My great-grandfather, Walter E. Whitehead, was the consummate patriot. I have written about him several times. You can read about him here:
During my last visit to his home, my cousin Sara allowed me to bring home this box of Whitehead artifacts. I call it that because while it pertains to my family, it is also a part of the American Story. Take for example this letter to the editor, dated 24 December 1934. Walter wrote this letter to the Athens Banner Herald in response to a news article they had run. In this letter he exudes Patriotism. I am going to give you a few lines here, and then let you read the rest in his own handwriting.
“The Legion (American Legion) believes that to protect and preserve union parallel the constitutional rights of its citizens is its first duty. Our wars have not been fought for gain on territorial expansion but for human rights. The signers of the Declaration of Independence, the writers of our Federal Constitution, our forefathers who won and established this free government, by force of arms have committed to our charge and keeping a great heritage (Walter E. Whitehead personal papers).”
“The Legion is proud of the courage and achievements of American Soldiers. They have displayed heroic virtues on the field of battle and they are determined to pay them homage. And it is their further purpose to instill in the minds of the coming generations, patriotic love for their country and its institutions (Walter E. Whitehead personal papers).”
My favorite line is “Our wars have not been fought for gain on territorial expansion but for human rights.”
Walter was a leader of men. Recall he was a Georgia State Senator on two occasions. He was also Commander of his American Legion Post, Rotarian President, Quartermaster, Major, Business Leader. He also found a way to serve his country in three wars.
There are more speeches in this box, I will post some more later.
Side Note: Please take the time to look at the letterhead. This letterhead is a story in and of itself. For example, take the statement of goods: Guano, Wagons, Farm Implements and Cotton Buyers. All of these items seem pretty normal in terms of a General Merchandise Store, however, guano sticks out. I have only known guano to be bat poop. But it turns out it was used extensively in the 19th and 20th century of farming. See, a whole new post….if you can’t wait to learn more about guano, I found an article here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/when-the-western-world-ran-on-guano
Additionally, please look at the members of the Stevens, Martin & Company. This is the first time that I have seen my 2nd great-aunts, Cynnie and Pellie Stevens on letterhead. I have heard that they helped the family immensely and neither of them ever married.
Family if you have stories to add, please feel free to comment here! This is why I do this.
Until then, I will be exploring backwards.