Mary Harriman Rumsey

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Mary Rumsey (Harriman)

Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Death: Died in Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Cause of death: horse riding accident
Immediate Family:

Daughter of E. H. Harriman and Mary Williamson Harriman
Wife of Charles Cary Rumsey and Charles Cary Rumsey, sculptor
Mother of Charles Cary Harriman Rumsey; Mary Averell Rumsey and Peter Bronson Rumsey
Sister of Henry Neilson Harriman; Cornelia Gerry; Carol A. Smith; W. Averell Harriman; E. Roland Harriman and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Harriman Rumsey

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Harriman_Rumsey

Mary Harriman Rumsey (November 17, 1881 – December 18, 1934) was the founder of The Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements, later known as the Junior League of the City of New York of the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. Mary was the daughter of railroad magnate E.H. Harriman and sister to W. Averell Harriman, former New York State Governor and United States Diplomat. In 2015 she was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Mary attended Barnard College, where she specialized in sociology and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Mary Harriman Rumsey's initial organization was a group of 80 debutantes in 1901. The Junior League was established to unite interested young women of means in joining the Settlement Movement in New York City. Rumsey and the League's leaders brought together experts on the Settlement Movement to provide lectures and instruction to Junior League members. Today, The Junior League is one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women's volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing more than 150,000 women in 292 Leagues in four countries.

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/mary-harriman/


Mary Harriman Rumsey (November 17, 1881 – December 18, 1934) was the founder of The Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements, later known as the Junior League of the City of New York of the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. Mary was the daughter of railroad magnate E.H. Harriman and sister to W. Averell Harriman, former New York State Governor and United States Diplomat. In 2015 she was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Early life Mary Harriman Rumsey was born on November 17, 1881, the oldest of six children of railroad industrialist E.H. Harriman (1848–1909) and his wife, Mary Averell Harriman (1851–1932). Mary attended Barnard College, where she specialized in sociology and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Career Inspired by a lecture on the settlement movement, Mary, along with several friends, began volunteering at the College Settlement on Rivington Street in New York City's Lower East Side, a large immigrant enclave. Through her work at the College Settlement, Mary became convinced that there was more she could do to help others. Subsequently, Mary and a group of 80 debutantes established the Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements in 1901, while she was still a student at Barnard College. The purpose of the Junior League would be to unite interested debutantes in joining the Settlement Movement in New York City.

Realizing their lack of experience in dealing with the issues that faced people seeking help at the settlement house, Mary and League leaders brought together experts on the Settlement Movement to provide lectures and instruction to Junior League members. With better preparation came greater engagement leading to increased interest in membership by women notable in New York society; members would come to include Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Whitney Straight and Ruth Draper.

As word of the work of the young Junior League women in New York spread, women throughout the country and beyond formed Junior Leagues in their communities. In time, Leagues would expand their efforts beyond settlement house work to respond to the social, health and educational issues of their respective communities. In 1921, approximately 30 Leagues banded together to form the Association of Junior Leagues of America to provide support to one another. With the creation of the Association, it was Mary that insisted that although it was important for all Leagues to learn from one another and share best practices, each League was ultimately beholden to its respective community and should thus function to serve that community’s needs.

As the 20th century progressed, more Junior Leagues were formed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Now known as the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI), the organization encompasses 292 member Leagues, with over 160,000 members committed to continuing the legacy established by its founder.

Consumer Advisory Board In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Mary to chair the Consumer Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the first government consumer rights group.

Despite her inexperience, Mary's work with farming cooperatives and belief in the power of cooperation would come to be her greatest assets. Mary would promote the formation of consumer groups across the nation and encourage these groups to report their grievances to her office.

Mary Rumsey's legacy to New Deal reforms would be continued by her younger brother, W. Averell Harriman. Averell was encouraged by his older sister to leave his finance job and join her and their friends, the Roosevelts, to advance the goals of the New Deal. Averell joined the NRA, marking the beginning of his political career.

Personal life In 1910, Mary married sculptor and polo player Charles Cary Rumsey (1879–1922), shortly after the death of her father on September 9, 1909. Rumsey had been working at Arden House, creating one of the principal fireplace surrounds, as well as other decorative sculpture. Together they had a daughter and two sons.

Charles Harriman Rumsey (1911-2007) Mary Averell Rumsey (b. 1913), who made her debut in 1932 at a party with over 1,100 guests. Bronson Harriman Rumsey (1917-1939), who died when the plane he was riding in, along with Daniel S. Roosevelt (1917-1939) (the son of Hall Roosevelt and nephew of Eleanor Roosevelt), hit a mountain slope near Guadalupe Victoria, Puebla, Mexico. Charles was killed in a car accident in 1922. Mary died in 1934 as a result of a horse riding accident which occurred while on a hunt near Middleburg, Virginia.

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Mary Harriman Rumsey's Timeline

1881
November 17, 1881
New York, New York, United States
1911
1911
Age 29
1913
1913
Age 31
1917
March 31, 1917
Age 35
1934
December 18, 1934
Age 53
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States