Emily Thorn Vanderbilt

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Emily Thorn Vanderbilt
Mrs. William Douglas Sloane (Emily Thorn Vanderbilt) by Benjamin Curtis Porter
BornJanuary 31, 1852
Staten Island, New York, US
DiedJuly 28, 1946(1946-07-28) (aged 94)
(m. 1872; died 1915)
(m. 1920; died 1927)
  • Florence Adele Sloane
  • Emily Vanderbilt Sloane
  • Lila Vanderbilt Sloane
  • William Douglas Sloane
  • Malcolm Douglas Vanderbilt Sloane
Parent(s)William Henry Vanderbilt
Maria Louisa Kissam
Elm Court, Lenox, Massachusetts, 1903

Emily Thorn Vanderbilt (January 31, 1852 – July 28, 1946) was an American philanthropist and a member of the prominent Vanderbilt family. She financed the creation of New York's Sloane Hospital for Women in 1888 with an endowment of more than $1,000,000.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

She was born in 1852 as the fifth child, and second daughter, of William Henry Vanderbilt (1821–1885) and Maria Louisa Kissam (1821–1896). Her paternal grandparents were Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794–1877) and his wife, Sophia Johnson (1795–1868).[3]

Philanthropy and work[edit]

She financed the creation of New York's Sloane Hospital for Women with an endowment of more than $1,000,000.[1][2] The hospital is now part of NewYork-Presbyterian / Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and still in use today.[2]

In 1885, she and her husband commissioned Peabody and Stearns to build Elm Court, the mammoth shingle-style 'cottage' in Lenox, Massachusetts.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1872, the twenty year old Vanderbilt was married to William Douglas Sloane (1844–1915).[5] Sloane was the brother of Henry T. Sloane of the carpet firm W. & J. Sloane, and together, Emily and William became the parents of three daughters and two sons, including:[6]

The family lived at the Vanderbilt Triple Palace on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

In 1920, after Sloane's death, she married Henry White (1850–1927), American Ambassador to France and Italy, and a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles.[8][9]

She died on July 28, 1946, in Lenox, Massachusetts.[3]


Emily Thorn Vanderbilt Sloane White's grandchildren include Adele Hammond, paternal grandmother of actor Timothy Olyphant, Alice Frances Hammond, wife of jazz musician Benny Goodman, Rachel Hammond, cattle breeder, and wife of Manley D. Breck, and John Henry Hammond II, talent scout.

Family tree[edit]

Emily Thorn Vanderbilt Family Tree
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Sophia Johnson
Maria Louisa Kissam
William Henry Vanderbilt
Emily Almira Vanderbilt
William Knapp Thorn
William Douglas Sloane
Emily Thorn Vanderbilt
Henry White
Florence Adele Sloane
Lila Sloane
Emily Vanderbilt Sloane
John Henry Hammond
Adele Sloane Hammond
John Kensett Olyphant, Jr.
Alice Frances Hammond
Benny Goodman
Rachel Hammond
John Henry Hammond II


  1. ^ a b "WILLIAM D. SLOANE DIES IN AIKEN, S. C.; New York Merchant and Financier Expires After a Short Illness, at 71. A TRUSTEE OF COLUMBIA Endowed with His Wife the Sloane Hospital for Women -- A Benefactor of Yale". The New York Times. 20 March 1915.
  2. ^ a b c "Open Surgical Ward in Sloane Hospital" (PDF). The New York Times. 1911-03-02. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  3. ^ a b Times, Special To The New York (29 July 1946). "MRS. HENRY WHITE DIES IN LENOX AT 94; Daughter of W.H. Vanderbilt, Widow of Envoy to Paris, Gave Sloane Hospital". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  5. ^ Olmsted, Frederick Law; Beveridge, Charles E. (2013). The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: The Early Boston Years, 1882–1890. JHU Press. p. 546. ISBN 9781421409269. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  6. ^ "William D. Sloane Dies In Aiken, S. C.; New York Merchant and Financier Expires After a Short Illness, at 71. A Trustee Of Columbia. Endowed with His Wife the Sloane Hospital for Women. A Benefactor of Yale". The New York Times. March 20, 1915.
  7. ^ "LILA V. SLOANE HONORED; Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Sloane Give a Cotillion at Their Home. G. CREIGHTON WEBB LEADS The First Time Mrs. Sloane Has Bidden Guests to an Important Function Since the Death of Her Mother, Mrs. William H. Vanderbilt". The New York Times. 15 February 1898. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  8. ^ "HENRY WHITE WEDS MRS. WM.D. SLOANE; Ex-Ambassador to France Is 70 and Daughter of Late Wm. H. Vanderbilt Is 68. RELATIVES ONLY AT NUPTIAL Ceremony in St. Bartholomew's Chapel Follows Issuing of License --Couple at Bride's City Home". The New York Times. 4 November 1920. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  9. ^ "VANDERBILTS GIVE UP ANOTHER 5TH AV. SITE; Mrs. White's $3,500,000 Sale Leaves Family Only Two of Original Seven Homes. BENJAMIN WINTER BUYER Latest of Series of Big Deals by Him -- Only $700,000 Cash in One for $9,200,000. VANDERBILTS GIVE UP ANOTHER 5TH AV. SITE". The New York Times. 9 January 1926. Retrieved 21 July 2017.