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Anne Morgan & Anne Murray Dike

andrew potter
Anne Tracy Morgan (July 25, 1873 – January 29, 1952) was an American philanthropist who provided relief efforts in aid to France during and after World War I and World War II. Morgan was educated privately, traveled frequently and grew up amongst the wealth her father had amassed.

She was awarded a medal from the National Institute of Social Science in 1915, the same year she published the story The American Girl. In 1932 she became the first American woman appointed a commander of the French Legion of Honor.

She was born on July 25, 1873 to John Pierpont Morgan and Frances Louisa Tracy.

In 1903 she became part owner of the Villa Trianon near Versailles, France, along with decorator and socialite Elsie De Wolfe and theatrical/literary agent Elisabeth Marbury. Morgan was instrumental in assisting De Wolfe, her close friend, in pioneering a career in interior decoration. The three ladies, affectionately known as "The Versailles Triumvirate," hosted a famous salon in France and, in 1903, along with Ann Vanderbilt, helped organize the Colony Club, the first women's social club in New York City and, later, helped found the exclusive neighborhood of Sutton Place along Manhattan's East River.

In 1912 she started The Society for the Prevention of Useless Gift Giving (SPUG) with Eleanor Robson Belmont.

In 1915, after studying British women’s organizations, she established with Isabel Lathrop the American Fund for French Wounded (AFFW) to provide medical supplies to French hospitals and send parcels to wounded soldiers. It was composed mostly of women, all volunteers. Returning to France, Anne and Elsie converted the Villa Trianon into a convalescent home for soldiers and the following July traveled to the Somme and Verdun to personally check on the delivery of American donations to the front-line hospitals. They were beginning to attract a cadre of women who felt themselves too confined by society to philanthropic roles and wanted to take a more active part in the war. In the fall, back in New York, Anne was joined by Anne Murray Dike (1879–1929), a doctor, in the establishment of a Civilian Division of the AFFW to assist the civil population in the front-line areas. This group was officially recognized by the French government along with the American Red Cross and an office in Paris was established. General Pétain’s headquarters were in Compiègne, and, believing it was imperative that Picardie be repopulated and rebuilt as quickly as possible, he placed the new arrivals under Army jurisdiction and housed them in barracks set up among the remains of the Château of Blérancourt.


Anne Morgan and Anne Murray Dike, founders of the American Committee for Devastated France Blérancourt, ca. 1919–1921, sulfur-toned silver print Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt.





In 1919, Anne Morgan bought the estate of Blérancourt. Only two pavilions remained of the original chateau built in 1612 by architect Salomon de Brosse, and Anne Morgan lived in one. The other was transformed into a museum dedicated to French-American history and inaugurated in 1930, one year after the death of Anne Murray Dike. Anne Morgan bequeathed the entire estate to the French people and it became the Musée national de la coopération franco-américain, Château de Blérancourt.

In 1916, Morgan and De Wolfe largely funded Cole Porter's first Broadway musical, See America First, produced by Marbury.

Morgan's friendships included many socialites and celebrities of her day. Her connection to individuals such as Cole Porter, as mentioned above, allowed her to compile a cookbook for charity. Titled the Spécialités de la Maison and published in 1940 to benefit the AFF, it offered recipes by cultural icons such as Pearl S. Buck, Salvador Dalí, and Katharine Hepburn.

She died on January 29, 1952 in Mount Kisco, New York.

A four-story townhouse built in the Sutton Place neighborhood of Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City for Anne Morgan in 1921 was donated as a gift to the United Nations in 1972. It is now the official residence of the United Nations Secretary-General.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Morgan_(philanthropist)

Further Readings:

Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women: Elisabeth Marbury, Anne Morgan, Elsie de Wolfe, Anne Vanderbilt, and Their Times by Alfred Allan Lewis
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (June 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0140241736
ISBN-13: 978-0140241730
Amazon: Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women: Elisabeth Marbury, Anne Morgan, Elsie de Wolfe, Anne Vanderbilt, and Their Times

Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women is a group biography of four talented-and wealthy-New York women at the turn of the twentieth century whose lives became intertwined as they pioneered new roles for women. With dash, wit, intelligence, and industry, Elisabeth Marbury, her partner Elsie de Wolfe, Anne Morgan (daughter of J. P. Morgan), and Anne Vanderbilt had the courage to use their privileged status to transform their world. From attending lively society balls and Europe's royal courts to marching in labor-organizing protests and nurturing great talents such as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and Cole Porter, their activities open an illuminating window onto the worlds of art, culture, politics, science, and finance at the beginning of the twentieth century.

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