During the Centennial Year of Seton Hall University in 1956, this milestone date in school history led to the planning of a number of public programs that commemorated not only the evolution of the academic-based legacy of Setonia found in the classroom, but also the contributions of her students, faculty, and alumni to American society at large. The presentations and specially-themed events scheduled throughout the 1956 Academic Year not only touched upon the ties Seton Hall nurtured in relation to religious life and educational enlightenment, but also linked to industry, commerce, medical support, science, publishing, and a number of other disciplines that touched upon community support. Additionally, the most visible area of community public service in which Setonia had a long history of connections was that of political science and governmental affairs.
Event program cover from the Centennial of Seton Hall University (1956)Beyond having a long and productive relationship with a number of local and national politicians alike, the school and its cognizance of the United States Presidency is one that has been one that has been studied via courses campus-wide over the last several semesters and the campus has hosted various candidates for the highest office in the land over the last several decades. When it comes to sitting Chief Executives and their appearances within the Seton Hall story, the most famous example was the visit of President Ronald Reagan at the Commencement Exercises held on the University Green in 1983. However, another chapter that is notable was the invitation extended to President Dwight David Eisenhower by University President Monsignor John McNulty to be a part of the Centennial Convocation in 1956.
The invitation to “Ike” was a logical idea since it was a major anniversary celebration for the institution, but the Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Appointments Secretary to President Eisenhower was noted lawyer, Mr. Bernard Shanley, a native of Newark who served in this capacity from 1955-57 and had established ties to Seton Hall and the Archdiocese. Ike was also connected to the values of higher education as the former President of Columbia University (1948-53) along with his prestige as a war hero and leader of the country all made for the hope that he would be a part of this anniversary pageant. However, President Eisenhower would ultimately send his regrets via telegram that he could not attend ceremonies in South Orange that year.
When retrospectively looking behind the reasons why Ike would not grace center stage at the podium, or the strains of “Hail to the Chief” were not heard, were various and understandable. In conducting research through the diaries of Bernard Shanley held within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and various Seton Hall-centered resources a picture of the inner-workings of scheduling during late-February through early March emerges. Ike was a popular president, but he was facing the unknown when it came to re-election and the Democratic primaries going on at that time which included candidates Estes Kefauver (TN), W. Averell Harriman (NY) and eventual nominee Adlai Stevenson (IL). This took on greater significance as rumors as to the ill health of President Eisenhower were reported nationwide through the early months of 1956. On February 29th, Ike made a public pronouncement that he would seek re-election that November. Otherwise, during that first week of March, Ike was in conference regarding a letter written by FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover on the topic of Civil Rights (3/1), preparation for a Summit Meeting with leaders from Canada and Mexico later that month with input from former President Herbert Hoover (3/3), a speech to the Fourth Annual Republican Women’s National Conference (3/6), taking time to send a birthday greeting to Pope Pius XII, and other duties along with sending the telegram of regrets to Monsignor McNulty and the Seton Hall community.
Although he did not physically visit our campus, this gesture of recognition by President Eisenhower was well-received by the Seton Hall community at the time and his place although directly fleeting in terms of personal contact with the school would be helpful through various initiatives such as the first White House Commission on Education (1955), various Higher Education initiatives (1950s-1960), and the Federal Aid Highway Act (1956) for commuters, among other imprints made by Ike and other Chief Executives over the years as we remember them on as part of this President’s Day observance.
For more information about our Manuscript Collections including the Bernard Shanley Papers, and other aspects of U.S. Political and Seton Hall University history we can be reached via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
January 23rd marks National Handwriting Day which was established in 1977 to promote and celebrate the usage of writing instruments from the quill to ballpoint pens along with the paper upon which such methods as cursive, script, and other self-expression is put into print for posterity. This particular date was also chosen to commemorate the birthday of John Hancock, first Autographer of the Declaration of Independence who arguably has the most famous signature in American History. However, the story of handwriting can be traced further back in time.
Written communication can be traced back to Ancient Rome (c. fifth century AD) that was built on contributions from other founding civilizations and in the process became an important means of non-verbal communication and by extension preserving the word of the author for future reference. As this practice caught hold and moving forward to other eras, the Medieval period has been noted for manuscripts reproduced by cloistered monks who patiently and expertly provided copies of texts (mainly Christian and classical-based) as an important service to humanity as a means of promoting literacy and inspire deeper learning opportunities than ever before. With the advent of the Printing Press during the sixteenth century this lessened the need for handwritten, mass produced works and ushered in a new era of mass-produced writings. Despite this invention the trade art of “penmanship” still became a sought after skill set especially in the documentary establishment of the American Republic and as the nation grew in size and population where school systems, mail service, and other forums for handwritten communication were created.
With the establishment of the United States and moving into the nineteenth century, a bookkeeper named Platt Rogers Spencer who adopted a method to teach cursive writing that was captured in various textbooks and made its way to various schools and colleges to help students improve their respective writing styles. Eventually print and cursive developed into various methods side-by-side in the dawn before typewriters and later computers would help with journaling and interpersonal communication. Overall, expanded technology has superseded the need or want to write as a matter of preferred course. More information on the historical evolution of handwriting can be referenced via the V-Letter and History Channel sites found via the links located below . . .
Although handwriting is not in vogue in the present day except for the most part among those who prefer traditional forms of communication and to “jot down” information, but if nothing else a personal signature and/or requested autograph are at the very least a form of handwriting that has held on as a mark of personal identification and shows that the practice has not departed altogether. These examples are true to life within the world of Seton Hall academic life where note-taking is now mainly done via a computer laptop, etc. But there is always a place for handwriting to remain even though it is rarer to find schools that teach this craft in full, or even the elementary level basics nowadays.
When looking at historical textbooks and examples within our Rare Book Collection there are a pair of texts found that show how the student of the nineteenth century learned the finer art of taking their writing skills into advanced applications. The following works include the following texts . . .
A volume entitled: Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence in Speaking, Pronouncing, and Writing the English Language, Corrected. (New York: D. Burgess & Co., 1856) [Call Number: PE1460 .B8 1856] is one that saw print in the same year that Seton Hall College was founded. Within this book, the modern reader can see what some of the most common errors and correct approaches were made among the student body of yore.
Within this volume you can see five hundred individual examples from the first . . .
“THE business would suit any one who enjoys bad health.” [From an advertisement in a daily newspaper of New-York.] Few persons who have bad health can be said to enjoy it. Use some other form of expression: as, one in delicate health, or, one whose health is bad.”
Through to the five-hundredth on their list . . .
The last direction which this little book will give on the subject with which it has been occupied, is one that long ago was given in the greatest of books – “Let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ.” If obedience to this injunction may not guard him who heeds it against the commission of such mistakes as are numbered in this catalogue, it will not fail to lead him out of the way of errors more grievous and solemn.”
More specific to Setonia, is the book entitled – How to Write Letters: A Manual of Correspondence Showing the Correct Structure, Composition, Punctuation, Formalities, and Uses of the Various Kinds of Letters, Notes, and Cards by J. Willis Westlake (Philadelphia: Christopher Sower Co., 1876) [Call Number: PE 1485 .W4 1876] Our version was once owned by a former student – Thomas Raftery, ’93 who not only possessed this copy, but along with the book, but also found within the text block was a letter from his mother that shows a perfect example of cursive writing from that period.
Along with their primer in tow, Mr. Raftery would have encountered a core curriculum that was totally structured and included detailed classes in English Composition along with optional instruction in stenography and/or drawing (for $50.00 per annum apiece) to help with his writing practice and perfecting his form. Even though Mr. Raftery attended the school for a brief time without graduating he did have the basic tools to aid with his writing efforts. This is one of many examples that features unique handwritten registers, letters, and other documents based content that have been transcribed and preserved in our repository. These materials are available to researchers for exploration and perspective on handwriting styles and content that have been created through sight and hand alike.
For more information on the other 498 Mistakes, see other examples of handwriting in the name of academic life and administrative business, and other aspects of handwriting along with the Rare Books and Seton Hall History feel free to reach out to us via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
The impact that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) had on society is manifest especially when it came to his legacy in regard to the Civil Rights movement. The individuals, writings, and imagery that captured his life and impact is extensive. However, it is also noteworthy to reference and reflect upon those who influenced his own philosophy and teachings.
Among the more famous individuals that Doctor King has cited include Indian lawyer and ethician Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi (1869-1948) and his embrace of nonviolent resistance to unjust laws along with the political writings of American statesman, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) found in his pronouncements on “liberty,” “democracy,” and “equal rights” in particular.
In addition to notable secular figures, another individual cited as part of the early education is the prophet Moses (1391-1271 BC) who was seen as a living symbol connected to the law of God. In American historical annals, when it came to slavery such figures and role models as Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman each became a latter-day Moses in leading their people to a promised land of freedom and grace. Ironically, Doctor King would not only quote Moses on a regular basis within his sermons, but he was equated by many of his adherents as another Moses for his efforts to achieve freedom and equality within American society. More on the relationship between Doctor King and Moses can be found within the Stanford Freedom Project site accessible via the following link – https://stanfordfreedomproject.com/multi-media-essays-on-freedom/the-biblical-exodus-in-the-rhetoric-of-martin-luther-king/
Connections to Doctor King, Moses, and/or Seton Hall have been made within the Archives & Special Collections Center. Along with records relating to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program (MLKSA) is the oldest and most prestigious Servant Leadership Program on campus and one of the first in the United States having been founded in 1970. This initiative deals with tuition funding, management, leadership skills development, and research opportunities covering social justice, spirituality, critical thinking, and community service.
In regard to Moses, various theological-centered volumes are found in the Rare Book Collection including a 1752 edition of a text entitled:
For more information on Doctor King, Moses, and other figures of note that are connected to the history and academic curriculum of Seton Hall University please contact us for information. E-Mail: Archives@shu.edu, Phone: (973) 275-2378.
This date – January 4, 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity and the first American-born to be canonized a saint. As the patroness of American Catholic Education and the Catholic University of New Jersey that bears her name we perpetually remember Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in various ways. Examples include of the naming of our Women’s Center in her honor along with a number of annual campus-wide ceremonies and commemorations along with the continual opportunity to learn more about her life and legacy through our associated historical texts and research collections.
The following capsulized biography of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton has been featured on the Seton Hall University Internet-based Homepage and provides a introduction to those who are not familiar with her notable background and life story . . .
“Elizabeth Bayley was born August 28, 1774 in New York City. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, was a prominent physician and surgeon and the first Health Officer in New York City. Her mother, Catherine Charlton Bayley, the daughter of an Episcopal minister, died May 8, 1777 leaving 3 children, Mary 7, Elizabeth, 2 years, 9 months, and an infant, Catherine, who died two years later. Dr. Richard Bayley died of yellow fever in 1801.
A year after his wife died, Dr. Richard Bayley married Charlotte Amelia Barclay. They had 4 children. Mary and Elizabeth spent their summers with their Uncle William Bayley at the Pell Bayley House in New Rochelle, New York.
Elizabeth Bayley married William Magee Seton, a wealthy shipping magnate on January 25, 1794. They had five children: Anna Maria (May 3, 1795); William (November 25, 1796); Richard (July 20, 1798); Catherine (June 28, 1800); and Rebecca (August 20, 1802).
William Magee Seton suffered major financial ruin and died of tuberculosis December 27, 1803 in Italy leaving Elizabeth a poor young widow with five small children.
Anna Marie, the eldest daughter, at 8 years of age, went to Italy with her parents where her ailing father died. She became affectionately called “Annina” by her mother. Anna Maria, as her father, died of tuberculosis March 12, 1812.
Elizabeth Seton, raised Episcopal, converted to Catholicism. She received her first Holy Communion in March 25, 1805. To raise and educated her own children, she became a teacher and wanted all children, boys and girls, to receive free education. At the Pace Street House in Baltimore she founded her first Catholic school.
On March 25, 1809 Elizabeth Seton pronounced vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Henceforth, she became known as Mother Seton. She began the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph on July 31, 1809 at the Stone House in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Mother Seton established St, Joseph’s Academy, the first Catholic parochial school in the United States.
Elizabeth Seton died of tuberculosis on January 4, 1821 at the age of 47. Her remains are sealed in the Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
In September, 1975, Elizabeth Seton became the first American to be canonized as a Saint. Her banner hung over the entrance to St. Peter’s in Rome.”
Further detail on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton can be found via resources found within the University Libraries and Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. The following Library Guide entitled: “Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton & Family” provides a number of information links including book volumes found in the Library Collection, detailed Internet sources, and relevant primary source leads including those located within our ArchivesSpace catalog can be found via the links found below . . .
For more information and questions about Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton you can contact us via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or call: (973) 275-2378 to obtain further details. We wish everyone a Happy New Year ahead!
Not only is December the month when the world celebrates the dawn of the Lord Jesus Christ, but within the annals of Seton Hall history, the last part of the year is also known for the birth of our first (and third) College President (from 1856-57 and 1859-66), Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid. Born on December 15, 1823, McQuaid was an important figure in the christening of the Catholic College of New Jersey during its early years and the impact of his vision and belief in the worth of higher education lives on through his early and enduring initiatives and memorials in the latter day including McQuaid Hall (Home to the School of Diplomacy) and the McQuaid Medal (the highest honor bestowed on those affiliated with the University) among other landmarks outside South Orange.
According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911) and the seminal work The Catholic Church in New Jersey of 1904 (found online within the Library Guide – https://library.shu.edu/nj-catholic-history and in hard copy form within our Rare Book Collection, Call Numbers – BXZ841.C25 and BXZ1415.N5 F6 1904 respectively), the following highlights have been recorded in relation to the life and legacy of Bishop McQuaid. The trailblazing president of Seton Hall, McQuaid (1823-1909) was born in New York City and his parents were of Irish Catholic origin and the family made history as they played host to the first Mass said in Powel’s Hook (presently known as Jersey City) in 1829. Inspired by his practice in the Catholic faith, McQuaid was educated in Quebec and later at St. John’s Seminary at Fordham prior to his ordination in 1848. He was assigned as a priest to the Diocese of New York and preceding the creation of the See of Newark (five years later) and was made a curate at St. Vincent Martyr in Madison, New Jersey.
When Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley became the first Bishop of Newark he assigned McQuaid to cover multiple missions including the rectorship of St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral in Newark, and co-founding of Seton Hall College along with aid in establishing the Seton Sisters of Charity in Madison during the 1850s prior to becoming Vicar-General of the See in 1866.
During the mid-nineteenth century, the accomplishments made by McQuaid at Setonia were often tied into school firsts. Seton Hall College was initially located in Madison, New Jersey, and commenced operations on September 1, 1856 with an initial enrollment of five students. Those who were included on the registration rolls under the leadership of McQuaid could expect to endure a structured seven-year Classical, Liberal Arts program (three year prep and four year college study) with heavy emphasis on Theology, Philosophy, Latin, Greek and Foreign Language offerings. during his second term as chief executive, McQuaid helped with the move of the Seton Hall College campus from Madison to South Orange in 1860. The College was Incorporated by Act of the New Jersey State Legislature on March 8, 1861. McQuaid also belonged to the first Board of Trustees and co-authorized approval of the first Bachelor of Arts degree (A.B.) that was awarded to Louis Edward Firth in 1862. The earliest corporate seal included the Seton Family coat of arms and image of the Blessed Mary along with the enduring motto — Hazard Zit Forward — “No Matter What The Hazard, Yet Forward” was subsequently designed and adopted by the institution during May 1864 with sanction offered by McQuaid.
McQuiad was later appointed the first Bishop of Rochester (New York) in 1868 and continued forward with his primary cause of Catholic education in creating a strong parochial school systems, seminary, and was instrumental in working with the State university in the city on collaborative educational initiatives, all of which was generated in earnest during his time at Setonia and served the See of Rochester until his death in 1909.
More details on Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid can be found via our varied collections within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and the Seton Hall University Libraries. Finding aids and lists can be found via the following links below . . .
For more information and to inquire about obtaining information off-site or looking into a future research appointment please feel free to contact us by phone at: (973) 275-2378, or via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu
In religious terms, December 26th is the second day of Christmastide is part of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” observance between the Nativity and Epiphany. In secular contemporary circles, the day itself is often seen as a time to rest, shop, or return gifts for exchange, but is also notable for the observance of what has come to be known as “Boxing Day” and has endured over the centuries. Various theories regarding the naming of this holiday have endured including among others servants receiving boxed gifts from their respective managers that emanated from Great Britain and is celebrated throughout the commonwealth wherein along with gifts in past days “lords of manor” and servants would trade places for that 24-hour period and in modern times the switch is based more on creative role playing in the present day. In Éire proper, December 26th among the Christian population in particular, a different style commemoration that honors the Feast of St. Stephen has its own customs and traditions which has lived on through the ages.
St. Stephen (5-34 AD) was a church deacon who is often recognized (and memorialized in the Acts of the Apostles found throughout texts within the New Testament) as the first martyr of Christendom who lost his life in defense of his faith. The specific reason for his death came through reprisal for negative remarks about Jewish authorities that spread to the ears of various Synagogue overseers throughout the City of Jerusalem during the fourth century. According to existent accounts, Stephen was stoned to death for this sacrilege which led to his martyrdom and subsequent place of adoration over time. His deed is recognized throughout various Christian denominations on a worldwide scale. When it comes to the place of this martyr in Irish life, the famed Georgian square in Dublin, christened “St. Stephen’s Green” has immortalized him along with a Catholic parish that bears his name situated in Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath as well.
In broad terms, the traditional celebration of St. Stephen’s Day is actually a National Public Holiday (following in the wake of the Irish Banks Holiday Act of 1871) throughout the Republic of Ireland. This observance is also celebrated in other locales (especially prevalent across Europe), but within the townlands and villages of Ireland, pubs and stores are often open to accommodate the crowds and visiting family members, attending musical-comedy performances that rely mainly on pantomime as a means of expression, and/or attending special Masses honoring Stephen for the more devout are popular traditions and more modern in approach than in past years when a Wren was the true centerpiece.
This celebration is known in the Irish language as: Lá an Dreoilín or Lá Fhéile Stiofáin which in translation is known variously as “Wren Day,” “Wren’s Day,” or “Day of the Wren,” or the “Hunt of the Wren” (pronounced “wran” in Ireland) in which this bird is short in physical stature with a small wingspan is conversely loud and bold in its actions. Known in some circles as “The King of Birds,” the wren according to historical accounts was the betrayer of Stephen who was found after hiding from those who sought to kill him making this fowl who squealed an integral part of the story in this martyrdom. In the present day, it is considered good fortune for the individual to capture a live wren or a least secure a feather to find abundant good fortune while this bird of death is also associated with the old year.
Tradition has it that on every December 26th, a procession of individuals (known variously as “mummers” or “strawboys” or “wrenboys”) don suits and hats of dried hay, colorfully mixed and matched old clothing with some festooned in tinsel or colored paper and wearing masks to hide their faces while playing musical instruments in Céilí style, or process and dance on their own downtown streets. During days of yore, in-between the march, the revelers stopped at homes along the way to ask for money, food, and drink as ingredients for the parties that were celebrated on that day.
For those who did not contribute according to legend would risk having a wren buried outside of their door which would constitute twelve years of back luck for the non-donor. In present times, those who collect money often donates these alms to charity or local schools instead of using it on themselves. Leading the way for the band of revelers within the parade itself is a pole bearer (or a few) who has a faux wren (in past ages it was a real bird, but this practice was phased out around the turn of the twentieth century) mounted atop this staff and in some cases also adorned with a holly bush to further denote the hiding place of Stephen upon his discovery. Thu tradition is more common and celebrated fervently in different parts of Ireland including Dingle and Westmeath among others and has since fallen out of vogue in other regions of Ireland, but has undergone a more modern revival while keeping core traditions alive especially the honoring of the wren, song, dance, and expression which is now co-educational while in past days was a male only revelry.
Many who have no recognition of St. Stephen, may have heard his name within the refrain of the song “Good King Wenceslas” by John Mason Neale in 1853 actually in honor of his feast day. This ballad begins in the following manner: “Good King Wenceslas look’d out, On the Feast of Stephen; When the snow lay round about, Deep, and crisp, and even . . . Brightly shone the moon that night . . .”
This mention is also a compliment to a number of poems and songs that honor St. Stephen and the Day of the Wren including: “The Wren, The Wren” (The Wrenboys Song) published in popular music anthologies during the nineteenth centur
However, he most prevalent and standard of rhymes that is repeated over and over on December 26th is the following verse . . .
The Wren, the Wren the king of all birds, St. Stephens’s day, he was caught in the furze. Although he is little, his honour is great, Rise up, kind sir, and give us a trate.
We followed this Wren ten miles or more Through hedges and ditches and heaps of snow, We up with our wattles and gave him a fall And brought him here to show you all.
For we are the boys that came your way To bury the Wren on Saint Stephens’s Day, So up with the kettle and down with the pan! Give us some help for to bury the Wren!
For more information about the story of St. Stephen can be found within New Testament text found in our Rare Book Collection including one of the oldest of our Irish-language volumes entitled: Tiomna Nuadh ar dTighearna agus ar Slanuigheora Iósa Criosd : ar na ťarrv, ng go firněać as Greigis go Gioďeilg (1681) along with other versions in later editions in multiple languages.
For more information on St. Stephen, Wren Day, and other aspects of Irish and Religious History please feel free to contact us by phone at: (973) 275-2378, or via e-mail: Archives@shu.edu
“Touchdown for Old Setonia!” was an exclamation that was cheered on by players, cheerleaders, supporters in the grandstands, and all who followed the fortunes of Seton Hall College football throughout its earliest days in action. Joining both Baseball and Basketball as a signature sport during the earliest years of intercollegiate competition at Seton Hall, Football was also included as one of the most prolific and successful athletic teams on campus.
American Football celebrated its Sesquicentennial last year with the game being created in New Jersey in 1869, and as colleges and universities discovered the sport they introduced it to their respective student bodies in turn. This ultimately led to wide-spread popularity of this game which quickly became synonymous with Fall Saturdays and captured the imagination of the overall sporting public. This is especially true during the nineteenth century when Football was developing itself as a unique and unifying force around the country. The attractiveness of this sport especially among the immigrant sons and first generation of college students at Setonia at first and as it became the “American Game” (as a parallel to Baseball as the “American Past-Time) built in popularity over the century plus.
Seton Hall can share in a chapter of College Football history through the posting of several memorable seasons, players, coaches, and milestones that make this story a memorable on in various ways beyond the “gridiron” alone. In retrospect, the days of Seton Hall Football is a case of fond memories, regular inquires about the research aspects of the sport, and many wistful questions about if it will return as a sport on campus at some point in the future? Time and circumstances will tell if we can kick-off once again, but for now let us reflect on a sport that at one time gripped the imagination of the campus and its fandom.
Seton Hall campus back in the day when the school fielded a competitive football eleven at various junctures from the late nineteenth century through the early 1980s. An auspicious moment came when looking at the “kickoff” of the sport at the college, it is recognized by various scholars that Seton Hall played in the very first football contest between two Catholic institutions of higher education when they matched up against St. John’s (later known as Fordham and not to be confused with St. John’s of Queens) during the Autumn of 1882. Although this seminal moment resulted in a loss, the following December when the Setonia Eleven posted their first victory as a program over St. John’s by a score of 2-0 (This was measured in “goals” as different scoring rules were in vogue during the nineteenth century and would later change as the game expanded and modernized over time) which helped to solidify the sport and show it had the potential to succeed.
Between 1885 and 1886, Seton Hall posted undefeated campaigns, had a five game winning streak, and were unscored upon and handily defeated St. John’s in particular by scores of 14-0, 36-0, 12-0, 32-0, and 63-0 before dropping the sport in 1887. The squad resumed play the following season with a new nickname – “The Alerts” (with a Junior Varsity or Freshman team nicknamed – “The Senators” or “Crescents” at various times over the next few years) and boasted a 2-1 record after playing St. John’s three more times before diversifying their scheduling by the end of the 1880s.
By 1889, The Alerts played a more diverse set of opponents when they matched up against a number of independent Northern New Jersey-New York City metropolitan based club teams in particular including the Oritani Field Club and Bedford FC, defeating them both 28-0 and 18-4 respectively that year. Additional athletic organizations and high school contingents were played during the 1890s including such entities as the Newark AC, Palma Club of Jersey City, Varuna Boat Club, Brooklyn Poly, Hoboken HS, Iron Cross of Jersey City, Willet’s Point Engineers Corp , Motor Team of Brooklyn, Crescents of Harlem, and the Morristown Field Club, etc. Conversely, Seton Hall also started to play other collegiate squads aside from St. John’s alone including Hackettstown Institute (later known as Centenary College), St. Francis Xavier, Trenton State Normal School, St. John’s (Queens), College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton) Frosh, City College of New York (CCNY) Juniors, St. Peter’s College (Jersey City), and Manhattan College among others who had campuses around the region.
In terms of coach guidance, Seton Hall relied on James P. Lee (Harvard, ’90) who was an All-American selection for the Crimson in 1889 and enrolled at the Columbia Law school earning his LL.B. degree while simultaneously employed by Seton Hall during the 1890s. Counted among the standout players during this era included such “gridders” as Gene Kinkead, John Phelan, Jim Smith, Tom Reilly, Tom Walsh, Richard Kane, Gene McDonald and the first of many members of the McDonough family who donned the White and Blue sweaters of Setonia. Under the guidance of Coach Lee and company, winning seasons were attained in 1892, 1893 (undefeated), 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899 were earned and Setonia amassed a combined record between 1883 and 1899 of 63-13- 5 (with various cancelations and forfeits) to end the century on a high note.
Moving into the early twentieth century, more action was in play at different levels for the Setonia Football teams and fans as an Alumni squad was formed to compliment the Varsity and “Frosh” contingents and a more structured scheduling trend emerged as more collegiate elevens and fewer club or prep school teams were played, but not entirely eliminated from the opponent list altogether. Counted among those squads Seton Hall played included such squads as the Seton Hall Alumni, Nassau Club of Princeton, Knickerbocker AC, 5th U.S. Artillery, Dreadnaught AC, Willet’s Point Engineers Corp, Robert Davis Association at St. George Cricket Ground, Hoboken. Fort Hancock (Sandy Hook), Eaton Business College, New Jersey State School, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York , University & Bellevue Medical College, and others.
In 1900, Seton Hall posted a 7-3 record and improved to 9-2 a year later. Perfection came in 1903 when The Alerts went 8-0 and the point total for the year was an amazing 174-2. A majority of home games were scheduled for the first time and through this memorable season Seton Hall defeated such opponents as Philadelphia Dental College, Manhattan College, Villanova, Columbia Law, and Pratt Institute. By 1904, Seton Hall had another winning campaign at 7-2 when they defeated a number of higher profile institutions including the University of Maryland (17-0), Fordham (6-0), and Delaware (26-0). In 1905, The Alerts defeated St. Francis-Brooklyn (71-0) and Rutgers (22-10) which served as a high water mark to cap the first decade of the twentieth century.
Beyond the “Golden Age” of Seton Hall Football, the presence of records become somewhat sketchy as there is no existing log of results from 1906-1912. The last pre-Great War documentation shows that Setonia went 5-1 in 1913 and defeated among others the Fordham “B” team, St. Francis-Brooklyn, and St. Peter’s College by a differential of 212 points for Setonia to 27 for their opponents. By this time, Jack Fish (who later coached Baseball and at Seton Hall Prep) scored 48 points and James “Honey” Dugan 47 of his own which contributed to this successful season and marked the last major success during the “Golden Age” as the college dropped football for the duration of World War I and the administration would not sponsor the sport again until the Fall of 1922 when they registered a 3-2 record.
During the 1920s, football at Setonia was short-lived, but highlights included the renewed emergence of Junior Varsity Football with more prominence among the star players during this period included John J. Dougherty (later an Auxiliary Bishop and President of Seton Hall from 1959-69) who was a guard on the 1926 team which went 5-2-1 and Bud Conlan a starting center and team captain for three years. This era included a mix of highs and lows as they played such schools as Trenton Normal (later Trenton State and presently the College of New Jersey), Upsala, Pennington School, University of Pennsylvania Frosh, Cooper Union, Temple, Albright, CCNY JV and Villanova Frosh among others as Football at Seton Hall was doomed to pause again after 1928.
A serious move was made to create a successful tradition with the hire of Richard Paul “Red” Smith (1904-1978) an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame and protégé of legendary coach Knute Rockne. After playing for the Irish, Smith also played professional football with the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and New York Yankees in the National Football League (NFL) and baseball with the New York Giants of the National League (NL) prior to serving as Head Coach of the Seton Hall eleven during the early 1930s before going back to the professional leagues as an assistant coach for the Packers and Giants in the NFL and also the Chicago Cubs of the NL.
The last appearance of the team during the Great Depression era came from 1930-33 with little success although they did not have any winning records, they did post singular wins over Moravian, Brooklyn College, East Stroudsburg State, Canisius, and others. Nearby Upsala of East Orange was a natural rival and in 1931 they played a benefit game to help aid the destitute during this time in what was billed as the “Championship of the Oranges” in a memorable community encounter. Setonia also played its first documented night game (a rare occurrence during the 1930s) against Davis & Elkins of West Virginia held in Municipal Auditorium, Atlantic City before a crowd of 5,000. Otherwise, Seton Hall played a spotty schedule during the 1940-47 seasons including a gap during World War II, but an undefeated 2-0 campaign where they defeated the 1941 – 2-0 Scranton Frosh and the Marianopolis Club.
Many Catholic colleges disbanded their long standing football teams including St. Bonaventure, Manhattan, University of San Francisco and others during the late 1940s and early 1950s as a cost saving measure and to invest in their basketball teams for success and Seton Hall was no exception to this trend. However, in moving forward to the mid-1960s and the desire to have Football back on campus once again a vision shared not only in South Orange proper, but also by various Eastern schools in the Newark-metropolitan area in particular who wanted to feature the sport once again. As a result of this promise of fielding Football and linking into the wishes of student and alumni fan based in particular, a new Club league that was structured among higher educational entities that were similar sized, many being peer institutions, and geographically balanced formed in 1965. Seton Hall would eventually play the following schools through the remainder of the decade into the early 1970s including Fordham Iona, St. peter’s, Jersey City Sate, King’s College (PA), Georgetown, Providence, Adelphi, Scranton, Manhattan College, Rutgers-Newark, Fairleigh Dickinson, American University, William Paterson State, St. John’s, Concordia, Pace, Upsala, Army “B” squad, etc.
The first Club-based season of 1965 included the inaugural game, a night contest that led to a victory v. Marist at Newark Stadium by a tally of 28-6 and contributed to a season record of 3-1 wins that included a second win over Marist and St. Peter’s College at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. Subsequent memorable moments followed in 1966 (4-2-1), 1967 (5-2), 1968 (5-3), and 1971 (6-2). The highpoint of the Club-era came in 1972 (9-1) Eastern Club Bowl/Empire Bowl Championship. The Schaeffer Bowl at Jack Coffey Field (Fordham), the Pirates (new nickname adopted by the school in 1931) defeated Marist by a count of 20-18 with 3,000 in attendance. This also aided the selection of Ed Madigan as Coach of the Year honors for head man and success for the team as a whole.
The success of the 1972 squad and the consistency of the program during the 1960s led them to advance a notch upward in the College Football hierarchy when they became a non-scholarship, program within the ranks of NCAA Division III (Division I being the highest) and they would encounter some victories in their first year (3-5) of 1973 including shutout wins over Rutgers-Newark (42-0) and Rochester Tech of New York (24-0). In 1974 7-2. Overall winning records would come in 1978 (5-4) and 1979 (4-4-1 with a forfeit in favor of Seton Hall). However, the rest of their time playing within the NCAA ranks led to consecutive losing seasons.
Although a high point in terms of venue came via playing select Saturday home and away games at Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands from 1977 through 1981. In addition, Seton Hall played in the annual “Pride Bowl” of 1980 against Cheyney State although in a losing effort (0-26) a benefit contest of note for that time period. The final years included contests played against Catholic University of America, Hofstra, Pace, Montclair State, Coast Guard Academy, Rochester, Wagner, C.W. Post, Kings Point MMA, Kean, and others.
Despite being competitive and hopes of improved records, 1981 marked the last season of Seton Hall Football to date as the school discontinued the sport in 1982. Despite its absence, the legacy of the sport lives on in the heart and memories of Seton Hall alumni and local football fans in particular.
More information on College Football in general and particular can be found within the following Internet links along with many other sources that can be referenced upon request . . .
For more information regarding the History of Football and other Seton Hall Athletics History topics please feel free to contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist via e-mail at: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
November is National Black Catholic History Month and the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center honors this legacy by preserving long-term holdings and continually acquiring relevant resources in order to provide our research community with valuable primary source materials for consultation purposes year round. With this in mind, our Research Center celebrates the contributions of the three million plus African American Catholics on a national and local level alike in providing depth to this ongoing story that directly reflects upon our main collecting areas and research constituencies especially in this time of celebrating the importance of diversity.
The historical legacy of African Americans who adhere to the teachings of Catholicism within the United States has a proud history despite having to overcome obstacles to establish a respected presence within the Church. With this in mind, our Research Center celebrates the contributions of the three million plus African American Catholics on a national and local level alike in providing depth to this ongoing story that directly reflects upon our main collecting areas and research constituencies especially in this time illustrates the importance of diversity in all its forms.
In specifically theological terms, African American faithful typically adhere to conventional Catholic doctrine. However, this often connects with ties to traditional and honored practices dating back to the days of Pre-Emancipation and beyond through the development of various African-based Protestant traditions that celebrated close community ties and sought to worship God while also promoting the need for combating prejudice and establishing wide-spread social justice among their congregants.
Black Catholics went on to attain a higher status with the USCCB pastoral letter of “Brothers and Sisters to Us” in 1978 along with the publication of various historical tracts including the trailblazing: The History of Black Catholics in the United States, by Rev. Cyprian Davis (New York: Crossroad, 1990) [BXZ1407.N4 D38 1990] along with others connected to this subject that can be found within our University Libraries Catalog from the Main Collection and/or Turro Seminary Library in particular. These two milestones combined with academic life and coursework linked to the Black Catholic Movement from the Late 1960s to the present has been beneficial to establishing understanding of the many spiritual and symbolic contributions made by African Americans within the Church as a whole.
Counted among our most relevant collections include the “Cause for Pierre Toussaint Collection” [MSS 0036] which reflects on one of the earliest and most notable Black Catholics who lived during the Early American Republic and lived by all accounts a holy and selfless life of service. As the abstract to this collection highlights: “Pierre Toussaint was born into slavery in 1766 in what is now Haiti. He moved with his family and master to New York where he lived until his death. He spent his life helping the sick, homeless, and orphaned. He died in 1853 (The year the Diocese of Newark was founded). The Pierre Toussaint Guild was created to advocate his induction into sainthood. His body was exhumed in November of 1990 as part of the investigation into the cause for his sainthood.”
The Collection proper is broken down in the following manner within the Scope and Content Notes section: “This collection primarily consists of newspaper clippings describing the life and cause for sainthood of Pierre Toussaint, as well as photographs, correspondence, and mass cards related to Pierre Toussaint. Many of the news clipping focus on the exhumation of the Pierre Toussaint’s body in 1990. Photographs are generally reproductions of illustrations of Pierre Toussaint or of Jane Flores at places and events related to Pierre Toussaint.” More information on these Papers can be found via the following link: https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/203
Document Type – Newsletter, Publication Date – Summer 1990
Abstract – The “Birth of Christ The King Parish, Jersey City” looks at some of the first establishments of African-American Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Newark. https://scholarship.shu.edu/njchc/22/
Document Type – Newsletter, Publication Date – Spring 1994
Another figure connected to the NJCHC, but to the Archdiocese of Newark in particular is the first African American prelate for the See, Most Rev. Joseph Francis, SVD (1923-1997) who was made an Auxiliary for the Archdiocese of Newark in 1976 and retired in 1995 had a lasting impact on the spiritual impact on the Northern New Jersey community and beyond. More information on his life and activities can be found within the following published compilation published by the Archdiocese of Newark . . . https://www.rcan.org/sites/default/files/files/Newsletter%2C%20Bishop%20Francis%20Edition(1).pdf
Other important sources of note include, but are not limited to various Seton Hall-related resources (going back to c. 1912), but other Special Collections (including ones that require permission to review) can be found via the link to our ArchivesSpace site catalog can be found here . . . https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/
Within the University Libraries Homepage is a Research Guide Section that also ties into key documents that highlight and explain African American Catholic highlights from the Vatican and other important resources in general and particular . . .
For more information related to African American/Black Catholics found within our repository and research resources in general can be requested and research appointments scheduled by reaching out to us via e-mail: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
From Friday the 13th and black cats to tossing salt over one’s left shoulder to ward off evil spirits, superstitions and rituals are rooted in a mixture of religion, mythology, and folklore. They have the power to ward off evil, bring good luck, cure sickness, even stop people from performing certain activities on certain days.
However, every culture is different and what is unlucky in one may be lucky in another. Instead of Friday the 13th, it is Tuesday the 13th that is thought to be unlucky in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Greece, Mexico, and Serbia. For Italy, it is Friday the 17th.
Where a black cat can be thought to mean bad luck, in Ireland it may lead to fortune as “several of the great lake serpents and water-cows of our Irish Fairy Mythology are supposed to guard treasurers; in some instances black cats are similarly employed” (Wilde, 98).
Some of Ireland’s other superstitions and rituals revolve around fairies and goblins, stating,
“…if you cast the dust that is under your foot against the whirlwind at the instant that it passes you, “them that’s in it” (that is, if they have any human being along with them) are obliged to be released” (Wilde, 130).
Then there are those that involve fire, most notably on days of celebration such as May Day and St. John’s Eve or Midsummer’s Eve:
“If a man was to perform a long journey, he leaped backwards and forwards three times through the fire to render himself invulnerable” (Wilde, 49).
“When the fire has nearly expired, and the dancing, singing, and carousing are over, each individual present provides himself with a braune, or ember of the fire, to carry home with him, which, if it becomes extinguished before he reaches his house, it is an omen of impending misfortune” (Wilde, 49).
“Walking around a burning flame during St. John’s Eve or Midsummer’s Eve spares one from being sick the whole year” (Putzi, 196).
Other curious Irish rituals include keeping spiders in a bag to be worn as a pendant or necklace to cure fever. However, if the bag is opened it will cause back luck. To remove a sty on one’s eyelid, the person should point to the direction of a gooseberry thorn nine times while chanting “Away, away, away!”.
But if things still go awry, you find your milk has curdled, you can always blame the fairies!
Other superstitions and rituals can be found in:
Putzi, S. (Ed.). (2008). To z world superstitions & folklore : 175 countries – spirit worship, curses, mystical characters, folk tales, burial and the dead, animals, food, marriage, good luck, and more. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Wilde, W. R. (1852). Irish popular superstitions. J. McGlashan.
Contributed by Mr. Edward Wightman, Former Research Intern and Student at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
The World War Two era was a period of great change not only in the United States but in the world. The war itself directly impacted the world with massive destruction and innumerable lives lost. The aftermath of the war saw the return of thousands of soldiers to the United States all hoping to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and its benefits and pursue higher education at universities throughout the country and Seton Hall was one of these many Universities that experienced this influx of new students returning on the G.I. Bill.
The Seton Hall student newspaper The Setonian gives us insight into the impact of the war on students and student life on campus although this source is limited as The Setonian was not running during the years of American involvement of the war despite the university being open. Despite this limitation The Setonian does provide excellent information about the period before and immediately after the war at Seton Hall. In the years leading up to the war there were a number of articles published that ask students about the threat of the rise of Communism, and if students think there will be another large scale global war. The Setonian also has a number of articles detailing the many different student organizations that are promoting peace among world powers including the Pax Romana organization and the Catholic Student Peace Federation. The articles tell us that there were many groups of students in the years between the two World Wars who were advocates of peace and hoped their movement could prevent another great war.
One of the other interesting areas that is briefly mentioned in The Setonian is the opinion of then Seton Hall the Rev. Msgr. James F. Kelley on the rise of both Communism and Facism throughout Europe. An article in The Setonian dated to March 23, 1937 describes President Kelley’s address at the Eighty First Feast of St. Joseph, during this address Re. Msgr. Kelley expresses his opinion as well as the opinion of the Catholic Church on Communism and its rise. There also is an article documenting a movement by students supporting the Catholic War Veterans of America’s campaign against communism in the United States. The pre war years at Seton Hall as documented by The Setonian depict a level of concern among students about the growing threat of Communism and the fears of another global conflict that were fears shared by many Americans at the time.
The Second World War began September 1, 1939 with the Nazi German invasion of Poland followed by the declaration of war on Germany by France and Britain on September third. The United States would later enter the war following the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of war on the United States by Nazi Germany on December 11, 1941. As many universities would experience Seton Hall saw a vast majority of its students leave to serve in the war. It was at this time that The Setonian did not run as there were not enough students to run the paper so we have a very limited knowledge of what student life and activity was like at Seton Hall during the years of the war.
The end of World War Two on September 2, 1945 led to the return of the many thousands of soldiers to the United States. These soldiers would be given many benefits under the Servicemen Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the G.I. Bill. This bill provided returning soldiers with a number of benefits and among these was the ability to pursue a degree at a college or vocational school with tuition paid for by the government. This section of the bill led to an influx of new students at universities throughout the United States and Seton Hall experienced this first hand. The return of students to Seton Hall also brought the return of the student newspaper The Setonian which documented the impact of the students returning to school and those who were pursuing educations on the G.I. Bill. In the aftermath of the war a new column was started in The Setonian called “veteran’s corner” which was a dedicated column providing information for all veterans on campus regarding all manner of topics. We also see a number of articles that describe some of the issues faced by Seton Hall in the post-war period such as shortages of housing and food for the increasing numbers of students among other issues.
The Setonian is a very valuable resource for understanding the aftermath of World War Two and the impact of the G.I. Bill on universities. The many articles published at this time especially those in the “Veteran’s Corner” column are invaluable in providing information about what life was like for returning veterans, and what they were provided with while attending Seton Hall. We also see other articles outside of the “Veteran’s Corner” column discussing the influx of veteran students one such article is titled “Plan For Vets” from March 13, 1946 which is an article that discusses the plan by Seton Hall to manage the influx of veterans at the school and its plans to assist them. Another article is found in the “National College News” column which on November 3, 1946 published an article discussing the problems faced by universities throughout the nation including housing shortages as well as food shortages due to so many new students on the G.I. Bill and those students bringing their families to school with them.
The World War Two era was a time of great flux for universities throughout the United States as student attendance numbers rapidly decreased during the years of American involvement in the war, and then rapidly increased to all time highs in the years following the war. Seton Hall was among these universities who experienced this impact tremendously, as it faced the challenges of losing many students to the war, and then the challenges of the large number of students pursuing education on the G.I. Bill.