Barrow Street

SUNDRY and sustained attachments bound William A. Whitehead early to the nation’s commercial capital. They were established just after the Revolutionary War and well before his birth, upon his father’s arrival as a young immigrant from the Caribbean. A furniture-maker’s apprentice turned promising craftsman, then cashier in Wall Street’s most enduring financial institution, the elder … More Barrow Street

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

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

Useful pleasures

IN the shaping of character few factors exert more influence than the pastimes of youth. An unpublished memoir by William Whitehead confirms that the days of his life between ages 13 and 18, while unburdened by conventional schooling, were varied by pursuits no less formative in his development or significant for his “future usefulness.” Fair … More Useful pleasures

Marginalia

WHITEHEAD must have cherished the natural attractions of Amboy Point, which was not just the home of his teenage years but a refuge from the less wholesome cities where he later worked and lived. Yet even before his first glimpse of Perth Amboy human activity had already so altered the coast and nearby woodlands that to summon up the … More Marginalia

Birth of a bank

THERE are two ways to sail from Newark to Perth Amboy. A boat leaving Newark Bay may head east through the Kill Van Kull, south through The Narrows and then southwest, skirting the seaward coast of Staten Island. A shorter but more sinuous course threads its way southward along the meandering Arthur Kill. The Whitehead family took one of these routes, both … More Birth of a bank