Home » American Legion » Speeches and Words…

Speeches and Words…

My great-grandfather, Walter Everett Whitehead gave a lot of speeches during his time in both political and civic arenas.  I have written about him on this blog several times.  When my cousin Sara allowed me to take the “Whitehead Box” from the beautiful family home in Carlton, I promised that I would put the information to further our exploration of our ancestors.  As such, I am the keeper thousands of his written words.  Unfortunately, he often did not date his writings so I am not able to date them precisely.  But for the sake of our family, I wanted you to know some of his words.  I plan to translate his words from his hand to the computer.   I will date when I can.  I will provide context when I can.  Otherwise, let’s just read his words.


Written of Hotel Dempsey Stationary from Macon, Georgia:

1st We will serve the Legion through channels of casual conversation

2- We endorse the extension and not the restraint of individualism.

3-We will encourage proposals lending to make home owners and not tenants of the rising generation.

4-To sponsor and support baseball and other helpful athletic activities.

  1. Preventable diseases, poverty and inadequate living conditions, shall have our constant consideration.

6- The cause of education shall have our support and elimination of illiteracy shall be of our principal views and objects

Submitted by committee

Chloe wrote:  Wrote to soldiers he helped draft.

“Hazard of dangers even bereavement is much easier to bear than disgrace walking beneath a banner; following the flag, symbol of freedom, liberty and equality.  I need and want your friendship; your attitude has been generous and friendly.  I am wishing for you in the New Year, health, happiness and success.”

This was written on The State Senate Letterhead, so it was likely written during his time in office.  Maybe he was on the campaign trail.

Fellow Democrats of Dekalb County, Georgia,

*Constitution Preamble

*Doubtful doctrine of working less and having more?

*Not appeal to class hatred but self-exertion.

*Courage to seek and speak the truth with the low of our being-no hostility to new views.

*Desire to serve will fitted by nature

*Willing to work are honor & glory.

*Courage to act. Thirsty & determined

*Hearts devoutly thankful

*Georgia holds worth place in historic annuals

Washington monument July 4, 1848 finished Dec 1884. 126 feet square at base.  555 feet high. Marble blocks 2 feet square 1800 inches in XX

50 flights of steps, 18 each

Cost $1,500,000.

Bushrod Washington Supreme Court Justice for 31 years

Cornwallis surrendered October 19 1781

Vine & Fig tree

Men are not as we would have them.  We must take them as they are.

At death in 1799. Plans of crops were found written out for 1800-1-2 &3.

No practice more dangerous than borrowing money

Childless-often the children of the great are mortifying, seldom edifying.

The peaceful plains of America are either to be drenched in blood on her people slaves

War xx, outposts, skirmishes, observation, retreat & C

The treason of Benedict Arnold often Valley Forge.

Laid corner-stone of Capital Sept 18 1793.

Extension by Fillmore July 4 1851

64 years in building, cost $26,000,000.

Devoutly thankful to almighty God

Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown Oct 19 1781


I will continue to explore his writings.  But, I want us to reflect on what a Patriot and progressive he was.  His words still resonate today.  I sure wish I could have sat upon his knee and listen to him talk.

Until later, I will keep exploring backwards!




2 thoughts on “Speeches and Words…

  1. March 15, 2019

    What wonderful stuff.  Things that I am thankful for:

    His knowledge of wisdom, moderation, courage and justice which I consider the foundations of society and humanity.

    That he was someone, along with the Stevens heritage, who passed down the values that make me the man I am today.

    From the stories that I have heard from those who knew him and referred to him as “The Old Boss”, he was not a man to be trifled with when he was confirmed and determined regarding his business which was his farming enterprise.  I remember as clear as a bell Buddy Collins saying to me, “Misa Joe was a puddy easy goin’ man but dat Misa Wauta now, if he ‘us to tell you to do sompum’, das whut you bess do, and I’m takin’ bout rite now.”  The thing is that I never remember misunderstanding anything Buddy, Fox, Hemp, Watt, Willie, Wes, Lonnie or Coffield had to say.

    His faith, though I am not a person of faith, somehow I simply know that this is what sustained him in the times that he grew up in and lived his life in.

    Nobody I ever knew had anything really bad to say about him.  Even though they really did not like him they respected him.  I used to listen very carefully to people when I was very little (before age 10). 

    He seemed to always know what to do.  I never saw any evidence of him making bad decisions or bad choices.  The only questionable one was the blurb in the paper when he was about 22 or 23 when it was announced that he was considering buying a race horse.  Note that there was never any further mention that he did buy one so I guess he was true to his nature.

    How could you live your formative years in the era of reconstruction and still turn out as he did.  This is, however, why I believe that there is much evidence of a strong constitution.

    I firmly believe that he lived every day of his life to make the world a better place and did so by fairly and truthfully dealing with everyone he encountered in a highly respectful manner.

    It must have been hard to be a Southern Gentleman growing up knowing that you knew that a sharpshooter from and invading army had shot your daddy in the head while he was defending the State that he loved so much.  J


    In reading the excerpts I found three that gave me pause.  Consider if you were reading his long hand that he may have been writing the following which made more sense to me, however, I do not pretend to know what he really meant but sometimes when I know what I am looking for in pen and ink cursive I can find what the writer intended.  Just a thought.

    The treason of Benedict Arnold often (after) Valley Forge.

    Desire to serve will (well) fitted by nature

    Courage to seek and speak the truth with the low (love) of our being-no hostility to new views.

    Love you cuz’


  2. Dear Cuz,

    Thanks for sharing!

    If it were my stovewood … I would locate and use some talk-to-text software. Even allowing for my accent and [apparently unusual] vocabulary, I can read off a document and just correct the transcription errors – more easily than typing every forking word!

    Best wishes as always, MLS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s