Financial History Issue 113 (Spring 2015) | Page 40

comments were equally abusive. In one letter he told Madison: “Several merchants from Richmond were here [in Philadelphia] lately. I suspect it was to dabble in federal filth.” In another letter to Jefferson, Madison feared “the stockjobbers will become the praetorian band of the government, at once its tool and its tyrant.” (In ancient Rome, the Praetorian Guard was the emperor’s private army, which could and sometimes did threaten both the unruly populace and the ruler.) Madison was convinced that the stockjobbers could be bribed by Congress’s “largesses” or could overawe it “with clamours and combinations.” He gloomily concluded that his imagination would not “attempt to set bounds to the daring depravity of the times.” The enthusiasm of these first investors was unquestionably extreme and merited some concern. But the apocalyptic reaction of Jefferson and Madison was even more extreme. It revealed a profound hostility to the very idea of public finance. Hamilton’s successful intervention in the scrippomania bubble enabled President Washington to remain enthusiastic about the new financial system. He told one correspondent that the eagerness to buy shares in the Bank of United States was “unexampled proof of the resources of our countrymen and their confidence in [the] public measures” of the new federal government. A war had begun — a struggle for the public mind — the political soul — of George Washington’s America. At stake was the future of the experiment in independence to which he had devoted his life.  Donaldson said. “John was a dear friend and a shining light in all things. But that light was brightest around his integrity.” Many of Whitehead’s friends refer to his sense of humor, but none so fondly as his daughter Anne. “He had a great sense of humor, a zany, fun sense of humor. He loved the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan, and would sing along to all the songs. He was passionate about music. He was also an avid sailor. We used to race sunfish on Nantucket, and would charter sailboats — always sailboats — up to 60-footers.” Not surprisingly, Whitehead was a mentor to succeeding generations, just as he had been fostered by some of the giants of Wall Street. In particular, Anne recalls a time when Janet Hanson joined the Whiteheads on a family vacation. Hanson was the first woman promoted to management at Goldman Sachs. She founded 85 Broads, an important organization of women executives named after Goldman’s address at 85 Broad Street. It has since been renamed Ellevate. “Dad was a mentor of Janet’s and a long-time friend,” said Anne. She remembers fondly how her father feigned great indignation when Hanson beat him at bridge. Another fond memory blends Anne’s affection for her father with admiration for his holding high standards for himself and everyone. “I was in fourth grade or so, and when Dad was home for dinner we would dress for dinner. Mom was hell-bent on my brother Gregory and me being brilliant conversationalists. So during dinner Dad turned to me and asked, ‘So, Anne, what did you think of the Kosygin-Gromyko Pact?’ I was in fourth grade! But Dad said we should know the headlines in the paper every day.” Anne Whitehead became a successful corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions, but she still keeps up on world and national news. “It became a strong bond between Dad and me. When my ex would see me rifling the newspapers he would ask, ‘Oh, are we meeting with your father today?’” Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and recipient of the Museum’s 2014 Whitehead Award for Distinguished Public Service and Financial Leadership, said Whitehead left a lasting impression on everyone he encountered. “His principles of putting the client first, leaving every situation better than you found it and fulfilling one’s obligation to pay it forward are among those that will stay with me throughout my life,” Niederauer said. “He was a man among men, a leader among leaders, a hero among heroes and, most importantly, a citizen among citizens.”  Thomas Flem [