We’re back! Looking forward to welcoming our guests back to historic Rutherfurd Hall! The pandemic hasn’t halted our adding interesting items to our collection of artifacts. We will begin this April (76 years since FDR’s death) with this 1936 press photo of Sara Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mrs John Boettiger.
Caption on reverse of photo:

A proud trio—Mrs. Sarah (sic) Delano Roosevelt (right), mother of the President; Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt (center), wife, and Mrs. John Boettiger (left), daughter—at Franklin Field, Phila., June 27, where they heard President Roosevelt declare war on “royalists of the economic order” and the “privileged princes of economic dynasties” in his speech accepting the nomination. One hundred thousand persons were massed in the stadium.
Credit Line (ACME) 6/27/36

Artifact of the Month June/July 2019

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong

In conjunction with the worldwide exhibitions celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, Rutherfurd Hall takes special pride in recognizing the contributions of Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, father of Winthrop Rutherfurd, long considered a pioneer in astrophotography.

After studying law with William Seward in Auburn, New York, Rutherfurd was admitted to the bar in 1837. By 1849 he had abandoned his law practice to pursue his true avocation, astronomy and, in particular, astrophotography. He opened his observatory in the garden of the family residence at 175 2nd Avenue, New York City in 1856. At the time it was considered “the finest and best-equipped private astronomical observatory in the country. It had a transit instrument, and a refracting telescope with an object-glass eleven and a half inches in diameter, made by Fitz, with a second glass for photographing, corrected by his own new methods and finished by himself”.

Lewis Morris Rutherfurd was a trustee of Columbia University 1858-1884. His photographs together with his instruments were donated to that institution in 1883. Previously, in 1881, he assisted the university in establishing its department of geodesy and practical astronomy. In 1884 he was named a delegate to the International Meridian Conference. He was both an original member of the National Academy of Sciences and an associate of the Royal Astronomical Society. The Rutherfurd Crater on the moon is named in his honor.

Lewis Morris Rutherfurd died at the family estate, Tranquillity, in Green Township, New Jersey, May 30, 1892.



The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. The war to end wars was over.  It would take another seven months for the Treaty of Versailles to be signed between the Allies and Germany, a few more months for the remaining four treaties determining post-war boundaries and reparations to come to a conclusion.
A one hundred-year old copy of the New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial dated February 19, 1919 is our current artifact of the month.   Inside are maps, images of celebrations and portraits of ministers representing the major powers including Henry White, peace negotiator from the United States, brother-in-law of Winthrop Rutherfurd.
It would actually take until July 2, 1921, for President Warren G. Harding to sign the Knox-Porter Resolution ending the state-of-war between the US and Germany, Austria-Hungary.  President Harding signed the document in Raritan, New Jersey.  He was spending the July 4th weekend at the home of his friend Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen.







April 26, 1891-July 31, 1948
White cotton monogramed hand towel belonging to Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd’s death on July 31, 1948, our display this month is dedicated to her memory. 
I believe that it will not be exaggerating to say that meeting Lucy Rutherfurd for the first time was quite impressive. Very tall, like the rest of her family, exquisitely lovely and gracious, she impressed you not so much by her striking appearance as by the shining quality of her features, particularly in her smile. –Elizabeth Shoumatoff
Lucy Page Mercer was born in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 1891. She was the second daughter of Carroll Mercer of Maryland and Minna Leigh Tunis Mercer of Virginia. Although both parents were from prominent families, by the turn of the twentieth century the Mercers had fallen on hard times. Lucy, together with her sister Violetta and their mother Minnie lived in New York City for a short period. While there, Minnie earned a living as an “inside decorator”, a new profession catering to the needs of New York’s Gilded Age titans. By 1912, the trio had returned to Washington D.C. where, by early 1914, Lucy had secured a position as the social secretary to the wife of the recently appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was employed for three mornings a week at a salary of $30/week. Lucy worked for Eleanor Roosevelt until June, 1917 when America’s entry into WWI eliminated the need for a social secretary. In September, 1918, FDR returned from a tour of American naval installations in Europe gravely ill. Always helpful, Eleanor unpacked FDR’s suitcase and discovered a cachet of letters from Lucy to FDR. With the relationship now exposed, Eleanor offered FDR a divorce. He chose his career over Lucy. In 1920, Lucy married wealthy widower, Winthrop Rutherfurd. Lucy was not only an adoring wife but adored as the stepmother to Winthrop’s surviving five children. In 1922, Lucy and Winthrop’s daughter Barbara was added to the clan. Although he had promised never to contact Lucy again, we know that the two continued to communicate throughout the 1920s & 1930s.  After Winthrop’s death in March, 1944, Lucy became a clandestine visitor to the White House. She provided FDR with compassion, comfort and companionship until the day he died.



Template for Tranquility Cemetery Tablet for PETER RUTHERFURD STUYVESANT


In the spring of 2017, Rutherfurd Hall was fortunate to receive from the Hackettstown Historical Society a set of blueprints for the cemetery tablets for Peter Rutherfurd Stuyvesant.

Peter Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, son of Lewis Rutherfurd Stuyvesant and Elizabeth Larocque Smith Stuyvesant was born on December 8,1935 and died on April 17, 1970. He was the grandson of Rutherfurd Stuyvesant and the last direct male descendant of the Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam, Petrus Stuyvesant. He is buried with his grandfather, Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, his grandmother Matilde Elizabeth de Wasanauer Stuyvesant, his father, Lewis Rutherfurd Stuyvesant and his uncle Alain R

utherfurd Stuyvesant in the Tranquility Cemetery, Green Township, New Jersey.


The top of the tablet is emblazoned with a coat of arms which incorporates elements of both the Rutherfurd and the Stuyvesant crests. The crest is divided quarterly, the northwest and southeast quadrants contain the Rutherfurd family crest, the southwest and northeast quadrants contain the Stuyvesant crest. The Rutherfurd martlet is seen above on the right, the Stuyvesant salient half-stag is seen above on the left.

Casting her benevolent shadow over the five Stuyvesant gravesites is the Angel of Peace by Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial’s marble Abraham Lincoln



February 7, 1918 New York Times Midweek Pictorial

This 100 year-old issue of the NY Times Midweek Pictorial originally provided its readers with an always vivid, sometimes shocking glimpse into the horrors unfolding on the warfront in Europe. Newton D. Baker, President Wilson’s second Secretary of War(1916-1921), graces this week’s cover.

The Department of War was created in 1789 together with that of State, Treasury and the Attorney General’s Office as the original four departments of the Executive Branch of Government. In 1798 the Department of the Navy was established. In 1947, under President Truman, War and Navy were merged to create the Department of Defense. The cabinet positions of Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy would become one, the Secretary of Defense.

By February 7, 1918, America had entered this “war to end war” (April 6, 1917 Congress had declared war on Germany) and Russia was leaving. On January 8, 1918 Wilson presented Congress with his Fourteen Points as “the only possible basis for an enduring peace.” On March 3, 1918 Soviet Russia signed a treaty with Germany ending its participation in the war. With the arrival of the American troops, the tide of war began to turn in 1918. Then, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11/11/18) Germany signed the armistice halting hostilities.





This month, astronomy fans from across the nation are in for a special treat. On Monday, August 21, sky watchers in 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina will be in the path of a total solar eclipse. Here in New Jersey a partial solar eclipse will be visible.
To coincide with this celestial event Rutherfurd Hall’s Artifact of the Month is a recently-loaned instrument case belonging to the Rutherfurd family’s most celebrated astronomer, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd. Born November 25, 1816 in Morrisania, New York, Lewis was graduated from Williams College, Massachusetts in 1834. He then studied law with William H. Seward in Auburn, NY. He passed the New York bar exam in 1837 and thereafter practiced law with Peter Augustus Jay. By 1849 he had abandoned his law practice to dedicate his time and considerable efforts to his true passion, astronomy and astrophotography. He was a pioneer in spectral analysis and celestial photography. His inventions include the micrometer for measuring photographs as well as the first telescope specifically designed for astrophotography. He was a trustee of Columbia College (1854-1884) a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences (1863) and associate of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1874, he received the Rumford Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for “improvements in the processes and methods of Astronomical Photography.” Using his own inventions Rutherfurd produced a quality collection of photographs of the sun, moon and planets as well as star clusters and stars down to the fifth magnitude. English astronomer Richard Proctor, a contemporary, called him “the greatest lunar photographer of the age.” The lunar crater Rutherfurd bears his name. Lewis Morris Rutherfurd died at the family estate, Tranquillity, in Warren County, NJ on May 30, 1892.





With the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Gavrilo Princip on 28 June 1914, in Sarajevo, Europe ignited into a conflagration which would last from July, 1914 through November, 1918. By the end of World War I, this War to End All Wars would see over 70 million military personnel mobilized resulting in the deaths of more than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians.
Our artifact of the month comes from the Rutherfurd family collection. It is an Allies Special Aid Postcard dated 1917. The three original Allies or Entente Powers, the French Third Republic, the Russian Empire and Great Britain, were eventually joined by the nine other nations depicted here(other nations would join the Allies later in 1917). The Central Powers, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria would, by the war’s end, see their empires reduced, redrawn and redistributed as a result of the various treaties which finally ended the hostilities in 1919.
With America’s entry into the war in April, 1917, these postcards were sold as a fund raiser. Their proceeds were sent to the relief of the Allies, Allies Special Aid, 19 East 37th Street, New York City.
The year of each nation’s entry into the war is listed below.
Japan (1914); Montenegro (1914); Rumania (1916); Portugal (1916); Cuba (1917); Belgium (1914); Italy (1915); Gt. Britain (1914); USA (1917); France (1914); Russia (1914); Serbia 1914)



Alice Morton Rutherfurd was born in Newport, Rhode Island on March 23, 1879. She was the fourth daughter (Edith, 1874-1964; Lena, 1875-1904; Helen, 1876-1952; Mary 1881-1932) of Levi P. Morton and his second wife, Anna Livingston Street Morton. Levi P. Morton was a leading banker, diplomat, and politician of the 19th century. In 1863 he established his banking firm, L.P. Morton & Co in both New York and London. He served as a representative in Congress from New York (1879-1881), U.S. Minister to France (1881-1885), Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), and Governor of New York (1895-1897).
On February 18, 1902, Alice married Winthrop Chanler Rutherfurd in Grace Church in New York City. 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. In 1908 Alice and Winthrop converted to Catholicism. To honor his wife’s devotion Winthrop had a small chapel built on the family estate in Allamuchy, New Jersey. Her mother’s gift of a marble altar remains in the chapel today. Alice died of appendicitis on June 19, 1917 leaving behind a grieving husband and six young children ranging in age from 14 years to 2. In the 1920s her sister Helen financed the construction of a convent in Brooklyn for an order of Discalced Carmelites in Alice’s honor. Alice is buried in the family plot in Tranquility, New Jersey alongside her husband, children and grandchildren.






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.
He continued,
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.


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.