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U.S. Minister to Austria

In office
September 14, 1937 – September 26, 1937
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by George S. Messersmith
Succeeded by John C. Wiley
U.S. Minister to the Netherlands

In office
March 21, 1934 – August 21, 1937
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Laurits S. Swenson
Succeeded by George A. Gordon
Personal details
Born Grenville Temple Emmet
(1877-08-02)August 2, 1877
New Rochelle, New York
Died September 26, 1937(1937-09-26) (aged 60)
Vienna, Austria
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Pauline Annie Ferguson
(m. 1905; his death 1937)
Relations Richard S. Emmet Jr. (brother)
Alma mater Harvard University
New York Law School

Grenville Temple Emmet (August 2, 1877 – September 26, 1937),[1] was an American attorney and diplomat. He practiced law with Franklin D. Roosevelt and served as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands and Austria.

Early life

Emmet was born in New Rochelle, New York on August 2, 1877. He was the son of Richard Stockton Emmet Sr. (1820–1902) and Katherine (née Temple) Emmet.[2] Among his siblings were older brothers William Temple Emmet and Republican New York State Assemblyman Richard S. Emmet Jr., and sisters Katherine Temple Emmet[3] (wife of New York Supreme Court Justice Martin J. Keogh),[4] Elizabeth LeRoy Emmet (wife of Nicholas Biddle) and Eleanor Emmet (wife of John Willard Lapsley).[5]

His paternal grandparents were Robert Emmet, a New York Judge of Courts, and Rosina (née Hubley) Emmet. Among his extended family was first cousins Ellen Emmet Rand, Lydia Field Emmet, Rosina Emmet Sherwood, Jane Emmet de Glehn (wife of Wilfrid de Glehn), William LeRoy Emmet, Devereux Emmet, and Robert Temple Emmet, and great-grandfather, New York Attorney General Thomas Addis Emmet, a senior member of the United Irishmen before being exiled to America.[6]

He was educated at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire,[7] and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in 1898.[8]


Grenville T. Emmet, ca. 1899

Following his graduation from Harvard, Emmet joined the New York National Guard's 69th Infantry Regiment in 1898 as a Second Lieutenant. He remained with the unit when it was federalized for service in the Spanish–American War. Emmet was promoted to First Lieutenant and appointed as the regiment's adjutant. He continued to serve in the National Guard, and remained active in veterans organizations.[9][10][11]

In 1901, Emmet received his law degree from New York Law School. After attaining admission to the bar in June 1901, he entered his father's law firm, Emmet & Robinson, where he became a partner in 1903.[8] He later practiced in partnership with Langdon Marvin and Franklin Roosevelt at Emmet, Marvin & Roosevelt, a firm first founded by his great-grandfather Thomas Addis Emmet in 1805.[12] Roosevelt, as junior partner, practiced with Emmet at various times in his career, including during Roosevelt's run for vice-president in 1920. Roosevelt left the firm in 1923, which continued to operate as Emmet, Marvin & Martin.[13][14]

Diplomatic career

After his Roosevelt became president on March 4, 1933, Emmet was rumored to be considered for various diplomatic posts, including U.S. Ambassador to Italy, then Minister to Portugal or Hungary, which he reportedly declined, and then as "Ambassador to Germany or Minister to Austria because of his familiarity with Central European politics."[7]

On December 27, 1933, Roosevelt named Emmet, a fellow Democrat, as the U.S. Minister to the Netherlands.[7] Emmet did not serve under this appointment however as he was commissioned during a recess of the U.S. Senate, and was reappointed by Roosevelt on January 15, 1934 to succeed Laurits S. Swenson (appointed by President Herbert Hoover).[15] He presented his credentials on March 21, 1934 and served as U.S. Minister until he left his post on August 21, 1937.[16][17]

Following U.S. Minister George S. Messersmith's appointment as Assistant Secretary of State under Secretary Cordell Hull in 1937, Roosevelt nominated Emmet to succeed Messersmith as the U.S. Minister to Austria on July 13, 1937.[18] Emmet, who was ill with pneumonia when he arrived in Austria, presented his credentials to President Wilhelm Miklas in Vienna on September 14, 1937 but only served less than two weeks in this role until his death on September 26, 1937.[19]

Personal life

On September 18, 1905, Emmet was married to Pauline Annie Ferguson (1879–1947),[20] the daughter of New York born Paul Dudley Ferguson, the co-founder and treasurer of Gordon & Ferguson from St. Paul, Minnesota. Together, they lived at 39 East 63rd Street and, later, 3 East 94th Street in Manhattan (both designed by noted architect Mott B. Schmidt),[21] and between November 1913 and October 1919, owned Bonito, a mansion and estate overlooking the Atlantic Ocean located at 466 Gin Lane in Southampton, New York.[22] Pauline and Grenville were the parents of:[1]

  • Pauline Temple Emmet (1906–1989), who died unmarried.
  • Grenville Temple Emmet Jr. (1909–1989),[23] who married Anne Livingston Eustis (1915–1989), daughter of William Corcoran Eustis (and granddaughter of U.S. Vice President Levi P. Morton), in 1937.[24][25] He later married Elizabeth Chace (1911–2013) in 1973.
  • Elizabeth Patricia Emmet (1918–1959), who died unmarried.

He was a member of the Racquet and Tennis Club, the Downtown Club, the Knickerbocker Club, the Harvard Club of New York and the Bedford Golf and Tennis Club and the New York City Bar Association.[1]

Emmet died in Vienna's Hotel Bristol on September 26, 1937.[1][26] After a funeral at the English Church in Vienna,[27] he was buried at Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bedford, New York.[28]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "IN OFFICE TEN DAYS, U.S. MINISTER DIES; Grenville T. Emmet Victim of Pneumonia in Vienna--III Only Short Time". The New York Times. 27 September 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  2. Edel, Editor, Leon; James, Henry (1974) (in en). Henry James Letters; Vol. IV 1895-1916. Harvard University Press. pp. 381–383. ISBN 9780674387836. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  3. "MRS. MARTIN J. KEOGH; Supreme Court Justice's Widow, Kin of Irish Patriot, Is Dead". The New York Times. 29 January 1947. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  4. (in en) Men and Women of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries. L.R. Hamersly. 1909. p. 947. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  5. Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915) (in en). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. 913–914. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  6. "The Emmet Family in America" (in en). A.P. French.. January–March 1901. p. 140. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "EMMET IS NAMED ENVOY TO HAGUE; Roosevelt Gives Netherlands Post to Friend and Former Law Partner Here. KIN OF THE IRISH PATRIOT His Family Long in Service of State, He Is Experienced in European Polities.". The New York Times. 31 December 1933. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 (in en) Harvard College Class of 1898 Quindecennial Report. Harvard College (1780-) Class of 1898. 1913. pp. 94–95. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  9. New York State Adjutant General (1899) (in en). Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of New York For the Year 1898.Transmitted to the Legislature January 10, 1899. New York and Albany: Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co.. p. 189. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  10. New York State Adjutant-General's Office (1903) (in en). Annual Report of the Adjutant-General for the Year 1902. Transmitted to the Legislature, January 21st, 1903. Vol. II. Albany: The Argus Company. p. 394. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  11. New York Times, "Old Guard Will Hold Reception", January 24, 1926
  12. Wilcox, Arthur Russell (1918) (in en). The Bar of Rye Township, Westchester County, New York: An Historical and Biographical Record, 1660-1918. Knickerbocker Press. p. 252. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  13. "History | Emmet, Marvin & Martin, LLP". Emmet, Marvin & Martin LLP. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  14. Emmet, Marvin & Martin, LLP, Emmet: 200 Years, 1805–2005, 2005, pages 7, 10–11
  15. "Grenville Temple Emmet - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs United States Department of State. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  16. "Holland Receives Our Envoy.". The New York Times. 23 March 1934. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  17. "DIPLOMATS SAILING FOR EUROPE TODAY; Grenville T. Emmet and Dr. Veverka Among Those Going on the Manhattan.". The New York Times. 3 December 1935. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  18. "G. T. EMMET TO AUSTRIA; Roosevelt Names New Yorker as Minister-Atherton to Bulgaria". The New York Times. 7 July 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  19. "EMMET'S CAREER PRAISED BY HULL; Secretary Deplores Death of Minister to Austria Who 'Served With Distinction'". The New York Times. 28 September 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  20. "Deaths - EMMET--Pauline". The New York Times. 3 October 1947. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  21. L, Zach (Feb 3, 2012). "The Grenville T. Emmet Residence". Beyond The Gilded Age. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  22. Spanburgh, Sally (2015) (in en). Southampton Cottages of South Main Street, The: The Original Hamptons Summer Colony. Arcadia Publishing. p. 158. ISBN 9781626192911. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  23. "Grenville T. Emmet Jr.; Lawyer, 80". The New York Times. 24 May 1989. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  24. "Miss Anne Eustis of Washington Engaged To Grenville Temple Emmet Jr., Attorney". The New York Times. 2 September 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  25. "MISS ANNE L. EUSTIS TO BE BRIDE NOV. 20; Her Marriage to Grenville T. Emmet Jr. Will Take Place in Washington Home". The New York Times. 27 October 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  26. "G. T. EMMET PRAISED BY TWO PRESIDENTS; Miklas of Austria and Roosevelt Exchange Messages on Death of Envoy in Vienna". The New York Times. 29 September 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  27. "EMMET SERVICES AT VIENNA TODAY; Rites Will Be Held in English Church for Minister of the United States". The New York Times. 30 September 1937. Retrieved 23 July 2019. 
  28. New York Times, "G. T. Emmet Funeral to be Held Monday", October 16, 1937

External resources

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Laurits S. Swenson
U.S. Minister to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
George A. Gordon
Preceded by
George S. Messersmith
U.S. Minister to Austria
Succeeded by
John C. Wiley

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