Britain. But for Morgan it was France. Even before her inheritance she has made France her second hime, spending a great of time in Paris. Two developoments would change her life for ever and the lives of countless French people. First was her father's death and her inheritance which meant that she could go wherever she pleased. Second was World War I and the German invasion of France (1914). After the opening months and battles in Belgium, most of the war in the West were fought in nothern France. Picardy was especially hard hit because the Germans were so focused on Paris. This left northern France a sea of devestation as a result of the fighting and constant shelling. Large areas were depoulated and basically unavilable with buidings reduced to rubble, infrasructure destroyed, and the remaining population destitute. At the sane time, Germany was largely untoched. As mucha s the Germans complained about Versailles after the War, the were unconcerned about all the damage done France. Morgan began her war work in France as a private act of charity. Once American entered the War some Government assistance was possible.


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Created: 12:42 PM 3/2/2021
Last updated: 12:42 PM 3/2/2021