Emily Malbone Morgan
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Emily Malbone Morgan, born in Hartford, Connecticut, was the youngest child and only daughter born to merchant Henry Kirke Morgan (1819-1911) and his wife, the former Emily Malbone Brinley (1824-1907). Emily Morgan never married and ultimately survived all her brothers.

Emily was mostly home schooled by her mother, and throughout her life had many operations for thyroid and other conditions, but became known for her good humor and management gifts. The family belonged to Trinity Church in Hartford, and Emily's mother corresponded with some in the Oxford Movement. Emily briefly attended Miss Haines's school in Hartford. As a teenager, Morgan became interested in writing, as well as became involved in girls' clubs and an organization called the United Workers.

In 1883, Morgan's childhood friend, Adelyn Howard, fell ill with a hip disease, which made her a lonely invalid in a town in which she had no friends or family. The following year, Morgan, with Howard and Harriet Hastings of Wellesley, Massachusetts founded the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, to allow the shut-in Adelyn—and other religious women who valued thanksgiving, intercessory prayer, and simplicity of life—to pray and work for social justice. Morgan had a talent for providing hospitality, and considered her "greatest desire...has always been to make tired people rested and happy." The group ministered to women working in the nearby textile mills, in part by establishing houses throughout the northeastern United States where such working class women and their children could vacation.

In 1889, two years after moving to New Haven, Morgan began her writing career, publishing A Little White Shadow, the proceeds of which she used to fund vacation homes. That same year she established the first of many, Heartsease in Saybrook, Connecticut for "tired women, girls and children." As such, Morgan can be considered part of the Deaconess movement in which over 5000 Protestant women participated circa 1890. In 1901, Morgan purchased what became their headquarters and retreat center, in Byfield, Massachusetts, which was named Adelynrood upon its renovation in 1915 (remembering both Howard, who had died in 1898, and an old word for "cross"). Another home with daily religious services attended by Protestants, as well as Jews and Catholics, was Beulahland.

In 1906 Morgan bought the Putnam Elms, the Windham County, Connecticut home of Morgan's maternal great grandfather Colonel Daniel Putnam from 1791 until his death in 1831. She also helped found the Colonel Daniel Putnam Association in 1910. In her later years, Morgan led a Sunday School class at Trinity Church, Boston.

Emily Morgan was buried in Hartford's Spring Grove Cemetery. The Calendar of saints (Episcopal Church in the United States of America) on February 26. Her cousin, Daniel Putnam Brinley (1879-1963), became a well-known muralist, as well as a leading Episcopalian, and her biographer Vida Dutton Scudder is also honored on the Episcopal liturgical calendar (on October 10). The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross currently has approximately eight hundred members and continues to operate retreat centers.

—from Wikipedia


Gracious God, we give thanks for the life and witness of Emily Malbone Morgan, who gathered women to devote themselves to intercession, social justice, Christian unity, and simple lives: Make us, with her, companions in prayer and in faithful living, dedicated to the Holy Cross of our Savior, Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.