Helen Morgan Hamilton

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Helen Morgan Hamilton
Helen Hamilton Woods.jpg
Deputy Director of the Women's Army Corps
In office
1945 – 1947
Preceded byWestray Boyce
Personal details
Born(1896-06-12)June 12, 1896
Ramapo, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 25, 1985(1985-01-25) (aged 88)
Mystic, Connecticut, U.S.
(m. 1916; died 1942)

(m. 1955; died 1978)
RelationsSee Hamilton & Morgan family
Parent(s)William Pierson Hamilton
Juliet Pierpont Morgan
AwardsLegion of Merit
Army Commendation Medal
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
RankLieutenant colonel

Helen Morgan Hamilton (June 12, 1896 – January 25, 1985) was an Army Officer, serving as deputy director of and ultimately achieving the rank of Lieutenant colonel of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. She is also the granddaughter of investment banker J.P. Morgan and a descendant of Alexander Hamilton.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hamilton was born in Ramapo, New York,[2] the eldest child of William Pierson Hamilton (1869–1950) and Juliet Pierpont Morgan (1870–1952). Her siblings included Pierpont Morgan Hamilton (1898–1982),[3] Laurens Morgan Hamilton (1900–1978), Alexander Morgan Hamilton (1903–1970), and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1908–1919).[4][5] She grew up at the family's estate "Table Rock" in Sloatsburg, New York.[5][6]

Her paternal grandfather was William Gaston Hamilton (1832–1913), a consulting engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company who was the son of John Church Hamilton (1792−1882)[7] and grandson of the first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton. Her maternal grandparents were Fanny (née Tracy) Morgan (1842–1924) and John Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913).[8]


In the late 1930s, Helen was involved with the historic preservation of colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and was a founding trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1953.[9] She served as president of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Georgetown, and a fellow of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.[1]

During World War II, after the death of her first husband, she entered the United States Army and was active in the formation of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps,[10] serving as deputy director, achieving the rank of Lieutenant colonel.[1][11] In 1947, she was appointed consultant to Robert P. Patterson, U.S. Secretary of War, in connection with the proposed universal military training program. In this role, she advised Lt. Gen. Raymond S. McLain on matters pertaining to parents' interests in the proposed program.[12]

In 1949, she became director of the public liaison of the Economic Cooperation Administration, which administered the Marshall Plan. She served in that post for two years until she then completed a survey for the Fund for Adult Education for the Ford Foundation.[13]

In 1953, Helen helped Hamilton College place her great-great-grandfather Alexander Hamilton's desk, on which he wrote his part of the Federalist papers, on permanent exhibition. She was introduced by the college's president, Robert Ward McEwen, who noted that the college awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree to Hamilton's son in 1861 and grandson, Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton, in 1912, who had gifted the desk to the college.[14]

In 1959, she served on the United States Committee for the Atlantic Congress.[15]

Personal life[edit]

On June 10, 1916, Hamilton married Arthur Hale Woods (1870–1942), who was the New York City Police Commissioner.[4][8] They moved to Washington when Woods served in the War Department.[16] Before Woods's death in 1942,[17] Hamilton had four children:[1]

On March 5, 1955, Hamilton married the banker and diplomat Warren Randolph Burgess (1889–1978),[13][32][33] who was serving as the Undersecretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs in the Eisenhower administration and later was the Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.[34] They remained married until his death in 1978.[35]

Helen died of cardiac arrest at the age of 88 on January 25, 1985, in Mystic, Connecticut.[1][9][15]


In 1915, Hamilton purchased the Georgetown home of Robert Todd Lincoln and lived there until 1984.[36]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Helen H. Burgess Dies at 88; Historic Preservation Leader". The New York Times. 28 January 1985. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Arthur Woods". davidleas.com. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  3. ^ "MISS BLAIR, BRIDE OF P.M. HAMILTON; Youngest Daughter of C. Ledyard Blair Weds Grandson of Late J. Pierpont Morgan. | NUPTIAL IN BERNARDSVILLE | Bishop Rhinelander Officiates in St.John's Chapel-on-the-Mountain--Reception at Blairsden". The New York Times. 12 September 1919. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b "ARTHUR WOOODS WILL WED KIN OF MORGAN; Police Commissioner Engaged to Miss H. M. Hamilton, Granddaughter of Late Financier. ACTIVE IN CHARITY WORK Debutante of Last Winter Is Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm, Pierson Hamilton -- Mr. Woods' Career". The New York Times. 18 March 1916. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate". ssmi-us.org. Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1390. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  7. ^ "The Death List of a Day. John Church Hamilton". The New York Times. July 26, 1882. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "MISS HAMILTON'S WEDDING.; Plans for Ceremony with Police Commissioner Woods on June 10" (PDF). The New York Times. June 3, 1916. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Helen Hamilton Burgess, the great-great-granddaughter of American revolutionary Alexander..." UPI. January 26, 1985. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ Treadwell, Mattie E. (1991). UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II Special Studies THE WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History | United States Army. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  11. ^ Times, Special To The New York (7 September 1945). "Col. Woods Second in the Wac". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  12. ^ Times, Special To The New York (6 February 1947). "MRS. WOODS IN WAR POST; Former Wac Officer Will Advise on Universal Training Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  13. ^ a b Times, Special To The New York (22 February 1955). "W. Randolph Burgess, Treasury Of fleet, Will Many Mrs. Arthur Woods M". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  14. ^ "HAMILTON'S DESK SHOWN; Great - Great - Granddaughter Helps in College Ceremony". The New York Times. December 18, 1953. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Helen Burgess, Was WAC Aide During WW II". The Washington Post. 28 January 1985. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  16. ^ Social Register, Summer. Social Register Association. 1920. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Arthur Woods, 72, Is Dead In Capital. Police Commissioner Here in 1914 to '18 Introduced New Methods of Enforcement. Air Colonel With The A.E.F.; Sociologist, Former Reporter, Taught Roosevelt at Groton. Wed Late J.P. Morgan Kin". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-09.
  18. ^ "Claire Wood". legacy.com. The Berkshire Eagle. 3 January 2006. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  19. ^ "J. P. WOODS TO WED CLARE W. STREETER; Son of Police Ex-Commissioner, Kin of Morgans and Hamilton, to Marry Smith Alumna". The New York Times. 17 March 1947. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  20. ^ Times, Special To The New York (21 July 1953). "Mrs. J. P. Woods Wins Divorce". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  21. ^ Times, Special To The New York (11 April 1954). "MISS JOAN HOLDEN A BRIDE IN CHAPEL; Wed to John Pierpont Woods, Naval Air Arm Veteran, at Christ Church, Methodist". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  22. ^ Times, Special To The New York (15 January 1954). "MISS JOAN HOLDEN BECOMES ENGAGED Hall-School Graduate Will Be Wed to John P. Woods, Son of Late Police Commissioner". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  23. ^ Times, Special To The New York (29 January 1955). "Daughter to Mrs. John Woods". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  24. ^ Times, Special to The New York (19 September 1948). "COLORADO WEDDING FOR ANINA PAEPCKE | She ls Bride in Sedalia Church of Leonard Woods, Son of Former Police Head Here". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  25. ^ Times, Special To The New York (14 April 1960). "WALTER PAEPCKE, ART PATRON, DIES; Developer of Aspen, Colo., as Cultural Center Was Head of Container Corporation". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Mrs. Paepcke Woods Becomes Bride of Ian Morgan Hamilton (January 27, 1963)". Chicago Tribune. January 27, 1963. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths HAMILTON, IAN MORGAN". The New York Times. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  28. ^ Times, Special To The New York (28 May 1948). "TROTH ANNOUNCED OF CAROLIE WOODS; Member of Noted Family the Fiancee of Lieut. Valentine Hollingsworth Jr., USMC". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  29. ^ Times, Special to The New York (3 October 1948). "CAROLIE F. WOODS GEORGETOWN BRIDE Daughter of Ex-Commissioner of Police in New York Wed to Valentine Hollingsworth Jr". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths NOBLE, CAROLIE WOODS". The New York Times. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  31. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths NOBLE, MARSHALL HAYS". The New York Times. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  32. ^ "MONEY SITUATION GOOD DR. BURGESS DECLARES; Federal Reserve Official Talks to Credit Men--Circulation Down $150,000,000". The New York Times. 18 March 1930. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Burgess on Advisory Council". The New York Times. 4 January 1947. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  34. ^ Blair, W. Granger (4 September 1959). "PRESIDENT GIVES NATO ASSURANCE; Stresses U.S. Support for Alliance in a Speech on Visit to Headquarters". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  35. ^ Times, Special To The New York (6 November 1978). "OBITUARIES | Eisenhower Administration Official". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  36. ^ Orton, Kathy (27 July 2012). "A Georgetown home for $8.995M". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.