When the Hunger for Freedom Becomes Self-Destructive

My Bostonian Ancestor Fought the Red Coats. I Fought a Heroin Addiction. Both of Us Are Soldiers.

On April 17, 1775, Samuel Whittemore was toiling in the fields of his Arlington, Massachusetts farm when he spied the British militia returning to Boston from the Battle at Lexington and Concord. He was no stranger to fighting: Whittemore had fought on behalf of the British as a captain in His Majesty’s Dragoons battling the French in the mid-1700s. However, on this particular day, Whittemore took up arms against the British in the name of independence. A historical society article about him says, “Whittemore wanted his descendants to be able …