Angela Morgan: A Brief Sketch

Family Life

Although Angela Morgan (born Nina Lillian Morgan) claimed her birth year as 1883, she was probably born closer to 1875 in Yazoo County, Mississippi. In her own accounts she recalls her childhood home as Washington D.C. instead of Lawrence Kansas where her family moved in 1885, suggesting the earlier birth date. Morgan's family included parents Alwyn and Carol and her three sisters and one brother. After the death of Col. Alwyn Morgan, the four sisters formed a quartet and went on the road with their brother Albert as manager. They called themselves "The Morgan Sisters" and "The Angela Sisters," perhaps an explanation of how Nina became Angela. The group disbanded in 1898 upon the death of Helen and marriage of the others. Morgan married Peter Swenigson in 1900 but divorced in 1906.


Before the World War I era, Morgan made a living as a journalist for publications as the Chicago Daily American, the New York American, and the Boston American. In 1915 Morgan became a full time poet under the patronage of Mrs. John Henry Hammond and later Mrs. Andrew Carnegie who published Morgan's "Battle Cry of the Mothers." Morgan, a prolific writer was published in many capacities, under contract with the International Feature's Syndicate or for Mrs. Hammond. She moved with her mother to London in 1923 and was away from the American literary scene for almost 3 years. Upon her return in 1926, she settled in Philadelphia and in the following years, she served as resident poet at Ogontz Junior College, president of the Philadelphia branch of the League of American Pen Women and chairman of the literary arts committee of the Philadelphia Arts Alliance. In 1936 she was elected poet laureate of the National Federation of Women's Clubs. Angela Morgan died on January 24, 1957 in Mt. Marion New York. The Angela Morgan papers were stored in a warehouse in Philadelphia. When they went to auction to pay for storage fees, Morgan's friend Rebecca Shelley bought them and moved them to her Michigan farm. Rebecca Shelley donated the extensive collection to the Bentley Library.

Involvement in the Peace Movement

On April 28, 1915, the year Battle Cry of the Mothers was published, Angela Morgan attended the International Congress of Women at The Hague, Holland. She served as one of 1,136 delegates to this ground breaking international conference to promote peace. Morgan recited her poem at this conference making Battle Cry of the Mothers an anthem for pacifism from the female perspective.

* This biography was compiled from information from the Angela Morgan Papers at the Bentley Historical Library. For further online biographical or information on Angela Morgan see the New York Public Library's collection.