1841, 1858-1860
Inclusive dates
1841, 1858-1860
Letters, 1841, 1858-1860, of Henry A. Wise (1806-1876) of Accomack and Princess Anne Counties, Virginia, written to his second wife, Sarah Sergeant Wise (d. 1850) and Fernando Wood (1812-1881) of New York. Letter, 7 December 1841, from Wise to his wife discusses his search for accomodations in Washington D.C. for himself and for her, describes a visit Wise had with Mrs. Seaton and her daughter, and comments on the blocking of abolitionist measures in the House of Representatives which upset Massachusetts congressman John Quincy Adams (1767-1848). Letters, 28 January 1858, 16 March 1859, 23 July 1859, 10 September 1859, 20 January 1860, and February 1860, to Fernando Wood discuss Wise's political views concerning Wise's administration as governor of Virginia, the administration of James Buchanan (1791-1868), Wise's support of the Union as it is, Virginia's support for states' rights and strict construction, John Letcher's (1813-1884) campaign for governor of Virginia, editorial written by Wise's son Obadiah Jennings Wise (1831-1862) as editor of the Richmond ENQUIRER, Wood and New York politics, role of the Virginia and New York delegations in the upcoming Democratic presidential convention, Dan Sickles' (1819-1914) murder trial, and Wise's move into his new plantation in Princess Anne County
Member of
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Biographical or historical data
Henry Alexander Wise was born 3 December 1806 in Accomack County, Virginia, to Major John Wise (d. 1812) and Sallie Cropper Wise (d. 1813). Wise attended Washington College in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1825. He then studied law under Henry St. George Tucker in Winchester, Virginia. Admitted to the Virginia bar in 1828, Wise followed his future wife and family to Nashville, Tennessee. He practiced law in Nashville for two years before returning to Accomack in 1830. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1833, Wise served until 1844. Wise was appointed Minister to Brazil in 1844, and served in that position until 1847. He represented the Eastern Shore counties of Accomack and Northampton in the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850-1851, and represented Princess Anne County in the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861. Wise was elected governor of Virginia in 1855 and served from 1856 to 1860, during which time he met with John Brown (1800-1859) after the latter's failed raid in Harper's Ferry, (West) Virginia. During the Civil War, Wise raised troops and was appointed a brigadier general. After the war, he practiced law in Richmond, Virginia. Wise married three times: first, to Ann Elizabeth Jennings (1808-1837) of Nashville, Tennessee, 8 October 1828; second, to Sarah Sergeant (d. 1850) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 1840; and third, to Mary Elizabeth Lyons (1817-1901) of Richmond, Virginia, 1 November 1853. He fathered fourteen children, only seven of whom reached maturity. Wise died 12 September 1876, and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Immediate source of acquisition
Parke Bernet Galleries
Type of unit
  • leaves and 15
  • p.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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