He was born in Rosette (later Round Hill, Nova Scotia), the son of John Whitman and Elizabeth Rice, and younger brother of Elnathan. For a time, he worked as a clerk and book-keeper for Phineas Lovett. He married June Spurr and operated a farm in Rosette until he was forced to find other employment due to health problems. Whitman became a merchant in Annapolis. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the provincial assembly in 1840. In 1857, Whitman was named to the province's Legislative Council and served until his death in Annapolis Royal at the age of 63.
- Calnek, W. A. History of the County of Annapolis, Nova Scotia : Including Old Port Royal & Acadia (1999)
- A Directory of the Members of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1758–1958, Public Archives of Nova Scotia (1958)