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

Inside, out

EVERY night at 9 o’clock, regardless of season or weather, a detachment of cadets fires a cannon across Havana harbor at the heart of the old town. Begun centuries ago to warn residents of the nightly closing of the city gates, the cañonazo is now a pageant played out year-round for tourists. Acting the part … More Inside, out

Dust and din

IN the presence of friends and fellow votaries of history assembled in an upper room of the National Newark Bank, the normally serene William A. Whitehead confessed to having suffered from “something like outraged feelings.” A half century earlier, he had stood in awed silence at the sepulchre of the man who “gave a new … More Dust and din

In the shade of the old Ceiba tree

SITES and objects of remembrance–cemeteries, monuments and inscriptions–held a fascination for William Whitehead wherever he traveled. Although he could claim little facility with the local language, his first visit to Havana in March 1829 proved no exception. Long tradition had contrived to tell precisely the time and place of the city’s birth. It was to … More In the shade of the old Ceiba tree

Tyrannies

TRAVEL is risk. No matter how close or convenient the destination, no matter how safe the conditions may be, or may be thought, travel unmoors the self from the familiar, the dependable; it causes one to see the comforts of home as things that can be left, and even lost. These effects might be slow … More Tyrannies

Imprints

KEY West’s harbor resounded at dawn with the boom of cannon, as Old Glory waved from the porches of hotels, billowing even from the schooners and brigs in port. At noon a military salute was fired, and a crowd of citizens raised three loud hurrahs. It was Wednesday 4 March 1829, the day William A. … More Imprints