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

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

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

Progress and place

FOR all that it has gained or lost in the tides of politics and war, Perth Amboy’s history attests to the power of place, the environment’s ability to span time and distance through the agency of human memory and motivation. For so many who spent the bulk of their lives elsewhere–and William Whitehead was by … More Progress and place