Henry Gazette, Martha’s Vineyard’s Weekly Newspaper
Henry’s meticulous attention to historical detail, such as primitive buckboards based on his collection of period wagons, gives realism to his depiction of old-fashioned village gossip while his title refers to modern newspaper headlines and their lightning fast speed of newsgathering and dissemination that came about thanks to industrial printing presses and telegraphic networks.
Early Life and Education
Henry was an enthusiastic student of forest practices and beekeeping, supporting numerous charitable causes. A lifetime member of his church and Rockbridge Camera Club, Henry maintained an active interest in local wildlife.
He was an avid follower of newspaper scandal and kept scrapbooks filled with juicy stories. Here he depicts an example from village gossip involving a society belle and her husband that might seem slightly inappropriate today but would have caused much excitement back then.
This painting both nostalgically recalls earlier times and poignantly contemplates the rapidly expanding economy of gossip and scandal in Henry’s own era. It recalls Ellet’s two-volume history of women in Revolutionary America which one critic described as “reminiscences with no attempt at genuine biography.” Meanwhile, its trundling carriages and pastoral landscape suggest domestic life at peace compared with modern newsgathering and dissemination processes.
As an editor and conservationist renowned across the nation, he earned great respect. Together with his wife he founded and ran The Vineyard Gazette as part of their wedding present before eventually selling it off decades later.
This paper focused on island life and the people living on it, from businesspeople who had achieved success to teacher appreciation ceremonies and minister appreciation days. Furthermore, they weren’t afraid to cover stories that mainstream media typically overlooked.
Domestic histories were mined for story material and often parodied the common gossip at that time. Henry was an avid consumer of newspaper scandal, keeping scrapbooks full of juicy details; he also followed sensations such as demolition of old buildings or murder cases closely; both Henry and his wife followed Florida baseball club for many decades.
Achievement and Honors
Henry’s passionate orations inspired the burgesses to fight British policy. His Stamp Act Resolutions in particular warned the King against disregarding colonial rights; otherwise he risked suffering an assassination by Brutus or Charles I being replaced by Cromwell.
He was a tireless champion for both arts and needs of Black communities. To this end, in 1971 he founded Westside Gazette newspaper to reach his goals.
He founded the Sickle Cell Disease Association in Broward County. The Gazette focused on topics not addressed by mainstream press such as economic and social empowerment for Black communities in Broward. Since its inception, it has received many Henry Awards nominations.
Henry was an ardent conservationist and tireless champion for Martha’s Vineyard. Alongside his wife Betty, he led an effort to protect the environment as they edited the Gazette together. Additionally, Henry actively engaged with black community issues that mainstream press had long ignored: “He wasn’t afraid to tackle controversial racial topics that others couldn’t touch upon,” according to Levi Williams, southern regional director for Florida Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
Henry’s painting represents a world of provincial chatter and horse-drawn carriages; yet it evokes anxieties regarding mass media scandal. With allusions to gossip journalism and depictions of domestic history from period newspapers that inspired its creation, as well as narrative strategies similar to Ellet’s methods in Drafting the Letter that introduced women’s lives as historical subjects, his paintings allude to mass-media scandal.
Henry made his fortune trading agricultural futures, and established John W. Henry and Company in 1981 as a commodities brokerage firm. Additionally, he owns Florida Marlins baseball team as well as co-owning Roush Fenway Racing.
Henry’s acquisition of the Boston Globe and its sister papers marks its return to local ownership since being taken over by New York Times Company in 1993. Henry also owns both Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC as well as having partial stake in RFK Racing stock car team.
Henry has an estimated net worth of approximately $3.5 billion and donates generously to charitable causes, as well as owning a palatial home on Martha’s Vineyard. Henry has made numerous appearances on ABC reality TV show Shark Tank as well as QVC to promote his Humdinger automotive accessories line.