Henry Alexander WISE, Congress, VA (1806-1876)

WISE Henry Alexander , A Representative from Virginia; born in Drummondtown, Accomack County, Va., December 3, 1806; was privately tutored until his twelfth year and then entered Margaret Academy, near Pungoteague, Accomack County; was graduated from Washington College, Pennsylvania, in 1825; studied law in Winchester, Va.; was admitted to the bar in 1828 and commenced practice in Nashville, Davidson County, Tenn.; returned to Virginia in 1830; held several local offices; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses, as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth through Twenty-seventh Congresses, and as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1833, until his resignation on February 12, 1844; chairman, Committee on Naval Affairs (Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses); was appointed Minister to France in 1843, but was not confirmed; Minister to Brazil 1844-1847; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1850; Governor of Virginia 1856-1860; delegate to the Virginia Convention, 1861; served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; resumed the practice of law in Richmond, Henrico County, Va.; served on the commission to fix the boundary line between Virginia and Maryland; died in Richmond, Va., September 12, 1876; interment in Hollywood Cemetery.


Simpson, Craig M. A Good Southerner: The Life of Henry A. Wise of Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985; Wise, Henry Alexander. Seven Decades of the Union. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1872.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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