Object of the Week: Congressman Donald Payne greets Congressman John Lewis and Bono

DECEMBER IS UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH

Donald M. Payne served as a U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District from 1989 through 2012 and was the state’s first African American congressional representative.  Born and raised in Newark, he is an alumnus of Seton Hall University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1957 before continuing his studies at the graduate level at Springfield College in Massachusetts.[1] Before his life in politics, Donald M. Payne was an executive at Prudential Financial, served as vice president at Urban Data Systems and taught in Newark’s Public Schools.  In 1970, he became the first black president of the National Council of Y.M.C.A.s before becoming Chairman of the World Y.M.C.A. Refugee and Rehabilitation Committee.  In 1972, Payne ran for a seat on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and was elected – serving three terms in total. He also served three terms on the Newark Municipal council from 1982 to 1988.[2]

During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Payne served on many important committees and was a leading advocate for education, democracy, and human rights.  In his first term as congressional representative, Donald Payne was appointed to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. During his subsequent eleven terms in Congress, he also served on the following;  Subcommittee on Workforce Protections; the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education; the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, of which he was also the chairman; the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; and the Subcommittee on Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight. He was also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, serving as chair from 1995-1997.  He belonged to several other congressional caucuses, including the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, and co-founded the Sudan Caucus in 2005. [3]

from the left: U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks - NY (L) with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangarĩ Muta Maathai, Representative Donald Payne and Ambassador Leonard Ngaithe - MSS0078 courtesy of Archives and Special Collections
from the left: U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks – NY (L) with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangarĩ Muta Maathai, Representative Donald Payne and Ambassador Leonard Ngaithe – Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, MSS 0078

In 1994, Representative Payne led an official delegation to Rwanda, seeking to end the ethnic violence that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. He was also among the first to publicly denounce the Sudanese genocide in the country’s Darfur region in 2003.  Later, Payne called for an international tribunal which brought Sudanese militia members responsible for the massacres to justice.[4]  Representative Payne championed the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (2000) to promote African economic development and trade with the US. He sponsored or co-sponsored dozens of bills to help African countries economically, support peace, expand agricultural programs, provide safe drinking water and promote educational opportunities for millions of children. In 2008 he had a key role in the authorization of up to $48 billion over 5 years to fight HIV/AIDS, a substantial portion of it going to Africa.[5]

Upon his death in 2012, Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam, professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino and expert in human rights law, eulogized Representative Payne in Ethiopian News and Views: “His passing marks a major setback to the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia and Africa. But Don Payne has left us a rich legacy of human rights advocacy and legislative action spanning over two decades. It is now our burden — indeed our moral duty — to build, to expand and to deliver on that legacy.”[6]  The son of a chauffeur and lumber handler, Representative Payne worked his way through college while attending Seton Hall University.  He said, “We have to understand there are no more impossible dreams for black youngsters. They can do basically anything they want to do, and if I’m a prime example of that, all the better.”[7]  Whether serving on a global scale as a human rights activist, or motivating black youth locally, both messages are inspiring and demonstrate Payne’s unwavering commitment to service.  The Donald M. Payne Sr. Global Foundation continues Representative Payne’s work as a global human rights advocate and community activist.  You can watch this documentary video, The Life of Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. to learn more about his life’s work.

Seton Hall University’s Department of Archives and Special Collections holds the professional papers of Donald M. Payne from his time as U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district. The materials are related to Congressman Payne’s legislative work, particularly for the

Letter from Representative Gregory Meeks to Donald Payne, 2005 - MSS0078 courtesy of Archives and Special Collections
Letter from Representative Gregory Meeks to Donald Payne, 2005 – Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections MSS0078

House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as his work on behalf of his district and state. There are also background materials on a wide variety of issues, projects, events, and pieces of legislation relevant to Congressman Payne’s career, and materials related to his involvement in congressional organizations and activities, including a large number of press clippings, recorded appearances and speeches, and photographs depicting Congressman Payne with notable public figures and celebrities including Presidents of the United States and several other countries.[8]

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476.

 

[1] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242  accessed 11/17/2020

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_M._Payne accessed 11/17/2020

[3] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242 accessed 11/17/2020

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/donald-m-payne-njs-first-black-congressman-and-an-advocate-for-africa-dies-at-77/2012/03/03/gIQAWjLvuR_story.html accessed 11/17/2020

[5] https://ecadforum.com/2012/03/08/donald-payne-a-farewell-to-a-human-rights-champion/, accessed 11/17/2020.

[6] https://ecadforum.com/2012/03/12/delivering-on-donald-paynes-human-rights-legacy/, accessed 11/17/2020.

[7] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/donald-m-payne-njs-first-black-congressman-and-an-advocate-for-africa-dies-at-77/2012/03/03/gIQAWjLvuR_story.html, accessed 11/17/2020.

[8] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242, accessed 11/17/2020.

Object of the Week: Jennings Petroglyph

Jennings Petroglyph
sandstone
5’ x 4’ x 9.5”
3000-1000 BCE
FIM 610
Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology

 

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

The Jennings Petroglyph, an uncommon example and one of the largest of its kind in New Jersey, was created between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. It was originally located on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River across from Dingmans Ferry in Pike County, Pennsylvania. Meaning “rock carving,” the word petroglyph combines “petro” meaning “rock” and “glyph” meaning “symbol.” The exact significance of the imagery on the petroglyph has been obscured over time, though it is believed to likely be sacred. The petroglyph’s surface features 21 identifiable figures and 12 non-identifiable forms – including carvings of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures as well as dots and circles (cupules). Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Seton Hall, Herbert Kraft (1927-2000), described the images as “lizard-like figures or men with sexual appendages.”[1]

Diagram of the meaning of some of the imagery on the petroglyph
Interpretations of visuals on the petroglyph

The petroglyph was unearthed by Rudyard Jennings in 1965. It was donated to Seton Hall with the intention of protecting it from flooding caused by the proposed Tocks Island dam on the Delaware River site where the petroglyph was previously located. Ultimately, the dam was never built. The petroglyph’s first home at Seton Hall University was in the lobby of Fahy Hall, but it was moved to the second floor of the Walsh Library in August 2015. This move has allowed for easy viewing access by the university community and the public.

View of the Petroglyph on the 2nd floor of the Walsh Library
View of the Jennings Petroglyph on the 2nd floor of the Walsh Library

The Jennings Petroglyph will be featured in an exhibit at the National Scenic Visitors Center (NSVC) in Zionsville, Pennsylvania. The NSVC, founded in 2016, has the ultimate 10-year goal of creating Earthwalk USA, a 300-foot-long, 3D relief map of the United States from California to Maine, along with Alaska and Hawaii in correct geospatial orientation.[2] In the meantime, they have planned a traveling exhibit called Earthwalk Explorer featuring a 16’ x 8’ walkable relief map of the Northeast along with two Geoshows. In both Earthwalk USA and the traveling show, visitors will walk over the relief map in socks so that they can feel the topography of the United States for themselves! Our very own Jennings Petroglyph will be highlighted in one of the Geoshows, which centers on petroglyphs in Pennsylvania and how native groups of the region used them to communicate along trails. In early 2020, Michael Bianco of MZB Productions, Inc. came to Seton Hall to make a high-resolution scan of the petroglyph in-situ in order to create a 3D facsimile.

Image of the petroglyph being scanned
Michael Bianco and Collections Manager Romana Schaeffer scanning the Jennings Petroglyph

The Jennings Petroglyph is part of the Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (SHUMAA) collection. It is but a small part of a vast collection of artifacts from the SHUMAA collection, founded by Seton Hall Professor Herbert Kraft (1927-2000), a leading archaeologist and authority on the Leni Lenape tribe which inhabited New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania at the time Europeans arrived in the Americas.  For almost forty years, Kraft cultivated the collection with artifacts excavated from archaeological digs conducted throughout the region. Kraft was also instrumental in securing donations of artifacts from noted collectors and archaeologists. The SHUMAA collection includes over 26,000 Native American, Asian and African art and artifacts.

 


The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or walshgallery@shu.edu to make a research appointment.

 

[1] https://library.shu.edu/ld.php?content_id=51066456, accessed 11/23/2020.

[2] https://www.nsvc.us/exhibits-features/earthwalk-usa-map/, accessed 11/23/2020.

Object of the Week: Pomo Basket

Pomo basket
Plant fiber and shell
5” x 20” x 9 ½”
c. 1880
Collected by Brian Templeton, Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology
M2125

 

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

“Among our people, both men and women were basket makers. Everything in our lifestyle was connected to those baskets. Our lives were bound the way baskets were bound together.” -Susan Billy, Ukiah Pomo, master weaver and teacher[1]

This canoe-shaped gift basket with geometric designs and shell bead decoration is from the Pomo of California who are world renowned for their basketry. The Pomo are native to Mendocino, Sonoma and Lake Counties in Northern California. Historically, the Pomo were comprised of seven different groups with distinct dialects, each living in different areas. They lived in small groups linked by geography, lineage, cultural expression and marriage. However, they are not linked socially or politically as a unified group. Today there are more than 20 independent communities that make up the Pomo people.[2]

Pomo basketry comes in all shapes and sizes and both coiling and twining techniques are adeptly used. Coiling begins at the center of a basket and radiates outward in spirals. Each spiral is sewn to the one that precedes it. Twining is a technique in which one thread is woven over another to form a strong foundation of horizontal and verticals. Historically, the Pomo were known for making baskets woven so tightly they were naturally waterproof. Sedge grasses, willow roots and bullrushes gathered in local coasts and wetlands are commonly used in basket-making, in addition to bird feathers and shells.[3] Once collected, materials are dried, cleaned, split, soaked and dyed.[4] A common design in many Pomo baskets is the Dau, also called the “Spirit Door” which allows good spirits to come circulate inside the basket. There is no specific way for it to be designed – it could be depicted in a minute change in the stitching or an opening between stitches.[5]

In the past, baskets were decorative and given as gifts to respected elders and loved ones, while others served practical purposes in daily life. Women produced most Pomo baskets, specifically those for cooking, storage, and religious ceremonies, while men traditionally made baskets for trapping, fishing, and cradles.[6] Beginning in the 1880’s the tourist industry boomed and a demand for woven goods invigorated production for sale rather than use.

This Pomo basket is from the Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (SHUMAA) collection. It is but a small part of a vast collection of artifacts from the SHUMAA collection, founded by Seton Hall Professor Herbert Kraft (1927-2000), a leading archaeologist and authority on the Leni Lenape tribe which inhabited New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania at the time Europeans arrived in the Americas.  For almost forty years, Kraft cultivated the collection with artifacts excavated from archaeological digs conducted throughout the region. Kraft was also instrumental in securing donations of artifacts from noted collectors and archaeologists. The SHUMAA collection includes over 26,000 Native American, Asian and African art and artifacts.

 


The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or walshgallery@shu.edu to make a research appointment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.kstrom.net/isk/art/basket/pomohist.html, accessed 11/16/2020.

[2] https://www.drycreekrancheria.com/history-2/, accessed 11/13/2020.

[3] https://www.drycreekrancheria.com/culture/, accessed 11/16/2020.

[4] https://americanindian.si.edu/exhibitions/all_roads_are_good/pomobasket.htm, accessed 11/16/2020.

[5] https://americanindian.si.edu/exhibitions/all_roads_are_good/pomobasket.htm, accessed 11/16/2020.

[6] https://www.hoplandtribe.com/culture-traditions, accessed 11/16/2020.

Object of the Week: Page from “The History of Rama”

Page from “The History of Rama”
19th century Javanese Manuscript
Ink on Dutch paper
Herbert Kraft Manuscript Collection, MSS 0029


ON THIS AUSPICIOUS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, MAY THE GLOW OF JOY, PROSPERITY AND HAPPINESS ILLUMINATE YOUR LIFE AND YOUR HOME.

This hand-written page comes from the Ramayana, one of the most notable ancient epics in world literature.  This particular text has been translated from Kawi, an ancient script of the Indonesian island of Java. Kawi borrows considerably from Sanskrit, the classical language of South Asia.[1]

Image of people with many candles lit on the ground at night
Diwali celebrations Image: Khokarahman, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Ramayana, from Hindi mythology, recounts how Lord Rama, following 14 years in exile, returned to find his wife Sita had been kidnapped by Ravana, the demon ruler of Lanka.[2]  Sita’s kidnapping resulted in a war in which Rama was ultimately victorious over King Ravana and his forces. Rama and Sita then began their long journey home, their way lit by oil lamps set out by people to guide them on their way and welcome them back.[3] Rama was crowned king upon his return and large festivities were held to memorialize his triumph.

 

Image of people with many candles lit on the ground at night
Image of rangoli: Dinesh Korgaokar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36581728

The story of Rama is the basis for Diwali celebrations, a festival observed by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It is often called the festival of lights, reflected in the bold displays of color and light symbolizing Rama’s victory of light over darkness and good’s triumph over evil.[4] Diwali is commemorated worldwide with fireworks, light displays, dancing and food. In addition to the larger festivities, people decorate their homes with lights and rangolis – an art form that consists of precise and elaborate geometric patterns that are made from a variety of materials including rice, colored sand and flowers.[5]  The holiday is often associated with Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity, as this festival is also a time to bring prosperity into one’s life. Prayer, worship and rituals (puja) to Lakshmi are an important part of the celebrations and this deity is worshipped especially during this time.[6]

Image of the goddess Lakshmi
Image: Lakshmi on her lotus in the water with elephant. Chromolithograph by R. Varma.
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only license CC BY 4.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the United States observe Diwali, including many in New Jersey specifically. Though the Hindu population is considered a minority in America at less than 1% of the country’s total population, New Jersey has the largest concentration of Hindu people in the nation, making up 3% of the total state population.  New Jersey is also home to the world’s largest Hindu Temple, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple located in Robbinsville. The temple is astonishingly large at 133 feet in length, 87 feet in width, and 42 feet in height – covering 162 acres.[7]  Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in the 20th century, with immigration beginning in earnest in the late 1960s and continuing to the present day.  Siddhachalam, a mission located in Blairstown, New Jersey is the first pilgrimage site for Jains outside of India to gather in one place for worship, study and reflection.  The mission is a religious public charity in special consultative status with the United Nations.[8] In the 1980s, Sikh immigrants from India began arriving in America, with many settling in New Jersey. New Jersey and New York have among the largest populations of Sikhs in the country. Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey’s attorney general, and Ravi Bhalla, the mayor of Hoboken, are some of the most well-known Sikhs in New Jersey politics.[9]

Detail of hand painted imagery from“The History of Rama” 19th century Javanese Manuscript Ink on Dutch paper Herbert Kraft Manuscript Collection, MSS 0029
Detail of hand painted imagery from“The History of Rama” 19th century Javanese Manuscript Ink on Dutch paper Herbert Kraft Manuscript Collection, MSS 0029

 


The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or walshgallery@shu.edu to make a research appointment. 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit, accessed 11/10/2020.

[2] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ravana, accessed 11/10/2020.

[3] https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the-story-of-diwali#:~:text=Rama%20is%20the%20hero%20of,kidnapped%20Sita%20from%20her%20captor.&text=And%20here%20is%20the%20beautiful,rescued%20by%20Rama%20and%20Hanuman.&text=In%20the%20story%20of%20Diwali,Rama%20and%20Sita’s%20return%20home, accessed 11/20/2020.

[4] https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/27/diwali-say-someone-celebrating-festival-10990832/?ito=cbshare, accessed 11/6/2020.

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangoli, accessed 11/10/2020.

[6] https://www.hindustantimes.com/art-and-culture/diwali-2018-history-and-significance-of-deepawali-festival/story-S6lqJCmVDJwjgXEmZTW1TO.html, accessed 11/10/2020.

[7] https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/us-states-by-population-of-hindus.html#:~:text=Hinduism%20in%20New%20Jersey,Mandir%20Temple%20located%20in%20Robbinsville, accessed 11/10/2020.

[8] https://www.siddhachalam.org/about/, accessed 11/10/2020.

[9] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/nyregion/sikh-bigotry-power-nj.html, accessed 11/10/2020.

Object of the Week: George Washington Bicentennial Button

VETERANS DAY – HONORING SERVICE IN THE U.S. ARMED FORCES

George Washington is remembered as a Founding Father of the United States of America, the first president of the country, as well as a military veteran. He received his military training with the Virginia Regiment, and was later selected as a delegate to the Continental Congress which in turn, appointed him as the Commanding General of the Continental Army in 1775.  Washington declined a salary but was reimbursed for his expenses.[1]  He ultimately led American forces to victory against the British in the fight for independence before ascending to the presidency.  In his newly-defined role as President, Washington was also commander in chief of the nation’s military forces.  This political button from the Department of Archives and Special Collections depicts Washington dressed in military gear, demonstrating his astute understanding that effectiveness as a military leader and president was contingent on appearance as well as action.[2]

Brass button that says, "G.W. - Long Live the President"
Image courtesy of Mark Finkenstaedt via www.mountvernon.org

Political buttons are a uniquely American invention that originated with George Washington’s presidential campaign.[3] His candidacy was also the first presidential election in the United States.  Washington and his supporters wore a brass button that said “G.W. – Long Live the President“, the phrase proclaimed by Robert Livingston, the Chancellor of New York, after he administered the Oath of Office to George Washington in April 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City.[4] The Electoral College unanimously elected Washington as the first president in 1789, and again 1792.  He is the only president in American history to receive the totality of electoral votes.[5] The political pins worn by Washington’s supporters were more like buttons, sewn to lapels and did not include a likeness of the candidates. The first photographic image on a political pin dates to 1860 during Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign. Lincoln, and his running mate for Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin, ran on the Republican ticket and used metal buttons with tintype images of each candidate on opposite sides which more palpably demonstrated support of candidates. [6]

The ferrotype and tintype photographic processes that allowed images of candidates to be reproduced widely were invented in the 1850s.  The invention of photography enabled widespread dissemination of candidates’ likenesses in a time before widespread media, such as television, the internet and social media allowed voters to see images of political hopefuls. The political button is one of the oldest and most popular ways to indicate support of a particular candidate or issue.

This pin from Seton Hall University’s Department of Archives and Special Collections features the face of George Washington on a gold background with a red, white and blue accent ribbon.  It was issued in 1932 to mark the bicentennial of his birth. It is one of many different style buttons issued to commemorate the occasion.

For approximately the past 120 years, slogans, pictures, and names have been widely used to promote candidates and causes. While buttons are still produced today, disposable stickers are more frequently used at rallies and political events, since they can be made cheaply and in larger quantities.  This pin is but one of a large collection of political buttons housed in the Archives and Special Collections Center.  This collection was cultivated and donated by Monsignor Francis Seymour, former Archivist for the Archdiocese of Newark.  The collection contains political buttons from national and state elections, as well as those endorsing particular political causes.    ­

 

__________________

The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington, accessed 11/2/2020

[2] https://www.mountvernon.org/preservation/collections/general-washingtons-military-equipment/, accessed 11/2/2020

[3] http://archives.library.yorku.ca/exhibits/show/pushingbuttons/history-of-political-buttons, accessed 10/19/2020

[4] https://www.mountvernon.org/preservation/collections-holdings/the-material-culture-of-the-presidency/inaugural-buttons/, accessed 10/19/2020

[5] https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/presidential-election-of-1789/, accessed 10/19/2020

[6] https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/324508/, accessed 10/19/2020

Object of the Week: Order Sons of Italy Ballot Balls and Bag

Ballot Balls and Bag
from the Order of the Sons of Italy, Umberto Primo Lodge No. 750 (Susquehanna, PA)
wood, paint and fiber
undated
2019.12.0004
Gift of the New Jersey Grand Lodge, Order of the Sons of Italy

 

OCTOBER IS ITALIAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE AND CULTURE MONTH
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ORDER SONS OF ITALY AND VOTING

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The word ballot comes from the Italian ‘ballotta’ – meaning little ball.  Before the use of paper ballots or the invention of voting machines, voters used black and white balls such as these.  To cast a vote in favor of one candidate or issue, a white ball would be dropped into a wooden box.  The black ball would be used to vote against a candidate or a referendum. This method of voting is known to have been used as far back as ancient Athens using clay, instead of wooden balls.  Though the use of paper ballots dates to Rome in 139 B.C.E., the paper ballot did not come into use in the United States until the 1880’s.  New York and Massachusetts were the first states to adopt paper ballots for elections.[1]

Even now many civic groups, private organizations and social clubs still use this ancient system of voting to settle decisions about programs and membership.[2] This set of voting balls was used at the Umberto Primo Lodge No. 750 of The Order of the Sons of Italy[3] in America in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. The Order Sons of Italy was founded in New York’s Little Italy neighborhood in 1905.  The organization was formed to serve Italian immigrants during the height of the Great Migration (1880 – 1923) when over 4 million Italian men, women and children crossed the Atlantic to settle in the United States.[4] It served as a support system to assist with attaining citizenship, accessing health benefits, locating educational opportunities and assimilating to life in America.  Today, the organization focuses on service and advocacy for the nation’s estimated 26 million people of Italian descent through educational programs, medical research, disaster relief and the promotion of Italian culture, among other initiatives.[5] From its inception women shared equal rights in The Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, representing the organization at the state and national levels, including high ranking positions such as president, vice-president and trustee.[6]

Though Greece is often noted as the birthplace of democracy, the four Ballot Laws of the Roman Republic, adopted by the government from 139 to 107 B.C.E., codified the system of secret ballots for; the election of magistrates (judges),  then juries, followed by the legislature and finally, matters of treason.  Prior to the secret ballot, Roman citizens and public officials registered their vote orally.  This public procedure of voting often produced social pressure or even public intimidation to vote a certain way on an issue or for a particular candidate.[7]

Historically in the United States, there have been numerous obstacles to voting and the right to do so was, and for many continues to be, a hard-earned struggle.  It was not until 1869 when the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was passed that black men could vote.  Even with the passage of the amendment, there were many obstructions to voting such as poll taxes and literacy tests.[8] Women were not able to vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. It was not until two landmark revisions to the United States Constitution, the passage of the 24th Amendment of 1964, which eliminated poll taxes, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which abolished Jim Crow laws[9] – a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation and marginalized African Americans while denying them equal rights and opportunities – that voting was open to the population at large.[10] The Voting Rights Act, however, is no longer fully intact. The 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder undid the provision requiring states with a history of racial bias in voting to get permission before passing new voting laws, which has resulted in stricter voting statutes in some states.[11]

In the last United States presidential election, approximately 55% of eligible voters cast a ballot.  This is far behind other developed countries such as Belgium which had a turnout of over 87% in their most recent elections, Sweden at almost 83% and South Korea which came in third at just under 78% on the list of the top 10 countries with the largest voter turnout.[12]  For more information on voting, visit PLANYOURVOTE at https://www.planyourvote.org.The website is a clearinghouse of information to promote and empower citizens in the exercise of their voting rights. The site provides a plethora of useful information on voting along with links to register to vote, check your voter registration status, and request an absentee ballot. They also have an excellent database of some great works of art on the subject of voting that are worth a look.[13]

 


The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or walshgallery@shu.edu to make a research appointment

 

 

[1] https://votrite.com/evolution-of-voting-history-voting-methods/, accessed 10/14/2020

[2] https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2000-11-17-0011170210-story.html,  accessed 10/14/2020

[3] Originally known as “Figli d’Italia” the Order Sons of Italy in America, the group is now known as “Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America.”

[4] https://www.osia.org/about/history/, accessed 10/14/2020

[5] https://www.pbs.org/destinationamerica/usim_wn_noflash_5.html#:~:text=Between%20around%201880%20and%201924,in%20Southern%20Italy%20and%20Sicily, accessed 10/14/2020

[6] https://www.osia.org/about/who-we-are/, accessed 10/19/2020

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot_laws_of_the_Roman_Republic#cite_note-29, accessed 10/14/2020

[8] https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/why-voting-important/, accessed 10/14/2020

[9] https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/why-voting-important/, accessed 10/14/2020

[10] https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/jim-crow-laws, accessed 10/14/2020

[11] https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/policy-solutions/effects-shelby-county-v-holder, accessed 10/19/2020

[12] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/these-countries-have-some-of-the-highest-voter-turnout-in-the-world/, accessed 10/14/2020

[13] https://www.planyourvote.org/about, accessed 10/14/2020

Object of the Week: Roman Coin of Julius Caesar

Denarius of Julius Caesar
silver
5/8″ x 5/8″
103 B.C.E.
2015.16.0315
The D’Argenio Collection
Gift of Ron D’Argenio

Julius Caesar was known as a skilled politician, gifted orator and military general. A popular leader, he initiated a program of social and governmental reforms including; the extension of citizenship to those living in Roman territories, support for military veterans, redistribution of property to the poor, and the creation of the Julian calendar, the same one we use today. Though he favored Republican ideals towards the beginning of his reign, he was assassinated, in part, for his increasingly dictatorial manner of rule. The coin features the image of Mars, god of war, wearing a crested helmet.

 


The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or walshgallery@shu.edu to make a research appointment. 

Object of the Week: “Madonna of the Rosary” by Lucas Vorsterman the Elder

Lucas Vorsterman the Elder
Madonna of the Rosary (after Caravaggio)
engraving
22” H x 16.5” W
early 17th century
2013.00.0009
Image courtesy of the Walsh Gallery

 

OCTOBER IS THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY

This engraving by Lucas Vorsterman the Elder is after an original painting by Caravaggio.  Though we do not know the patron of this work, art historians believe Caravaggio’s painting was part of an altarpiece created for a Dominican church – inferred by the presence of Saint Dominic – shown on the right holding rosaries in his outstretched hands.  It is thought the figure peering from beneath Saint Dominic’s robes is the patron who commissioned this work given his eye contact with the viewer and proximity to the saint and the Virgin Mary.[1]

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Roche, Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in 1206 after praying.  She gave Saint Dominic the Rosary, explained its uses and significance, and told him to preach it to others.[2]  The Rosary consists of prayer and meditations on the life of Christ using rosary beads as an aid.  Catholics pray the rosary to ask God for a special favor, such as helping a loved one recover from an illness, or to thank God for blessings received.[3]

The rosary has 59 beads, a crucifix, and a medal, with certain prayers for each of the pieces. The prayers of the rosary can be divided into three categories: Introductory Prayers, The Decades and Closing Prayers.[4]  The prayers that compose the rosary are arranged in sets of ten “Hail Mary” prayers. Each set of ten, or decade, is preceded by one “Lord’s Prayer” (“Our Father”) and traditionally followed by one “Glory Be.”  During the recitation of each set, thought is given to one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall events in the lives of Jesus and of Mary. Five decades are recited per rosary.[5]

The term rosary is derived from the Latin word rosarium or rose garden and the rose is the symbol of the Virgin Mary.The earliest documented use of the term rosary dates back to 1597[6], though the story of Saint Dominic tells us the word likely appeared much earlier in time.  Rosary beads are made from a variety of materials.  These include ordinary ones such as plastic, rope or wood, or more expensive materials such as gemstones or precious metals.  The tradition of using beads to pray spans across many faiths and cultures.  Hindus, Greeks, Buddhists and numerous other peoples use beads to pray.  Interestingly enough, the word bead in English is derived from an Old English word that means prayer.[7]

Rosary with made of red plastic beads and a metal chain and crucifix, Collection on Pope John Paul II (MSS 0004)
Rosary, Collection on Pope John Paul II (MSS 0004)

 

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The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens. For access to this or objects in our collections, complete this research request form to set up an appointment. 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_of_the_Rosary_(Caravaggio)  accessed 10/7/2020

[2] https://www.livingbreadradio.com/2015/09/october-the-month-of-the-holy-rosary/ accessed 10/7/2020

[3] https://m.theholyrosary.org/  accessed 10/7/2020

[4] https://dynamiccatholic.com/rosary/how-to-pray-the-rosary accessed 10/7/2020

[5] https://m.theholyrosary.org/  accessed 10/7/2020

[6] https://dynamiccatholic.com/rosary/history-of-the-rosary accessed 10/7/2020

[7] https://dynamiccatholic.com/rosary/history-of-the-rosary accessed 10/7/2020

 

Object of the Week: Medal Commemorating the Opening of the Second Vatican Council

Vatican II opening commemorative medal
Features image of Pope John XXIII
gold
1960s
Gift of Dr. Peter Ahr

 

COMMEMORATING THE OPENING OF

THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

58 YEARS AGO

Informally known as Vatican II or the Second Vatican Council, The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, was formally opened 58 years ago on October 11, 1962 under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII.[1]  Vatican II addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world – establishing a strong emphasis on ecumenism (promoting union between religions), a revised liturgy and new approaches to Catholic engagement with the world.[2]  Sessions were held annually among Bishops over the course of the four years, concluding under the pontificate of Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1965, ushering in an era of numerous liturgical, spiritual and lay movements.[3] 

News clipping titled, "Committee on Canon Law Appointed by Pope John"
“Committee on Canon Law Appointed by Pope John,” unattributed newsclipping, 1950’s, John M. Oesterreicher papers, Mss 0053, Courtesy of the Monsignor Field Archives and Special Collections Center
Image of Archbishop Thomas Boland, c. 1960s
Archbishop Thomas Boland, c. 1960s

The Department of Archives and Special Collections and the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University hold a vast array of manuscripts, photographs, documents, news clippings, artifacts and materials related to Vatican II that illuminate this propitious moment in history.  Some of the most comprehensive collections on the Council held by Seton Hall University include archival materials related to the church leaders that served on the council and in the Seton Hall University community, including Monsignor John

Black and white image of Bishop John Joseph Dougherty seated, c. 1960s
Bishop John Joseph Dougherty, c. 1960s

M. Oesterreicher, Bishop John Joseph Dougherty – at the time of Vatican II an Auxiliary Bishop of Newark and former president of Seton Hall University – and materials related to Archbishop Thomas Boland.[4]  Selected issues of the Catholic Advocate, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark, have been digitized and are also available for in person research or online at the Catholic News Archive.

 

Newspaper clipping from The Catholic Advocate titled “Monsignor Oesterreicher Presents Copy of ‘The Bridge’ to Pope.”
“Monsignor Oesterreicher Presents Copy of ‘The Bridge’ to Pope,” The Catholic Advocate, September 22, 1960, pg. 1 digitized Vatican II (1958-1964) editions of the Catholic Advocate courtesy of the Catholic News Archive.

 

 

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The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For more information or to make an appointment, contact 973-761-9476 or archives@shu.edu

 

[1] https://www.shu.edu/news/documents-of-vatican-ii.cfm accessed 10/2/2020

[2] https://www.catholicregister.org/features/item/15194-what-changed-at-vatican-ii  accessed 10/1/2020

[3] https://www.shu.edu/news/documents-of-vatican-ii.cfm accessed 10/2/2020

[4] https://blogs.shu.edu/archives/tag/oesterreicher/ accessed 10/5/2020

 

Object of the Week – Portrait of Monsignor John A. Stafford, S.T.L.

 

 

Monsignor John A. Stafford, S.T.L., was the eighth President of Seton Hall College from 1899 to 1907, presiding over the college’s Golden Anniversary in 1906.  At the dawn of the new century, Monsignor Stafford oversaw a number of advances on our campus including the construction of a School Infirmary and a residence for the Sisters of Charity, which helped run campus operations at the time.[i]  The order was founded in the tradition of Seton Hall University’s namesake, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and the sisterhood, which still operates today from Convent Station in Morris County, New Jersey, advocates for human rights, peace and non-violence, while promoting systemic change.  In addition to putting his support behind health and humanitarian causes, Monsignor Stafford’s tenure also saw the first inter-collegiate basketball team in 1903 and inaugurated the construction of the college’s first permanent baseball diamond just two years later.[ii]

Monsignor John A. Stafford studied classics at St. John’s in Pennsylvania and later, at Seton Hall College.  He continued his studies at the seminary at Pontifical North American College in Rome in 1882.  Six years later, he was ordained and entered the priesthood on April 8, 1888.  On returning to the United States, he served in various New Jersey parishes and was later appointed as Vice President of Seton Hall College in 1893 under Father Marshall’s administration.  In 1897 he was selected as rector of St. Augustine’s Church in Union Hill (Union City), New Jersey before returning to Seton Hall College in 1899 to serve as President after being appointed on May 10, 1899 by the Most Rev. Winand M. Wigger, third Bishop of Newark.[iii]  At the time, student enrollment at the college was 165.  In comparison, today’s enrollment is well over 10,000 students.[iv]

In Monsignor Stafford’s time, the campus of Seton Hall College was very different.  South Orange was still a rural area with many farms and open spaces.  In fact, there was a farm on the north side of South Orange Avenue which contained a dairy to supply food products needed on campus.  Students and professors were obligated to obey the rule of silence which forbade talking in any of the class corridors.  Saturday was no time for resting – students attended a full day of classes on that day too.  There was a less stringent side to Monsignor Stafford who was known to have a good singing voice.  There are accounts of him regaling students and faculty at a Christmas party to his renditions of “Noel,” followed by an encore of “An Old Christmas Dinner.”[v]

Map of South Orange from 1910
Map of South Orange from 1910. 2019.10.0007.

In addition to serving as the President of Seton Hall College, Monsignor Stafford was simultaneously charged with running the seminary rectory.  Monsignor Stafford, despite his busy schedule, frequently lectured in pastoral theology and liturgy.   During his term as President, a liberal arts curriculum was emphasized with “stress on the classics, history, English, mathematics, philosophy, and systematic instruction in the Catholic religion.” [vi] During his tenure as President of Seton Hall College, Father Stafford was elevated to the rank of Monsignor in 1903.

Image of the Paramount Theatre in Newark, NJ
Façade of the Paramount Theatre in Newark, NJ

The Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1906 in which Monsignor Stafford presided were filled with commemorative ceremonies and special events, including the very first commencement exercises held indoors at the nearby H.C. Miner’s Newark Theatre, which opened in 1886 as a vaudeville house.  With its elaborately decorated interior and grand façade, the theatre was an elegant setting for the graduation ceremonies. [vii]  Though its name has since changed many times and the current marquee shows its age, the old theatre still stands prominently at 195 Market Street, just steps from Seton Hall Law School in the city’s downtown business district.

Black and white photograph of Msgr. John A. Stafford, seated
Msgr. John A. Stafford

Citing health issues, Monsignor Stafford resigned in 1907 and was succeeded by Monsignor John F. Mooney as President.[viii]  Monsignor Stafford continued to serve the community after leaving Seton Hall College, becoming pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Church in Jersey City, New Jersey.  He then went to St. Patrick’s Church in Jersey City.  He died on January 21, 1913, not far from his native Paterson, New Jersey where he was born on March 13, 1857.[ix]

Monsignor Stafford’s influence can still be felt on campus today.  The portrait of Monsignor Stafford painted by A. Dies in 1904, watches over activities in President’s Hall.  The liberal arts curriculum he favored is still taught, now joined by additional courses of study in the sciences, medicine, business and diplomacy, among others.  Stafford Hall, one of three original buildings, was one of the centerpieces of the campus at the time of its completion.  Originally used as a dormitory, Stafford Hall was rebuilt in 2014 on its same location between Marshall Hall and the Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology. The new building is constructed in the original neo-gothic style, but offers 21st century amenities to accommodate student and faculty needs.  This building style, drawing from the past, but equipped to support student achievement, is a metaphor for Monsignor Stafford’s leadership and service in the Catholic tradition – rooted in a rich past, while striving towards potentiality.

Historic image of the original Stafford Hall, which was a dormitory
Historic image of the original Stafford Hall Dormitory

 

For r access to this painting or other materials from our collections featured in previous Object of the week posts, fill out this research request form to set up a research appointment.

 

[i] https://www.shu.edu/president/presidents-of-seton-hall.cfm, accessed 9/21/2020

[ii] https://www.shu.edu/president/presidents-of-seton-hall.cfm, accessed 9/22/2020

[iii].https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/sites/default/files/digitallibrary/smof/publicliaison/blackwell/box-034/40_047_7007844_034_008_2017.pdf, accessed 9/23/2020

[iv] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/277, accessed 9/23/2020

[v] https://www.shu.edu/president/presidents-of-seton-hall.cfm

[vi] https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/sites/default/files/digitallibrary/smof/publicliaison/blackwell/box-034/40_047_7007844_034_008_2017.pdf , accessed 9/23/2020

[vii] https://afterthefinalcurtain.net/2011/09/28/the-newark-paramount-theatre/#:~:text=The%20Paramount%20Theatre%20opened%20on,Brooklyn%20based%20theater%20Management%20Company, accessed 9/22/2020

[viii] Flynn, Joseph M. The Catholic Church in New Jersey. Morristown, NJ: 1904. Kennely, Edward F. A Historical Study of Seton Hall College. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1944.

[ix] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/277 9/23/2020