ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH—APRIL, 2017
Gentlemen of the Congress:
I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making.
So began Woodrow Wilson’s momentous address to Congress on April 2, 1917. In speaking to the joint session of Congress he outlined the offenses the German government had perpetrated not only against the people of the United States but against all mankind.
With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it, and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war.
This month our artifact of the month is an original copy of The New York Times, MID-WEEK PICTORIAL, April 5, 1917. Beginning in September, 1914 the newspaper provided its audience with large-format photographs, maps, drawings and other images to follow the developing tragedy across the Atlantic.
Hundreds of thousands of loaves being baked daily in an out-door bakery situated in the chapel yard of the famous fortress and political prison of the Bourbon regime. In the donjons of the Chateau of Vincennes such famous prisoners as Mirabeau, Diderot, and others were confined. A corner of the chapel is visible in the picture.
ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH
Winthrop Chanler Rutherfurd
Born February 4, 1862, Winthrop Chanler Rutherfurd was the last of the seven children of Lewis Morris and Margaret Chanler Rutherfurd. An avid sportsman of impeccable breeding, Winthrop was considered the most eligible bachelor in New York society. For Edith Wharton, a Newport, Rhode Island neighbor, he was “the prototype of my first novels.” For Consuelo Vanderbilt, he was Rosenkavalier, the Mr. X of her autobiography The Glitter and the Gold. (Winthrop and Consuelo were secretly engaged before her ambitious mother, Alva, intervened demanding Consuelo marry the 9th Duke of Marborough. “Winty was outclassed. Six feet two in his golf stockings, he was no match for five feet six in a coronet.”) After graduating from Columbia College in 1884, Winthrop went on to study law. In the early 1890s with his brother Lewis they established the L&W Realty Company. The company’s main occupation was managing older brother Rutherfurd Stuyvesant’s growing real estate empire. By this time Lewis and Winthrop had begun another enterprise which would bring them great satisfaction, the breeding of smooth fox terriers. (Winthrop’s prize terrier Warren Remedy would become the only dog in Westminster Kennel Club history to be awarded Best in Show three times: 1907, 1908, 1909.)
On February 18, 1902, Winthrop married Alice Morton, daughter of Levi P. Morton and Anna Livingston Street Morton. Their union produced six children: Lewis Morton (1903-1920); Winthrop Jr. (1904-1988); John Phillip (1910-1987); Hugo (1911-2006); Alice (1913-1953); and Guy Gerard (1915-2012). Shortly after their marriage they contracted famed New York City architect Whitney Warren to design for them a Tudor-style mansion, Rutherfurd House, to be located alongside the Rutherfurd Stuyvesant property in Allamuchy, New Jersey. Allamuchy Farms’ 1,000 acres became well known for its Holstein cows, Dorset sheep as well as the already-established Warren Kennels. With his devoted estate manager, Arthur Danks, Winthrop became an unlikely gentleman farmer of great renown.
With Alice’s death in 1917, Winthrop was left not only with a devastating emotional emptiness but with six children ranging in age from 2 to 14 years. It is believed that through the efforts of Alice’s sister, Edith Eustis, a prominent Washington, D.C. socialite, Winthrop made the acquaintance of Lucy Page Mercer. By February of 1920 the two were married. With the addition of their daughter Barbara Mercer Rutherfurd in 1922, Lucy brought to the lively Rutherfurd clan a sense of serenity, grace, and affection which they all so desperately needed.
Winthrop Chanler Rutherfurd died on March 19, 1944 at the family’s winter residence, Ridgeley Hall, in Aiken, South Carolina.