Donald Milford Payne – African American Historian & History Maker

The annual commemoration of Black History Month is officially celebrated during February within the United States and Canada.  The significance of this tribute has led other nations to celebrate the African Diaspora at different times throughout the year including the Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom for example.  These instances of wider tribute across the globe have been supported through the altruistic activities undertaken by Donald Payne, Sr., an alumnus of Seton Hall and New Jersey Congressman.  Representative Payne was a noted advocate on behalf of education and human rights endeavors, but he also spent several years learning about, and lecturing upon a myriad of Black-centered history issues on both the local and international level during the course of his lifetime.

Donald Milford Payne, Senior Portrait, Galleon (Seton Hall University Annual), 1957

Donald Milford Payne (1934-2012) was a native of Newark, graduate of Barringer H.S., and an alumnus of Seton Hall University earning his diploma in 1957 prior to doing post-graduate education at Springfield College (MA).  He was an executive at Prudential Financial Services; Vice President for Urban Data Systems, Inc., and also taught within the Newark Public Schools system prior to entering the political arena.

Congressman Payne spent a major portion of his public career as a United States Representative for the 10th District covering Newark, South Orange, and other neighboring communities from 1989-2012.  He was a strong advocate on academic-related issues of various types including the School-to-Work Opportunities Act and National Literacy Institute.  Counted among his many board-appointed accomplishments include a stint on the Democratic Steering Committee (2002) along with membership as part of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.  In addition, Congressman Payne was very active with peace negotiations in Northern Ireland and as a two-time (first ever individual re-appointed to this body twice) as a Congressional delegate to the United Nations (2003-2007) among other respected committee assignments.

Congressman Payne Newsletter, Summer 2003

The work undertaken by Congressman Payne in Africa was particularly keen as he became an advocate for the citizens of Darfur, Sudan, the Western Sahara, and other parts of the continent as a former Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health.  In addition, a highlight included a six-nation tour of Africa with President Bill Clinton during the 1990s along with leading a separate political mission to Rwanda.  Congressman Payne was also a member of the Board of Directors for the TransAfrica Forum, and involved himself with ending the Somalian conflict of the 2000s.

Congressman Payne was also a trailblazer in his own right as the first African American President of the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA) during the early 1970s, and later as Chairman of the World YMCA Refugee and Rehabilitation Committee between 1973-81.  He was also the earliest African American U.S. Congressman to represent any district in New Jersey history and served as the 14th Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (founded in 1969) and first ever from the Garden State.

Congressman Payne and Comments on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. September 26, 2007

During the course of his life and legislative career in particular, Congressman Payne addressed noteworthy remembrances related to various African American individuals, institutions, events, and eras.  Solemnity and respectful reflection in relation to such celebrations as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Douglass Day in addition to Black History Month.  Congressman Payne also brought important perspective about his activities in the African American community to his alma mater and local constituents over the last several decades.

Transcript of speech on the life of Frederick Douglass, c. 2000

The most lasting memorial related to Congressman Payne from a Seton Hall perspective can be found within the preservation of his legislative records within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.  School officials acquired his files in 2013, a year after his death.  Various web pages and blog posts related to the local connections have been archived for public reference over the past decade . . .

Congressman Payne and Connections to Seton Hall University – https://www.shu.edu/search.cfm?q=donald+payne#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=donald%20payne&gsc.page=1

Donald Payne Papers, Acquisition of Materials – https://blogs.shu.edu/archives/2013/11/the-donald-m-payne-papers-come-to-seton-hall/

Donald Payne Papers, Open to Researchers Announcement – https://blogs.shu.edu/archives/2014/09/donald-m-payne-papers-now-open-for-research/

Donald Payne Papers,  Collection Inventory (ArchivesSpace) – https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242

Within our collection, one can find that Congressman Payne left behind a significant amount of quality documentation in the form of legislative briefs, speeches, correspondence, and other informational contents of note.  In more detailed terms, the Donald Payne Papers date from 1988-2012, and are primarily related to the legislation and advocacy of his lifetime of work. The Scope and Content notes from the Congressman Payne Papers reads in part:

“The collection includes materials related to . . . legislative work, particularly for the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as on behalf of his district and state . . . There are significant files of material on Congressman Payne’s trips abroad, which included trips to a number of African nations as well as nations in Europe and elsewhere . . . materials cover Congressman Payne’s years in Congress including his African journeys and diplomacy and international relations work, national and legislative process efforts a good study in congressional protocols in general and local and national representation in particular.”

Link to the Donald Milford Payne Papers Collection – https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242

As outlined above, there are several areas of research value, but in this month of February, it is important to note his work within African nations in particular and on behalf of Black History in its varied forms.  When conducting a search that involves “Black History Month” within this collection, the results page yields a number of different file folders that focus upon various tributes are documented within such formats including correspondence, notes, reports, memoranda, and other types of materials including details on the commemorations from 1995 and 1997 along with “Speeches 1989-2011;” “African American History, 1992-2011;” “Black History, Undated;” “Black History, 1990-1995; and other subject areas found across this assemblage.

Article from the Donald Payne Congressional Newsletter, c. 2008

In more specific terms, Congressman Payne also left behind a myriad of background information on African American History along with specific files including speeches and background notes for his lecture appointments in particular.  Examples include . . .

  • Congressional Research Service – Black History Month (IP 344B) Library of Congress, Washington, DC.  (* Opening Text: “Since 1976, February has been celebrated as Black History Month, but the origins of this event date back to 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson set aside a special period of time in February to recognize the heritage, achievements, and contributions of African-Americans.” . . . Each year the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History selects a theme for the Black History Month celebration, and in 1995 it is “Reflections on 1895: Douglass, Du Bois, Washington.”)
  • “Reflections on 1895: Douglass, Du Bois, Washington,” by Janette Hotson Harris, Ph.D., National President, ASALH Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), 1995.
  • CRS Report for Congress. “African-American Contributions To American Society in Selected Fields of Endeavor,”  Corey Ali Jennings – Analyst in American National Government, Government Division.  January 21, 1993.  Congressional Research Service – The Library of Congress.
  • Tangela G. Roe, Senior Bibliographer, Government and Law – Library Services Division. “Black History and Culture: Bibliography-in-Brief,” CRS Report for Congress.  Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, January 13, 1995.
  • Special Edition. Black History Is No Mystery. Special Edition, Winter 1993-94.   Malcolm X, History of Black Spirituals, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois, etc.  Boston MA.
  • Statement for Congressman Donald M. Payne. House Joint Resolution 320. Establishing the First Memorial Honoring African-American Civil War Veterans.   Tuesday, June 9, 1992.
  • Remarks – Black History Month. S. District Court – Trenton, February 14, 2006.  Judge Anne Thompson, NJ State.  MLK and Coretta Scott King.  Homer Plessy v. Judge John H. Ferguson.  Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Acts of 1950s and 60s.  Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston – Howard Law School Dean.  Congressional Black Congress. South African Apartheid and International Human Rights, etc.
  • Chairman Donald M. Payne – African American Civil War Memorial Breakfast – Draft #2 – African American Civil War Memorial and Museum – Washington, DC 9/21/2011.
  • Remarks – Commerce Department, Black in Government. Including mentions of the first statewide African American Convention – Trenton Zion AME church (1849).

Resources created and saved by Congressman Donald Payne, Sr.* provide an insightful look at the African American experience and are available for reference to our entire research community.

Information about African American History, Congressman Payne, and Seton Hall University please contact us via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.  Thank you in advance for your interest.

(* Looking both to the past and future, the work started by Congressman Payne lives on through the efforts of his son, Donald Payne, Jr. who was elected to Congress in 2012.  Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. has been an important part of the House of Representatives over the course of his tenure and has made his own significant contributions to this body through his work with domestic issues, labor, and Homeland Security among other subjects of importance.)

Commemorating the Birth of First President of Seton Hall – Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid

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.

McQuaid Hall (Home to the School of Diplomacy and International Relations), c. 2015
McQuaid Medal – Front Side of the Award, c. 2000

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.

Bernard J. McQuaid, c. 1855

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.

Bernard J. McQuaid, c. 1900

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 . . .

Office of the President & Chancellor – Bernard J. McQuaid Papers (SHU 0003-001) – https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/273

Volumes written by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid – https://setonhall.on.worldcat.org/search?queryString=au%3D%22McQuaid%2C%20B%20J%22%20AND%20au%3D%22Bernard%20John%22%20AND%20au%3D%221823-1909%22&databaseList=283&expandSearch=true&clusterResults=off

Volumes with Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid as the Subject – https://setonhall.on.worldcat.org/search?clusterResults=off&queryString=bernard+mcquaid

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

 

Donald M. Payne papers now open for research

President William J. Clinton with Congressman Payne, May 1, 2001
President William J. Clinton with Congressman Payne, May 1, 2001. mss0078_1116_01

The Donald M. Payne papers, 1988-2012, Mss 0078, are now open for research at the Archives and Special Collections Center. This collection of 53 linear feet is the collected congressional papers of Donald M. Payne, Sr., who was New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District Representative to the United States Congress from 1989-2012. Congressman Payne was New Jersey’s first African American congressional representative, and served eleven consecutive terms, passing away in 2012 during his twelfth term.

Donald Payne, Sr., was a native of Newark, N.J., and attended Seton Hall in the 1950s. A Democrat and a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congressman Payne was a leading advocate of education and human rights. He was especially active in supporting increased funding for higher education and in supporting democratic efforts in Africa, particularly in Sudan. He was a member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and won a number of awards for his work on behalf of education, democracy, and human rights.

The Donald M. Payne papers chronicle Congressman Payne’s work  during his 23 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Included are notes and drafts of legislation with which Congressman Payne was heavily involved, papers and photographs from his travels to Africa, research materials related to his areas of interest, and many other materials documenting his work in Congress. This collection is a rich resource for anyone interested in diplomacy and international relations, promotion of education, New Jersey and national politics, political events in Africa over the past 25 years, and the legislative process.

Head Start letter
Head Start letter, mss0078_0340_01

The collection is primarily paper documents and photographs, which are available to researchers in the Archives and Special Collections Center reading room. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival material. Also in the collection are some electronic, audio, and video materials, which are not yet available for research, due to preservation concerns. These materials came to Seton Hall University through the generosity of Congressman Payne’s family and heirs.

Please feel free to contact us with questions or to make an appointment to view this collection!

The Donald M. Payne papers come to Seton Hall

The Archives and Special Collections Center at Seton Hall University is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Donald M. Payne papers, a new manuscript collection of congressional papers from the late Donald M. Payne, a member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 10th district from 1989-2012.

Payne papers in the A&SCC
The Payne papers in the A&SCC.

Donald Payne was born and raised in Newark, N.J., and graduated from Seton Hall University in 1957. He became the first African American Congressman from New Jersey when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1988, and served ten consecutive terms. During his time in Congress, Representative Payne served on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Mr. Payne died in 2012 and was succeeded in Congress by his son, Donald Payne, Jr.

The Donald Payne papers document Representative Payne’s time as a congressional representative, including legislative documentation, research files, newsclippings, photographs, and audio-video recordings. About 43 linear feet of materials have been accessioned by the A&SCC, and the materials will soon be processed and made available to researchers. The A&SCC and University Libraries are very excited to have acquired this important collection of political papers and look forward to connecting this material to users. Stay tuned for more information!

Leonard Dreyfuss and New Jersey Civil Defense Display in the Archives

Currently on display in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room are items from the Leonard Dreyfuss papers, 1786-1972 (bulk 1931-1972), Mss 0001.

Leonard Dreyfuss materials on display in the Archives Reading Room
Leonard Dreyfuss materials on display in the Archives Reading Room

Leonard Dreyfuss was a resident of Newark and the city’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1942. A businessman in advertising, Dreyfuss was also very active in war efforts on the home front during World War 2, and continued his civil defense involvement after the war.

The United States Civil Defense was a non-military organization created to prepare and educate Americans on potential military attacks. Their purpose was to create and inform civilians of evacuation plans, fallout shelters and routes, survival skills, and alerts. Local chapters of Civil Defense created newsletters, passed out pamphlets, and held demonstrations and test alerts so citizens would be prepared. Leonard Dreyfuss was heavily involved with the organization’s activities in New Jersey, particularly in Newark, and served on the Governor’s Civil Defense Advisory Committee during the 1950s.

Items on display include materials related to Civil Defense activities in New Jersey, including photographs and newsclippings, and items published or distributed by Civil Defense, including pamphlets, armbands, and a poster. These items demonstrate the kind of organized efforts made by local citizens to prepare for conflict. During the Second World War, Americans were concerned with supporting the war effort and about the possibility of the conflict suddenly coming to American soil; after the war, nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction became a major concern for most Americans. The materials on display reveal one aspect of how local people tried to address those concerns and prepare for the worst.

Leonard Dreyfuss and group next to Civil Defense Rescue Service truck, from the Leonard Dreyfuss papers, Mss 0001
Leonard Dreyfuss and group next to Civil Defense Rescue Service truck, from the Leonard Dreyfuss papers, Mss 0001

How do you see these activities and materials from the 1940s-1960s, and how does that compare to similar concerns today? How do you think people deal with fear of conflict at home, and do you think it has changed over time? View the materials on display and get a historical perspective!

These items will be on display through November, 2013. Special thanks go to Lucia Alvarez, intern at the Archives and Special Collections Center, for putting much of this display together.

Ace Alagna photographic collection: Online Finding Aid

Ace Alagna with camera.
Mss 0018: Ace Alagna with camera. 00182583

The Ace Alagna photographic collection, 1944-1998, Mss 0018, is a unique, rich resource depicting the history of Newark, the Italian American community in and around Newark, New Jersey politics, people, places, and events in beautiful black and white. This collection, which has more than 2,000 images already available online through the Ace Alagna photographs digital collection, has about 40,000 items including photographic negatives, prints, videos, and layout sheets from the Italian Tribune newspaper. Now, a finding aid describing the almost 30,000 negatives in the collection has been completed and is available online.

Ace Alagna was a photographer from Newark who worked in the White House Press Corps before buying the Italian Tribune newspaper. He edited the newspaper for almost 30 years, during which time he and the Italian Tribune were the organizers and main sponsors of the Newark Columbus Day parade. The annual parade usually had a celebrity grand marshal, often someone of Italian heritage, who would be present for the parade and attendant celebrations. Ace Alagna knew a wide a range of people in New Jersey, and traveled around the country and around the world.

Ace Alagna and Frank Sinatra at Tribune Award in Atlantic City.
Mss 0018: Ace Alagna and Frank Sinatra at Tribune Award in Atlantic City. mss0018_E0388_011

The Ace Alagna photographic collection, 1944-1998, Mss 0018, includes images of notable politicians, actors, athletes, musicians, and writers such as John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, N.J. Governors Richard Hughes and Brendan Byrne, Congressman Peter Rodino, Danny Aiello, Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Phil Brito, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Piscopo, Tony Curtis, Bob Hope, and Tony LoBianco, among many others. The collection includes numerous pictures of Newark and the Columbus Day parade from the 1970s-1990s, and a large number of pictures of N.J. politicians in the state senate and assembly.

Many of the images in the collection have been scanned, and so far a small percentage of those scans are available online. There are also unprocessed portions of the collection that have not yet been described in the finding aid, particularly black and white and color prints of many of the negatives, videos related to the Columbus Day parade, and some materials that appear to be layouts for images to appear in the Italian Tribune. Materials that are not available online are available for research, with the assistance of Archives staff, at the Archives and Special Collections Center. Additional scans will be made available online in the future, as time permits, and unprocessed materials will be added to the finding aid as they are processed. Keep an eye out for more images and materials, and meanwhile, take a close look through this rich window into Newark’s history and culture!