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

The hero’s welcome

CHARACTERS famous and obscure helped shape the thoughts and deeds of William Whitehead. Of the famous, none was more universally adored than the French nobleman who took America’s side in the Revolution. Whitehead, though born a half century after him, clearly shared in the popular regard for the Marquis de Lafayette. When Lafayette set foot on … More The hero’s welcome

A nest of families

ON a recent Sunday I was a spectator at the arrest of the Governor of New Jersey. Devotees of Perth Amboy history have taken the chief executive into custody regularly since 1976, commemorating Royal Governor William Franklin’s capture two hundred years earlier. These reenactments have never dislodged any incumbent office holders, which is perhaps to … More A nest of families