The storm of war

Hark! Hark! what sounds salute my ear? What means this thund’ring din I hear? Why roars the deep-mouth’d cannon? Why Does joy seem beaming in each eye           Which look’d of late so sad? Why are Fredonia’s flags display’d? Why beat the drums? Why this parade? Why peal the bells? Why mirth abounding? While with … More The storm of war

The seeds of industry

VACATION memories for most American children are faded by October, but early Newark’s school-age population, generally speaking, enjoyed no summer break. In a period when planting and harvesting called many older students and probably some teachers to farm work, it was left to fall or spring to bring any lengthy respite from the summons of … More The seeds of industry

A quiet lady

TRACES in the historical record such as are found for William A. Whitehead’s father are lacking for his mother. No letters, no images have surfaced, the nearest thing to a portrait being the briefest of sketches by a great-niece that simply reads: “Mrs. Abby Whitehead, a quiet lady tall, thin and stately.”1 If she was … More A quiet lady

In a country town

AS the last-born of his father’s children, William A. Whitehead would have wished to learn from his older siblings, and his parents too, about circumstances that formed him, even though he did not experience them directly. For he well understood that the constituents of a family, no less than of a people or state, not … More In a country town

Brother in arms

HOW was it that Christmas Day of 1829, just nine months after his departure from Havana for Key West and home, found William A. Whitehead back again, luxuriating in the pleasures of the Cuban countryside? Three of his published “Letters from Havana” are occupied with reminiscences of this return trip which, as he had “passed … More Brother in arms

What’s in a name

IT was mid-May, and winter had yielded finally to spring. Perth Amboy’s proliferation of trees shimmered in the unbroken warmth, while every garden put on its most daring scents and colors. In harmony with the outdoors the Whitehead home was a place of merriment, most of all on the twin anniversary of the 12th, when … More What’s in a name