The Resource (microform)


Inclusive dates
Papers, 1829-1847, of Henry A. Wise, consisting of drafts of Wise's letters to Brazilian officials, letters and documents received by Wise, and informational notes and papers relevant to United States and Brazil relations. Correspondents include James Buchanan, John C. Calhoun, John Tyler, and Abel P. Upshur. During Wise's tenure issues relating to slavery, the annexation of Texas, claims of American citizens, tariffs, and the Mexican-American War strained the friendly relationship between the countries. Wise's overzealous and indignant responses to the Brazilian government jeopardized the relationship with Brazil and culminated in Wise's recall in 1847
Member of
  • Accessioned and described
  • Updated and Finding aid created
Additional physical form
Also available on microfilm (Misc. reel 421)
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. He was nominated as United States Minister to Brazil on 18 January 1844. He was officially appointed by President John Tyler, 16 February 1844, as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to Brazil. Wise was recalled and succeeded by David Tod in August 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
Henry A. Wise Papers
  • Original letters were previously grouped with the Accession analysis for Acc. 25186/25187
  • One letter separated to PP Oversize Box 13
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Accession analysis and index to letters
  • 1
  • .45
Governing access note
For preservation purposes, please serve microfilm (Misc. reel 421)
Organization method
Series I: Correspondence, Outgoing, 1844-1847. Series II: Correspondence, Incoming, 1844-1847. Series III: Papers relevant to U.S.-Brazilian relations, 1829-1845.
normal reduction
Specific material designation
microfilm reel
Type of unit
  • reel.
  • cu. ft. (1 box)

Library Locations

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