This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:
Jessie Vanderbilt Simons papers 1870-1936 and undated
Collection #RL.01193 | 6.5 Linear Feet; 1000 Items
Jessie Vanderbilt McNamee was born in 1874 to a wealthy family residing in Staten Island, New York (Richmond County). In 1901 she married Charles Dewar Simons (1874-1922) and they had one child, Charles Dewar, Jr. Simons served as a volunteer ambulance driver with the Dongan Hills Motor Corps; helped found and served as the ranking member of the Richmond County chapter of the Red Cross Motor Corps during World War I; served as Vice President of the National Federated Workers for Disabled Soldiers; and was an active member of the Veteran Association of Women War Workers. Her travels throughout Europe during the 1920s and 1930s are documented in diaries, correspondence, and other materials in this collection. Ms. Simons was a friend and neighbor of Alice Austen, a noted photographer who also served in the Richmond County Motor Corps. The Jessie Vanderbilt Simons papers contain materials dating from 1870 to 1936, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1890 to 1936. Materials in the collection primarily document Simons' travels through Europe during the 1920s and 1930s and her work with the Richmond County chapter of the American Red Cross Motor Corps. Twenty-nine yearly diaries detail daily life, family life, travel, participation in the Motor Corps, and other philanthropic activities. Correspondence with her son, family, and friends is also included; as are receipts, invoices, and other financial materials, primarily from travel to Europe; correspondence, printed materials, a scrapbook, and other items documenting Simons' service with the American Red Cross Motor Corps; material relating to friend, photographer, and fellow Motor Corps member Alice Austen; and photographs.
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