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WISE, Henry Alexander, governor of Virginia, born in Drummondtown, Accomack County, Virginia, 3 December, 1806; died in Richmond. Va., 12 September, 1876. He was graduated at Washington college, Pennsylvania, in 1825, studied law, was admitted to the bar in Winchester, Virginia, in 1828, and settled in that year in Nashville, Tennessee, but in 1830 returned to Accomack. In 1833 he was elected to congress by the Jackson party, and after the election fought a duel with his competitor for the office. He was twice re-elected. In congress he went over to the opposition on the development of Jackson's bank policy, and took strong ground in favor of slavery. In 1837 he was second to William J. Graves, of Kentucky, in his duel with Jonathan Cilley, of Maine, in which the latter was killed. He was a man of undoubted ability, and had great influence in John Tyler's administration, and, says John W. Forney, "Standing between the two great parties in the house, he delighted in his isolation and rioted in the eccentricities of his genius." In 1842 the senate rejected the nomination of Mr. Wise as minister to France, but he was subsequently appointed minister to Brazil, and resided at Rio Janeiro from May, 1844, till October, 1847. In 1848 and 1852 he supported the Democratic candidates for president. He was elected governor of Virginia in 1855, after a very vigorous canvass, directed especially against the "Know-Nothings," whose progress he (lid much to check by his vigorous oratory. His success, which overturned the calculations of many political prophets, was due in part to his accusation that the "Know-Nothings" were Abolitionists in disguise. Toward the close of his term occurred the seizure of Harper's Ferry by John Brown, whose execution on 2 December. 1859, was one of the last acts of his administration. (See BROWN, JOHN.) In February, 1861, he was a member of the State convention, in which, from the committee on Federal relations, he made a report that aimed at compromise and a peaceable adjustment with the seceded states. After the secession of Virginia he was appointed brigadier-general in the Confederate army. His force was driven out of Kanawha valley by the National troops under General Jacob D. Cox, and at Gauley Bridge lost a large quantity of arms and stores. Subsequently he commanded at Roanoke island, North Carolina, where his forces were defeated by General Ambrose E. Burnside's expedition, his son, Obadiah J. Wise, being among the killed. After the war he resumed the practice of his profession, he published "Seven Decades of the Union: Memoir of John Tyler" (Philadelphia, 1872).--Henry Alexander's son, John Sergeant, politician, born in Rio Janeiro, Brazil, 25 December, 1846, was educated at Virginia military institute, and, while a cadet there, took part in the battle of Newmarket, Virginia, where he was wounded, afterward serving on staff duty till the end of the war. He studied law at the University of Virginia, was admitted to the bar in 1867, and has engaged in practice in Richmond. From 1882 till 1883 he was United States district attorney. He was chosen to congress in 1882 as a Readjuster, served one term, and in 1885 was the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, but was defeated by Fitzhugh Lee.--Henry Alexander's nephew, George Douglas, congressman, born in Accomack county, Virginia, 4 June, 1831, was educated at Indiana university, studied law at William and Mary, and practised at Richmond. He served in the Confederate army as a captain, was commonwealth's attorney of Richmond in 1870-'80, and in the latter year was chosen as a Democrat to congress, where he has since served. --Governor Wise's cousin, Henry Augustus, naval officer, born in Brooklyn, New York, 12 May, 1819 ; died in Naples, Italy, 2 April, 1869, was a son of George Stuart Wise, of the United States navy. He entered the navy, 8 February, 1834, attended the naval school at Philadelphia in 1839-'40, and became a passed midshipman, 16 July, 1840. He served in the depot of charts, and on special duty in 1840-'3, and cruised in the "Plymouth," of the Mediterranean station, in 1844-'5. He was promoted to master, 31 October, 1846, and lieutenant, 25 February, 1847. During the Mexican war he was attached to the razee "Independence," on the Pacific station, and participated in the operations in the Gulf of California, at Mazatlan, and La Paz. In 1850-'2 he served in the coast survey, and then he cruised in the frigate "Cumberland," of the Mediterranean station, in 1852-'4. He was on ordnance duty at Boston and Washington during the following years until 1860. When the civil war began he was attached to the steam frigate "Niagara" in the first blockading squadron off Charleston, South Carolina, in 1861. He was promoted to commander, 16 July, 1862, and appointed assistant chief of the bureau of ordnance and hydrography, where he served throughout the remainder of the war and until January, 1869, and rendered valuable services. He was promoted to captain, 29 December, 1866, and was abroad on leave when he died. He married a daughter of Edward Everett in 1848. Captain Wise was the author of " Los Gringos, or an Interior View of Mexico and California, with Wanderings in Peru, Chili, and Polynesia" (New York, 1849) ; " Tales for the Matines" (Boston, 1855) ; " Scampavias; from Gibel Tarak to Stamboul, by Harry Gringo" (New York, 1857); " The Story of the Gray African Parrot," for children (1859); and "Captain Brand of the 'Centipede'" (London, 1860; New York, 1864).
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