The Bancrofts and “WSJ” Background

Having researched this early history of the Wall Street Journal and listening to my friend, Jackie Bancroft, I was beginning to learn more about the Bancroft lineage. It was this lineage that was the source of Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan’s vast wealth. And now it was the source of what was becoming Ronnie Lee Morgan’s, my client,  substantial wealth. My client may have been Jackie’s third husband, but I wanted to know about her first husband, Hugh Bancroft, Jr. Who was he, really? What was he like? He must have been about 24-years old when his father committed suicide. How did that effect him?

Before I could answer those questions, however, my research kept turning up interesting facts about Hugh Bancroft, Jr.’s half-sister, Mary Bancroft. This was the child whose mother, Mary Agnes Cogan Bancroft, died in childbirth in 1903. When I learned that as a grown woman, Mary Bancroft had not only followed journalistic pursuits out of Zürich, she was a spy for the United States against Germany. I had to know more.

I found that her papers and writings were at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College. There were 24-1/2 file boxes, 3 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 2 audiotapes, and 4 photograph folders. She had also written at least two novels of autobiographical nature. It was going to take some time to get to know Mary Bancroft, but it didn’t take long to figure out this was an unusual and exciting woman.

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