1863, Padiham, Lancashire, England.
June 1944, Los Gatos, California.
Whitaker’s family emigrated to America in 1869. After working at a watch factory in Waltham, Massachusetts, he attended the Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, and Andover-Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Massachusetts. He became a Baptist minister, and served as a missionary in Aguas Calientes, Mexico (1887–88). He then pastored at churches in Seattle, Washington; Salem, Oregon; and Oakland and Los Gatos, California. He was politically active, espousing a number of liberal causes, and for worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (1924–26). He contributed articles and poetry to religious and labor journals, and was once arrested under the California Criminal Syndicalism Act for participating in a pacifist assembly At one point, he worked to free labor activist Tom Mooney from prison. Among his friends and colleagues were Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Fanny Bixby Spencer, John Holmes, and Anna Louise Strong.