by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist
ALCIBIADES (m): A prominent Athenian statesman (ca. 450-404 B.C.) during the Peloponnesian War, who claimed descent from the Argonaut Nestor (who appears in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey). In childhood a ward of Pericles, and later a friend of the philosopher Socrates, Alcibiades held power in Athens but defected to Sparta after accusations of sacrilege, and later to Persia. Returning to Athens, he was reinstated and was instrumental in several victories but was again exiled and later assassinated; his character and career are still controversial. Alcibiades Whittier (b. Dorchester, Mass. ca. 1818-20) of Reading, Mass. was a cabinet maker in Massachusetts (he is enumerated in Reading in 1850 as “Archibald” Whittier, in the household of future father-in-law Washington Damon); a later Alcibiades [also later Archibald] Whittier (ca. 1840-1928), a carriage maker in Hyde Park, Mass., was related, but apparently not a son.