ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH AUGUST, 2017
LEWIS MORRIS RUTHERFURD’S INSTRUMENT CASE
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.
ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH—JULY, 2017
ALLIES SPECIAL AID POSTCARD 1917
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)
ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH—JUNE, 2017
ALICE MORTON RUTHERFURD (1879-1917)
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.
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 -MARCH, 2017
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.