Encyclopedia of Civil War Biography - Whi-Wil
WHILLISTON, John P., Massachusetts Abolition Society, Vice-President, 1841-42; 45-46
WHIPPLE, Amiel Weeks, soldier, born in Greenwich, Massachusetts, in 1818; died in Washington, D. C., 7 May, 1863. He studied at Amherst, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1841, was engaged immediately afterward in the hydrographic survey of Patapsco River, and in 1842 in surveying the approaches to New Orleans and the harbor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 1844 he was detailed as assistant astronomer upon the northeastern boundary survey, and in 1845 he was employed in determining the northern boundaries of New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In 1849 he was appointed assistant astronomer in the Mexican boundary commission, and in 1853 he had charge of the Pacific Railroad Survey along the 35th parallel. In 1856 he was appointed engineer for the southern light-house district and superintendent of the improvements of St. Clair Flats and St. Mary's River. At the opening of the Civil War he at once applied for service in the field, and was assigned as chief topographical engineer on the staff of General Irvin McDowell. In this capacity he was the author of the first maps of that part of Virginia that were issued during the war, and performed creditable service at the first battle of Fredericksburg. Upon the second advance of the army he was attached, as chief topographical engineer, to the staff of General George B. McClellan, but, being appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, was recalled in May, 1862, and assigned to the command of the defences of Washington south of Potomac River. His service here was so well performed that he received in orders the thanks of the president of the United States. His division was assigned in October, 1862, to the 9th Corps, and took part in the movement down the eastern base of the Blue Ridge, upon the skirts of Lee's retreating army. At Waterloo his division was attached to the 3d Army Corps, and he led it at the battle of Fredericksburg. At the battle of Chancellorsville it was much exposed, and suffered more, probably, in that engagement than any other division of the army. He was shot on Monday, 4 May, 1863, when the battle was practically at an end, and, living three days, was appointed major-general of volunteers for gallantry in action. He had received the brevets of lieutenant-colonel for the Manassas Campaign, colonel for Fredericksburg, brigadier-general for Chancellorsville, and major-general for services during the war—all in the regular army.—His son, Charles William, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1868, and is now chief ordnance officer of the Department of the Missouri, with the rank of captain. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 459-460.
WHIPPLE, John Adams, inventor, born in Grafton, Massachusetts, 10 September, 1822. While a boy he was an ardent student of chemistry, and on the introduction of the daguerreotype process into this country he was the first to manufacture the chemicals that were used in it. His health having become impaired through this work, he devoted his attention exclusively to photography, in connection with which he made many useful inventions and improvements. He prepared his plates and brought out his pictures by steam, invented crayon daguerreotypes, and crystalotypes, or daguerreotypes on glass, and, with the aid of the fifteen-inch equatorial telescope of the Harvard College observatory, under the direction of Professor William C. Bond, took a daguerreotype of the moon's surface, for which he was complimented by the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of London, and on 17 July, 1850, photographed Alpha Lyra, which is said to have been the first successful experiment in stellar photography. He received the prize medal at the World's Fair, London, and a silver medal at the Crystal Palace, New York. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 462.
WHIPPLE, Charles K., Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist, American Anti-Slavery Society, Manager, 1836-1837, Executive Committee, 1840-1841. Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1846-1860.
WHIPPLE, George, 1805-1876, Oberlin, Ohio, New York, abolitionist, clergyman, educator. Secretary of the anti-slavery American Missionary Association (AMA). American Anti-Slavery Society, Manager, 1839-1840. American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Executive Committee, 1844-1855, Treasurer, 1846-1855. Teacher at Lane University. Professor and principal, Oberlin College. Met with President Lincoln at the White House regarding economic support for freed African Americans. Worked in Freeman’s Bureau after the Civil War. Agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS). (Dumond, 1961, pp. 163, 165, 185; Mabee, 1970, pp. 153, 235, 403n25; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 166; Letters, American Missionary Association)
WHIPPLE, Prince, ? – 1797, African American, slave, soldier in Revolutionary War, abolitionist. (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 10)
WHIPPLE, Squire, civil engineer, born in Worcester County, Massachusetts, 16 September, 1804; died in Albany, New York, 15 March, 1888. He earned sufficient money by teaching to educate himself at Hartwick Seminary and Fairfield Academy, and was graduated at Union College in 1830. Having acquired a fondness for mechanical pursuits as a boy in his father's cotton-factory, he now turned his attention to civil engineering, and was successively a rod-man and leveller on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1840 he designed and built the first model of a scale for weighing canal-boats, and subsequently he built the first weigh-lock scale on the Erie Canal. He began his career as a bridge-builder in 1840 by designing and patenting an iron-bridge truss. During the next ten years he built several bridges on the Erie Canal and the New York and Erie Railroad. In 1852-'3 he built a wrought and cast-iron bridge over the Albany and Northern Railroad, and by his work acquired the title of the "father of iron bridges." He obtained a patent for his lift draw-bridge in 1872, and in 1873-4 built the first one over the Erie canal at Utica. Since that time the Whipple iron bridges have stood in the foremost rank. He possessed a fine cabinet of models, instruments, and apparatus, mostly made by himself, illustrating the different branches of physical and mechanical science. Mr. Whipple was elected an honorary member of the American Society of Civil engineers in 1868. He was the author of "The Way to Happiness" (Utica. 1847), and a "Treatise on Bridge-Building" (1847; enlarged ed., New York, 1873). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 462.
WHIPPLE, William Denison, soldier, born in Nelson, Madison County, New York, 2 August, 1826. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1851, and became 2d lieutenant in the 3d U.S. Infantry on 9 September of that year. After six years of uneventful service in New Mexico, he participated in the Gila Expedition against the Apaches in 1857, the Navajo Expedition of 1858. and the defence of Fort Defiance, N. M., in 1860. He became 1st lieutenant in December, 1856, and on the opening of the Civil War was on quartermaster's duty at Indianola, Texas. After the capture of the U. S. property he escaped through the enemy's lines, was commissioned captain and assistant adjutant-general, and in that capacity was present at the battle of Bull Run and at the headquarters of the Departments of Pennsylvania and Virginia, respectively, to June, 1862, when, becoming lieutenant-colonel and additional aide-de-camp, he was on duty in the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps, and as chief of staff to General Cadwallader. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers on 17 July, 1863, and assigned as chief of staff to General George H. Thomas, being present during the operations near Chattanooga, the siege of Atlanta, the battles of Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, and Nashville and at the headquarters of the Department of the Cumberland in 1853-'5. He received the brevets of brigadier and major-general in the regular army on 13 March, 1865, for gallant service in the Atlanta Campaign and battles before Nashville. Since the war General Whipple has been on duty as assistant adjutant-general at the headquarters of the principal military divisions, and in 1873-'81 as aide-de-camp to the general of the army. He was promoted colonel in the adjutant-general's department, 28 February, 1887. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 463.
WHIPPER, William J., 1804?-1876, free African American, abolitionist, reformer, activist, writer, advocate of non-violence, temperance activist. Whipper was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Moved to Philadelphia in the 1820s, then to Columbia, Pennsylvania, where he became a successful businessman. Using his wealth, he helped hundreds of fugitive slaves to escape to freedom in Canada. (Dumond, 1961, p. 340; Mabee, 1970, pp. 36, 57, 58, 62, 64, 71, 92, 106, 134, 187, 193, 197, 203, 248, 276, 277, 293, 298, 305-307, 337, 342, 390n15; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 44; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 6)
WHISTLER, John, soldier, born in Ulster, Ireland, about 1756; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 3 September, 1829. He ran away from home when a boy, enlisted in the British Army, and served under General Burgoyne during the war of the Revolution. Upon his return to England he was honorably discharged, and soon afterward, forming an attachment for a daughter of Sir Edward Bishop, a friend of his father, he eloped with her, and, coming to this country, settled at Hagerstown, Sid. He shortly afterward entered the U. S. Army, served in the ranks, and was severely wounded in the disastrous campaign against the Indians in 1791. He was promoted captain, 1 July, 1797, and in the summer of 1803 was sent with his company of the 1st U.S. Infantry from Detroit to the head-waters of Lake Michigan, where, before the close of the year, he completed Fort Dearborn on the site of the city of Chicago. Having attained the brevet rank of major, he was appointed in 1815 military store-keeper at Newport, Kentucky, and afterward at Jefferson barracks, near St. Louis, where he remained till his death.—His son, William, soldier, born in Maryland in 1780; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 4 December, 1863, was appointed a lieutenant of infantry, 8 June, 1801, and took part in the battle of Maguaga, Michigan, 9 August, 1812. He was promoted captain in December, 1812, major of the 2d U.S. Infantry, 28 April, 1826. lieutenant-colonel of the 7th U.S. Infantry, 21 July, 1834, and colonel of the 4th U.S. Infantry, 15 July. 1845. He retired from the service on 9 October, 1861. At his death he was the oldest army officer in the United States, with the exception of General Winfield Scott.—William's son, Joseph Nelson Garland, soldier, born in Green Bay, 19 October, 1822, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1846, and entered the army as 2d lieutenant of the 8th U.S. Infantry, but six months later was transferred to the 3d U.S. Infantry. He served in the war with Mexico, being engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz, the principal battles of the campaign that followed, and the capture of the city of Mexico. He was promoted 1st lieutenant in June, 1852, in 1861 was captured in Texas by the Confederates and paroled as a prisoner of war, and promoted captain in May, 1861. He was then on duty at the U. S. Military Academy as assistant instructor of infantry tactics till March, 1863. His services in the volunteer army date from May, 1863, when he was made colonel of the 2d New York Artillery. He served in the Richmond Campaign, participating in the battles of Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, and the assaults on Petersburg, where he was wounded during the siege. From July, 1864, till September, 1865, he commanded a brigade in the defences of Washington. In December, 1865, he was mustered out as brevet brigadier-general of volunteers. In September, 1866, he was transferred to the 31st U.S. Infantry, and in March, 1869, to the 22d U.S. Infantry. In February, 1874, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 5th U.S. Infantry, and in May, 1883. he became colonel of the 15th U.S. Infantry. At the time of his retirement, 19 October, 1886, he was in command at Fort Buford, Dakota.— William's brother, George Washington, engineer, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 19 May, 1800; died in St. Petersburg, Russia, 7 April, 1849, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1819, appointed a 2d lieutenant in the corps of artillery, and was afterward, till 1821, employed on topographical duty and part of the time at Fort Columbus. From 2 November, 1821, till 30 April, 1822, he was assistant professor at the U. S. Military Academy, and he was employed in 1822-'6 in connection with the commission that was engaged in tracing the international boundary between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods. He was made 1st lieutenant in August, 1829, and was on topographical duty almost continually till 31 December, 1833, when he resigned from the army. With Jonathan Knight, William Gibbs McNeill, and Ross Winans, he examined the railroads of England on behalf of the directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and afterward engaged in the construction of that road, the Boston and Albany, and other railroads. In 1834 Lieutenant Whistler became engineer to the proprietors of locks and canals at Lowell, and from 1834 till 1837 he gave much of his time to the reproduction, for the Boston and Albany Railroad, of a locomotive that was imported from the works of George and Robert Stephenson, at Newcastle, England. In 1837 he moved to Stonington, Connecticut, to take charge of the Stonington Railroad, and from 1840 till 1842 he was chief engineer of the Boston and Albany Railroad, with his headquarters at Springfield, Massachusetts In 1842 he went to Russia to act as engineer for the contemplated railroad to unite St. Petersburg and Moscow. Not only was the road to he built, but the iron for the track, the locomotives, cars, and everything appertaining to the road were to be manufactured under his supervision. In addition to the construction of railroads, he was also employed to build extensive dock-yards at St. Petersburg, and to improve the Russian harbors and rivers. In 1847, in recognition of his services, the Emperor Nicholas conferred upon Lieutenant Whistler the decoration of the Order of St. Anne. He is buried at Stonington, Connecticut, but a monument was erected to his memory in Greenwood cemetery by American engineers. — George Washington's son, George William, engineer, born in New London, Conn., in 1822; died in Brighton, England, 24 December, 1869, began the practice of his profession as a civil engineer under his father in 1840. He was connected with various railroads in this country, and was superintendent of the Erie, and New York and New Haven Railroads. In the winter of 1856 he went to Russia to take charge of the St. Petersburg and Moscow Railroad under the Winans contract, and he continued there, with the exception of a short interval, till the spring of 1869, when he resigned in consequence of impaired health. He was specially noted for his knowledge of railway machinery and for executive ability in the management of railways.—Another son, James Abbott McNeill, artist, born in Lowell. Massachusetts. in 1834, was educated at the U. S. Military Academy, studied for two years under Charles Gabriel Gleyre in Paris, and in 1863 settled in London. He holds peculiar theories on art, which have been the subject of much criticism. In many of his later works especially he has made interesting experiments in color, and he frequently succeeds in producing extraordinary results with few and subdued colors. There is at times, however, a sacrifice of form to color impressions in his " arrangements” and " nocturnes." His more important paintings are " White Girl" (1862); "Coast of Brittany." -'Last of Old Westminster," and " Westminster Bridge " (1863); "Princesse des Pays de la Porcelaine " (1865); "At the Piano" (1867)'; "Portrait of my Mother" (an "Arrangement in Gray and Black"), and portrait of Thomas Carlyle (1872); "Gold Girl." " Nocturne in Blue and Gold." and "Nocturne in Blue and Green" (1878); "Harmony in Gray and Green" (1881); "Nocturne in Blue and Silver," "Blue Girl," and "Entrance to Southampton Water" (1882); "Great Fire Wheel" (1883); "Harmony in Brown and Black " (1884); and " Arrangement in Black" (Lady Archibald Campbell) and "Arrangement in Gray and Green " (Miss Alexander), both exhibited at Munich in 18H8. His skill in etching has gained for him a position among etchers that is even higher than that which he holds as a painter. Among his works in this branch of art are a series of plates on London. Venice, and Brussels. He has published "Ten O'clock" (Boston. 1888). See an article by William C. Brownell, Scribner’s Monthly" for August, 1879, and Frederick Wedmore's "Four Masters of Etching" (London. 1883). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 463-464.
WHITAKER, Daniel Kimball, editor, born in Sharon, Connecticut, 13 April, 1801; died in New Orleans, Louisiana, 10 April, 1881. He was graduated at Harvard in 1820, studied law, and, moving to South Carolina, became the partner of John Lyde Wilson, of that state. He practised with success, but his taste was for literature, and he became the founder and editor of several periodicals that included the "Southern Literary Journal," " Whitaker's Magazine," and the " Southern Quarterly Review," which he founded in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1841, and conducted successfully until the Civil War. He moved to New Orleans in 1866, where he founded and edited for many years the " New Orleans Monthly Review." He was corresponding secretary of the New Orleans Academy of Sciences. Mr. Whitaker united with the Roman Catholic church in 1878.—His wife. Mary Scrimzeour, author, born in Beaufort District, South Carolina, 22 February, 1820, is the daughter of Reverend Samuel Furman, of South Carolina. She was educated in Edinburgh, contributed her first poems to the Scottish press under the auspices of Thomas Campbell, and was favorably reviewed by the critics of that city. She married in 1837 John Miller, a Scotch attorney, who died three months afterward. Mrs. Miller then returned to this country, and in 1849 married Mr. Whitaker. Her publications include many magazine articles, a collection of " Poems " (Philadelphia, 1850), and "Albert Hastings," a novel (1868). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 465.
WHITAKER, Walter C., soldier, born in Shelby County, Kentucky, in August, 1823; died in Lyndon, Kentucky, 9 July, 1887. He received his education at Bethany College, West Virginia, under the presidency of Alexander Campbell, and had begun the study of law, when, at the opening of the war with Mexico, he entered the regiment of Kentucky volunteers as a lieutenant and served with gallantry. At the end of the war he resumed his legal studies, and soon afterward he opened an office at Shelbyville, Kentucky, devoting himself chiefly to criminal law, in which he won reputation. He also carried on a large farm, and took an active part in politics. He was a member of the state senate in 1861, when Kentucky was invaded by the Confederate Army, which, early in September, took possession of Columbus. He offered the resolution, which was almost unanimously adopted, "that the governor be requested to call out the military force of the state to expel and drive out the invaders." This resolution terminated the sham neutrality the state had undertaken to uphold. Soon afterward senator Whitaker entered the military service as colonel of the 6th Kentucky Infantry, which was mustered in early in September, and moved to meet General Simon B. Buckner's advance to Muldraugh's Hill. From that time till the close of the war his service was constant. He took an active part in the battle of Shiloh, in which his regiment lost 103 killed or wounded, and also in the battle of Stone River, and on 25 June, 1863, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers. At Chickamauga, his brigade was in the reserve corps that marched upon the field at the critical moment and repelled the assault of the enemy on the National right. At the capture of Lookout Mountain, he was wounded, but he continued on the field. He was subsequently in all the engagements of the Atlanta Campaign and the battle of Nashville, and was promoted brevet major-general for gallant services. At the end of the war he returned to the practice of his profession at Louisville, and became connected with some of the most famous criminal trials in that region. He was a man of marked individuality of manner and character, and of an impetuous temper, which involved him in numerous personal difficulties, and led to his becoming for a time an inmate of an insane asylum. But in his later years he fully recovered his health, and had his share of legal practice. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 465.
WHITAKER, William, N. Salem, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1837-40.
WHITCOMB, James, Michigan, abolitionist, American Anti-Slavery Society, Manager, 1837-1839.
WHITCOMB, Rueben Jr., Howard, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Abolition Society, Vice-President, 1846.
WHITE, Albert Smith, senator, born in Blooming Grove, Orange County, New York, 24 October, 1803; died in Stockwell, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 4 September, 1864. He was graduated at Union in 1822, in the class with William H. Seward. After studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1825, and soon afterward moved to Indiana. In March, 1829, he opened an office in Lafayette, where, and in the neighboring town of Stockwell, he resided until his death. During the session of 1828-'9 he reported the proceedings of the Indiana Legislature for an Indianapolis journal, the first work of the kind that had been done in the state. In 1830-'l he was assistant clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives, and from 1832 till 1835 he served as its clerk. In 1832 he was a candidate for Congress in opposition to Edward A. Hannegan, but was defeated. Four years later he was elected, serving from 4 September, 1837, till 3 March, 1839. The year before he had been an elector on the Whig ticket. In 1839 Mr. White was elected to the U. S. Senate as the successor of General John Tipton. There were three candidates, and he was not chosen until the 36th ballot. In the Senate he opposed the annexation of Texas, as well as every other measure that tended to extend the area of slavery. He was also active in securing grants of land to aid in the extension of the Wabash and Erie Canal. On the expiration of his senatorial term in 1845 he resumed the practice of law, but soon abandoned it to become actively engaged in the construction of railroads. He was president of the Indianapolis and Lafayette road from its organization until 1856, and for three years was also at the head of the Wabash and Western Railway. In I860 Mr. White was elected to Congress as a Republican, and served from 4 July, 1861, till 3 March, 1863. He was made chairman of a select committee whose duty it was to consider the question of compensated emancipation, and reported a bill appropriating $180,000,000 to pay loyal owners for their slaves, and $20,000,000 to aid in the colonization of the freedmen. This measure was recommended and supported by Mr. Lincoln with all the influence of his office. In presenting the bill, Mr. White accompanied it with an elaborate report on slavery as a social and political problem. He contended that the white and black races should be separated, and the latter colonized in the equatorial regions of America. He also assured the south that if his proposition were not accepted, their slaves would ultimately be taken from them without compensation. Mr. White, at the close of his term, failed to secure a renomination, mainly on account of his action on this question. He was named by the president one of three commissioners to adjust the claims of citizens of Minnesota and Dakota, against the government for Indian depredations. On the death of Caleb B. Smith, 7 January, 1864, President Lincoln appointed Mr. White U. S. judge for the district of Indiana, but he lived to discharge the duties of the office only a few months. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 466-467.
WHITE, Alexander, lawyer, born in Franklin, Robertson County, Tennessee, 16 October, 1816. He was taken to Alabama when five years of age, and educated there and at the University of Tennessee, but he volunteered in the Creek and Seminole War in 1836, and therefore was not graduated. He subsequently studied law with his father, John White (1784-1842), who was one of the circuit and supreme court judges of Alabama. On his admission to the bar in 1838 he practised at first as the associate of his father, and afterward (1841-'55) as the partner of Lewis E. Parsons at Talladega. He was elected to Congress as a Union Whig after an exciting contest in a Democratic district, and served from 1 December, 1851, till 3 March, 1853. In 1856 he moved to Selina, and in 1860 he supported Bell and Everett for president and vice-president. He earnestly opposed secession, but decided to act with his state when that event became inevitable. At the close of the war he was a member of the convention to frame a new constitution for Alabama, and he was elected to the general assembly of the state in 1872. In the following year he was chosen to Congress as a Republican, and served from 1 December, 1873, till 4 March, 1875. In the latter year he was appointed an associate justice of the U. S. court for the Territory of Utah. After holding the office for a brief term he returned to Alabama, and in 1875 moved to Dallas, Texas, where he practices his profession. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 467.
WHITE, David Nye, journalist, born in Wareham, Massachusetts, 22 August, 1805; died in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, 1 April, 1888. He was descended from Peregrine White, and his father, Ebenezer, served through the Revolutionary War. He moved with his parents to Ohio soon after the war of 1812; was a Printer in Canton, Ohio, and Rochester, New York, in December, 1827, moved to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and in 1841 purchased the Pittsburg " Gazette," of which he was also editor. He was opposed to slavery, and, despairing of accomplishing anything to benefit the slaves through the existing political parties, he published a call in 1855 for a county convention to form a new party. The call had few signers, but, when the convention met, every district in the county was represented by a duly elected delegate. A ticket was nominated, and from this beginning, it is claimed, sprang the Republican Party. Mr. White was collector of internal revenue of the 23d district of Pennsylvania for four years, a member of the state house of representatives three years, and a delegate at large to the Constitutional Convention of 1873-'4. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 469.
WHITE, Edward Douglas, jurist, born in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, 3 November, 1845, was educated at Mt. St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the Jesuit's College in New Orleans. During the Civil War he served in the Confederate Army. He then studied and practised law, was a state senator in 1874-'8 and judge of the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1878-'80, and on 29 May, 1888, was elected U. S. Senator for the term beginning on 4 March, 1889. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 469.
WHITE, Francis J., soldier, born in New York City in 1842; died in San Francisco, 29 August, 1875. He was the eldest son of James H. White, who was at one time judge of the Superior Court of New York. Francis received a good education, and early in life contributed articles to magazines. At the opening of the Civil War he joined the 10th New York Regiment, participated in the battle of Bull Run, and was subsequently on the peninsula with General Benjamin F. Butler. He then served under Fremont, and in October, 1861, at the head of his "prairie scouts," recaptured Lexington, Missouri. In the autumn of 1861 he was transferred to the Army of the Mississippi, and in the autumn of 1862 he followed Porter, the guerilla chief, for thirteen days and routed his band. At one period of the war he was provost-marshal and judge-advocate-general in central Missouri, and in the closing years of the contest he was governor of the eastern shore of Maryland. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, 13 March, 1865, and was offered a captaincy in the regular army, which he declined. After serving a short time in Texas, he moved to St. Louis, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and elected to the legislature. He subsequently went to California, where he resided till his death, which was the result of disease contracted during the war. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 470.
WHITE, George Leonard, educator, born in Cadiz, Cattaraugus County, New York, 20 September, 1838. He was the son of a blacksmith, and while attending school assisted his father in the shop. When he was fourteen years old his father's health gave way, and the support of the family devolved upon him and his sisters. He conducted his father's business, but studied in leisure hours, moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, and began to teach. In 1862 he enlisted in the 73d Ohio Regiment, and fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Valley, and Lookout Mountain. At the close of the war he entered the employ of the Freedmen's Bureau, but in 1868 he resigned to give his entire time to the work of Fisk University. Mr. White had heard the simple Negro songs that came into being during the days of slavery, and he resolved to form a band of his best voices to sing these songs in the large cities of the north in aid of the university. His means were limited, but, embarking his all in the enterprise, he left Nashville with his jubilee singers on 6 October, 1871. By May, 1872, he had remitted to the college $20,000. The troupe was everywhere received with enthusiasm, and a second tour netted as much as the first. Early in 1874 they went to Europe, where a like reception met them. They sang before Queen Victoria and nearly every crowned head on the continent, and returned with a gain of $50,000. The total sum that was realized to the institution was $155,000. With the funds thus acquired twenty-five acres on a commanding eminence near Nashville have been purchased, and a fine building has been erected, which has been called Jubilee Hall. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 470.
WHITE, Harry, soldier, born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, 12 January, 1834. He received a collegiate education, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1855, and practised at Indiana, Pennsylvania, till the beginning of the Civil War, when he entered the National service as major of the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry. While in the army he was elected a state senator, serving in the winter of 1862-'3. He afterward returned to his command, was captured by the Confederate troops, and retained as a prisoner sixteen months, but escaped and reached the National lines near Atlanta in October, 1864. He returned to his command, served till the end of the war, was promoted to a colonelcy, and was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers, 2 March, 1865. He was re-elected to the Senate of Pennsylvania in 1865, and served by successive elections till 1874, being speaker at the close of the term of 1871. In 1872 he was elected a delegate-at-large to the State Constitutional Convention, and he served in Congress from Pennsylvania in 1877-'81, having been chosen as a Republican. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 470.
WHITE, Edward Brickell, architect, born in Charleston, 29 January, 1806; died in New York City, 10 May, 1882. Entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1822, and was graduated four years later. He served in the army for ten years, resigning in 1836, and during that time was frequently detached for engineering duties. Settling in Charleston, he followed successfully his profession as an engineer, being engaged in the building of various railroads. He erected also numerous residences, built Trinity church in Charleston, and designed the monument to Colonel William Washington, at Eutaw Springs, and that to William G. Simms, in Charleston. He entered the Confederate Army, and served though out the war. In 1865 he moved to New York, where he remained until his death. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 473.
WHITE, Octavins Augustus, physician, born in Charleston, 8 February, 1826, was graduated at the College of South Carolina in 1846, and at South Carolina Medical College two years later. He began and continued the practice of medicine with success. until the opening of the Civil War, when he received the commission of surgeon in the Confederate Army. At the close of the war he moved to New York, where he has since resided. He is a member of the New York Academy of Medicine, and other medical societies. […]. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 473.
WHITE, Jacob C., Jr., 1837-1902, African American, educator, reformer, abolitionist, Free Produce advocate. (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 31)
WHITE, Jacob Clement, Sr., 1806-1872, African American, abolitionist, businessman, father of Jacob C. White, Jr. (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 32)
WHITE, James, Essex County, New Jersey, abolitionist. Manager, 1833-1840, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833. (Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833)
WHITE, Julius, soldier, born in Cazenovia. Madison County, New York, 29 September, 1816. He moved to Illinois in 1836, and has resided in that state and in Wisconsin, where he has engaged in commercial pursuits. In 1849 he was a member of the Wisconsin Legislature. He was made collector of customs at Chicago, Illinois, in the spring of 1861, but resigned that office on his appointment as colonel of the 37th Illinois Volunteers, then known as the Fremont Rifle Regiment. He commanded it during General John C. Fremont's Expedition to southwest Missouri in the autumn of 1861, and was afterward placed at the head of a brigade, accompanying General Samuel K. Curtis into Arkansas during the succeeding winter. He participated in the battle of Pea Ridge, and his appointment of brigadier-general of volunteers dated from that battle, 9 June, 1862. He was then assigned to the Department of the Shenandoah, and was subsequently ordered to report to General John E. Wool. He was at Martinsburg in September, 1862, and, when that town became untenable, retired to Harper's Ferry, where he volunteered to serve as second in command under his inferior officer, Colonel Dixon S. Miles, who was in charge of that post. When Harper's Ferry was surrendered, on 15 September, 1862, to General Ambrose P. Hill, he became a prisoner of war, but was released on parole. He was then placed under arrest by the U. S. government, and, at his own request, a court of inquiry was called, which found that he acted with capability and courage. He resigned in 1864, and on 13 March, 1863, was brevetted major-general of volunteers, He has since been in business in Illinois. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 473-474.
WHITE, Lydia, Society of Friends, Quaker, abolitionist. Original founding member of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1834. (Drake, 1950, p. 140; Rodriguez, 2007, p. 416; Yellin, 1994, pp. 69, 161, 163, 278-279)
WHITE, Richard Grant, author, born in New York City, 22 May, 1821; died there, 8 April, 1885. His ancestor, John White, came from England in 1636, and was a settler of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut, and his grandfather, Calvin (1763-1853), was rector of St. James's Parish in Derby, Connecticut, but afterward became a Roman Catholic, although he did not enter the priesthood of that church. He was a Tory and just escaped hanging by the mob because he "refused to shout 'Property and liberty!' Richard Grant's father, Richard Mansfield White, intended his son for the church, but after his graduation at the University of the City of New York in 1839 he studied medicine and afterward law, and was admitted to the bar in 1845. His literary tendencies drew him from law, and he soon became a contributor to the New York "Courier and Enquirer." where his musical, dramatic, and art criticisms attracted attention. From 1845 till 1859 he was connected with this journal, and he served as its editor in 1854-'9. He was a founder in 1846-'7 of " Yankee Doodle." and also a founder in 1860 of the " World," from which he withdrew in 1861. During the Civil War he wrote a series of letters to the London "Spectator," signed "A Yankee," which were of much service to the National cause. For nearly twenty years he was chief of the U. S. Revenue Marine Bureau in the district of New York, which post he resigned in 1878. He wrote for magazines, contributed articles to cyclopaedias, and edited the “Illustrated Record of the New York Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations" (1854), and "Poetry, Lyrical, Narrative, and Satirical of the Civil War" (1866). On the publication of John Payne Collier's folio manuscript emendations of Shakespeare (1852), Mr. White contributed a series of papers to “Putnam's Magazine," in which he denied the value of the emendations. The acumen and style of these articles elicited general admiration, and their subtle and vigorous criticism gave him a place among the most learned Shakespearian scholars. His publications are an " Appeal from the Sentence of the Bishop Onderdonk of New York" (New York. 1845): "Biographical and Critical Hand Book of Christian Art" (1853); "Shakespeare's Scholar" (1854); "The Works of William Shakespeare." an annotated edition (12 vols., Boston, 1857-'65): "Essay on the Authorship of the Three Parts of Henry the Sixth" (Cambridge, 1859); " National Hymns." an essay, with selections from the hymns written for a prize of $600 offered by a national committee, which was not awarded (New York, 1861); […]. His son, Stanford, architect, born in New York City, 9 November. 1853. was educated in his native city in public schools and under private tutors. He studied architecture under Charles D. Gambrill and Henry H. Richardson, and was chief assistant of that firm when they built Trinity church, Boston. During 1878-'80 he studied in Europe, and in 1881 he entered into partnership with Charles F. McKim and William R. Mead. Mr. White has made all of the designs for the architectural work of the statues by Augustus St. Gaudens, notably the pedestal of the Farragut monument in Madison Square. New York City (see illustration), and that of the Lincoln statue in Chicago. He has furnished many designs for book-covers, and those of the "Century" and " Scribner's Magazine" were by him. The University of the City of New York conferred on him the degree of A. M. in 1882. He is a member of the Tile Club, the American Institute of Architects, and other artistic and professional organizations. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 474-475.
WHITE, T. Joiner, New York, American Abolition Society (Radical Abolitionist, Vol. 1, No. 1, New York, August 1855)
WHITE, William, free African American, co-founded Free African Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1787 (Rodriguez, 2007, p. 156)
WHITEHOUSE, James Horton, designer, born in Handsworth, Staffordshire, England, 28 October, 1833. He was educated at King Edward's school, in Birmingham, and came to this country in his youth. He soon found employment as a designer and engraver in the house of Tiffany and Company, with whom he has since remained continuously. Many of the best-known art-pieces of silver-ware that have been produced in this country were designed by him, among them the Bryant vase, which was presented to the poet on his eightieth birthday, and is to be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, also the silver casket presented to Bishop Horatio Potter on 25 November, 1879, the twenty-fifth anniversary of his consecration. The elaborate design of the latter was wrought by the repousse process, the golden enrichments are carved by hand, and the damaskeening was richer and costlier than any similar work ever produced in this country. The third seal of the United States, which is now in use in Washington, was designed by him. (See illustration.) The first seal was made under President Washington's immediate direction, while the second was a failure. Mr. Whitehouse has designed numerous national medals, as well as most of the U. S. corps badges that were made during the Civil War, also the beautiful memorial brasses in the tower of St. James's church, Lenox hill, New York City. He is a recognized authority on art, and is frequently consulted in the technicalities of art-work, the various applications of art, and on heraldry. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 479-480.
WHITELEY, Richard Henry, congressman, born in Ireland, 22 December, 1830. He was taken to Georgia in 1836, and engaged in the manufacturing business in early boyhood, but in 1860, having studied law, was admitted to the bar. He opposed secession, but served in the Confederate Army in 1861-'5. In 1867 he was chosen as a Republican to the State Constitutional Convention, and in the following year he was a Republican candidate for Congress and was appointed solicitor-general of the southwestern circuit. In February. 1870, he was elected U. S. Senator, but not admitted to a seat. Meanwhile he and his Democratic opponent had been contesting the Congressional election of 1868, and the seat was finally awarded to Mr. Whiteley in February, 1871, at the close of the session. He served from this time till 1875, and was a defeated candidate for the two following Congresses. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 480.
WHITELEY, Robert Henry Kirkwood, soldier, born near Cambridge, Maryland, 15 April, 1809. He was appointed from Delaware to the U. S. Military Academy, where he was graduated in 1830, and, being assigned to the 2d U.S. Artillery, served in various arsenals and garrisons, including that of Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, in 1832-'3, during the threatened nullification troubles. He was promoted 1st lieutenant, 28 December, 1835, brevetted captain. 19 July, 1836, for gallant conduct in the Florida War, and in 1838 was transferred to the ordnance. He was promoted captain in 1842, and commanded successively the arsenal at, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that in St. Louis, Missouri, the New York Ordnance Depot, and the arsenal at San Antonio, Texas, till the last-named was seized by the state on its secession in 1861. During the Civil War he was in charge of the New York Arsenal till 1862, and then of Alleghany Arsenal, Pennsylvania, which latter post he held till his retirement from active service on 14 April, 1875. He became major, 3 August, 1861, lieutenant-colonel, 1 June, 1863, and colonel, 6 April, 1866, and on 13 March, 1865, was brevetted colonel and brigadier-general. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 480.
WHITFIELD, James Monroe, 1822-1871, African American, abolitionist, orator, poet, supported African American emigration and Black nationalism. (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 53)
WHITING, Daniel Powers, soldier, born in Troy, New York. 31 July, 1808. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1832, and assigned to the 7th U.S. Infantry, with which he served in various garrisons, becoming 1st lieutenant, 8 June, 1836, and captain, 18 April, 1845. During the Mexican War he was engaged at Fort Brown, Monterey, Vera Cruz, and Cerro Gordo, where he was brevetted major. After serving against the Seminoles, on the frontier, and in the Utah Expedition in 1859, he attained full rank on 20 December, 1860. He was in command of Fort Garland, Colonel, in 1861-'2. became lieutenant-colonel, 15 February, 1862, served on a board of examination at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1862-'3, and on 4 November, 1863, was retired "for disability, resulting from long and faithful service, and from sickness and exposure in the line of duty." He has published “The Army Portfolio," a series of lithographed views illustrating the Mexican War (Washington, 1849). It was intended to continue the series, but Colonel Whiting's sketches were lost on a steamboat that sank in the Mississippi River. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 482.
WHITING, William, Concord, Massachusetts, abolitionist, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1853-60-.
WHITING, William B., naval officer, born in Troy, New York, 13 November, 1813; died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 16 December, 1883. He was appointed a midshipman in the U.S. Navy, 2 February, 1829, and cruised on the Pacific Station in 1831-'4, principally engaged on surveys. He became a passed midshipman. 4 June, 1836, served on coast-survey duty in 1837-'43. in the frigate "Macedonian," on the coast of Africa, on surveying duty in 1843-'5, and at the naval observatory at Washington in 1845-50. during which he drew plans of the defences of Vera Cruz preliminary to the expedition of the navy and General Winfield Scott's army. He was again on the coast survey in 1851—'2, and cruised in the sloop" Vandalia," 1852-6, measuring the coasts of China and Japan. He was placed on the reserved list by the notorious retiring board of 1855 because his entire service had been in surveying duty rather than the military duties of the naval profession. He was then attached to the U. S. Naval Observatory at Washington until 1871, where he rendered valuable services in astronomical work. In recognition of his scientific attainments, he was promoted to commander and captain in 1867, and to commodore in 1871. After this last promotion he was relieved from active duty. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 483.
WHITING, William Danforth, naval officer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 27 May, 1823. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman. 1 March, 1841, and served in the sloop " Levant " in 1846-'7, at the capture of Monterey, California, when the American flag was first hoisted on that shore, 7 July, 1846. He attended the naval academy in 1847-'8, was graduated, and-became a passed midshipman, 10 August, 1847. He was promoted to master, 1 May, 1855, and to lieutenant, 14 September, 1855, and was attached to the steam frigate "Niagara" when the first Atlantic cable was laid in 1857. He was executive of the sloop "Vandalia" at the capture of Port Royal in 1861, and commanded the steamer "Wyandotte " on the South Atlantic Blockade and in the Potomac Flotilla. Lieutenant Whiting was promoted to lieutenant-commander, 16 July, 1862, and in the gun-boat "Ottawa" participated in the attacks on the defences of Charleston, engaged Battery Gregg and Fort Wagner, and assisted in the capture of the lower end of Morris Island in 1863-'4. In 1864-'5 he commanded the " Savannah," in the Eastern Gulf Station. He was commissioned a commander, 25 July, 1866, had the steamer " Tioga" on the coast of Maine and in the Gulf, was at the New York Navy-yard in I867-'9 and 1871—'2, and commanded the sloop "Saratoga" and the monitor "Miantonomoh" in the North Atlantic Squadron in 1869-'70. He was promoted to captain, 19 August, 1872. and commanded the steam sloop "Worcester," flag-ship of the North Atlantic Squadron, in 1871-'5. In the first year of that cruise he took out contributions of food and clothing from the American people for the relief of the French sufferers in the Franco-Prussian War. Owing to the want of means to transport these contributions to the needed districts in the east of France, the stores were taken to Liverpool and London, where a favorable market realized a much larger sum of money than that which was expended for the purchase of these stores in this country. The American relief committee in France also urged that the money was more needed than contributions in any other shape. He was present at New Orleans during the political excitement owing to the overthrow of the Packard government, and won the confidence of the citizens by wise measures, contributing to allay the excitement. On 11 June, 1878, he was appointed chief of Bureau of Navigation and office of detail, with the rank of commodore. Failing health and almost total blindness resulting from exposure incidental to the service compelled him to be relieved from this duty, 12 October, 1881, from which date he was placed on the retired list, with the rank of commodore, by special act of Congress. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 483-484.
WHITING, William Henry Chase, soldier, born in Mississippi about 1825; died on Governor's Island, New York Harbor, 10 March. 1865. His father, Levi, a native of Massachusetts, was an officer of the regular army from 1812 until his death in 1852, when he was lieutenant-colonel of the 1st artillery. The son was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1845 at the head of the class in which were Charles P. Stone, Fitz-John Porter, and Gordon Granger. He was assigned to the Engineer Corps, and engaged in the construction of forts and internal improvements in the west and south, becoming a captain, 13 December, 1858. He resigned on 20 February, 1861, entered the Confederate service, and in June and July of that year was chief engineer, with the rank of major, of the Army of the Shenandoah, under General Joseph E. Johnston. He was promoted brigadier-general on 27 August, 1861, and commanded the brigade whose timely arrival won the battle of Bull Run for the Confederates. He took part in the battle of West Point, Virginia. 7 May, 1862, was made a major-general in 1863, and built Fort Fisher, N. C., of which he took command in the autumn of 1864. He defended the fort during the unsuccessful attack by General Benjamin F. Butler, and the successful one by General Alfred Terry (q. v.), and on its capture was severely wounded and taken prisoner. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 484.
WHITMAN, Walt, 1819-1892, poet, essayist, journalist. Wrote antislavery poetry. Supported the Wilmot Proviso and was opposed to the inclusion of slavery in the new territories. His poetry presented his views on the equality of the races. Supported the abolition of slavery, but did not necessarily support the tactics of the abolitionist movement. In 1856, he wrote to the people of the South, in an unpublished work, “You are either to abolish slavery, or it will abolish you.” (Hughes, Meltzer, & Lincoln, 1968; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 485-486; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 143)
WHITMAN, Walt, or Walter, poet, born in West Hills, Long Island, New York, 31 May, 1819. He was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn and New York City, and learned printing, working at that trade in summer and teaching in winter. Subsequently he also acquired skill as a carpenter. For brief periods he edited newspapers in New Orleans and in Huntington, Long Island. In 1847-'8 he made long pedestrian tours through the United States, generally following the courses of the great western rivers, and also extended his journey through Canada. His chief work, “Leaves of Grass” (New York, 1855), is a series of poems dealing with moral, social, and political problems, and more especially with the interests involved in 19th century American life and progress. In it he made a new and abrupt departure as to form, casting his thoughts in a mould the style of which is something between rhythmical prose and verse, altogether discarding rhythm and regular metre, but uttering musical thoughts in an unconventional way which is entirely his own. Expecting the opposition and abuse with which his volume was assailed, he speaks of it as a sortie on common literary use and wont, on both spirit and form, adding that a century may elapse before its triumph or failure can be assured. For thirty years Whitman has been correcting and adding to this work, and he says that he looks upon “Leaves of Grass” “now finished to the end of its opportunities and powers, as my definitive carte visite to the coming generations of the New World, if I may assume to say so.” In the war Whitman's brother was wounded on the battle-field, which led to the poet's at once hastening to join him in the camp, where he afterward remained as a volunteer army nurse at Washington and in Virginia in 1862-'5. His experiences during this service are vividly recorded in “Drum-Taps” (1865) and “Memoranda during the War” (1867). His fatigue and night-watching in 1864 brought on a serious illness, from which he has never entirely recovered. In 1870 he published a volume of prose essays called “Democratic Vistas,” a new edition of which has been issued by Walter Scott (London, 1888), with a preface written by Whitman in April of the same year. In this volume he explains that he uses the word “Democrat” in its widest sense as synonymous with the American form of government. From 1865 till 1874 Whitman held a government clerkship in Washington. In February, 1873, the lingering effects of his nursing fatigues and illness during the war culminated in a severe paralytic attack. He left Washington for Camden, New Jersey, and was recovering when in May of the same year his mother died somewhat suddenly in his presence. This shock caused a relapse. He abandoned Washington and has continued to reside at Camden. Mr. Whitman has been called “the good gray poet.” His admirers, especially in England, have been extravagant in their praise of his works, comparing him with the best of the classic writers, and in this country Ralph Waldo Emerson said on the appearance of “Leaves of Grass”: “I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed . . . . I find incomparable things incomparably said.” On the other hand, the peculiar form of his writings prevents their popularity, and their substance has been widely regarded as of no value. “Leaves of Grass” has even been condemned for indecency on account of its outspokenness, and when a complete edition of the work was published (Boston, 1881) the Massachusetts authorities objected to its sale in that state on the ground of immorality. Besides the works already mentioned, Whitman has published “Passage to India” (1870); “After All, not to Create Only” (1871); “As Strong as a Bird on Pinions Free” (1872); “Two Rivulets,” including “Democratic Vistas” and “Passage to India” (1873); “Specimen Days and Collect” (1883); “November Boughs” (1885); and “Sands at Seventy” (1888). A selection of his poems, by William M. Rossetti, was published (London, 1868). Besides the complete edition of “Leaves of Grass” that has been mentioned, another, edited by Professor Edward Dowden, has since been issued (Glasgow, Scotland). A popular selection, with introduction by Ernest Rhys, was published by Walter Scott (London, 1886). See “The Good Gray Poet, a Vindication,” by William D. O’Connor (New York, 1866), and “Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person,” by John Burroughs (1866). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 485-486.
WHITNEY, Anne, sculptor, born in Watertown. Massachusetts, 2 September, 1821. She was educated by private tutors, and early manifested a love for poetry and sculpture, the latter becoming gradually an absorbing pursuit. Her poetical writings were collected in a volume entitled "Poems" (New York, 1859). In the same year she opened a studio in her native place, and subsequently making several visits to Europe, studied there four years, producing two of her best works during that time. On her return in 1873 she established a studio in Boston, where she has since remained. She has executed portraits and ideal works in groups, busts, medallions, and statues, including a statue of Samuel Adams, of which two copies, one in bronze and one in marble, are respectively in the capitol at Washington and in Boston (1863); "Roma" (1865); "Africa," a colossal recumbent figure of a woman, illustrating the Civil War in the United States (1873); a statue of Harriet Martineau, belonging to Wellesley College (1883); and the fountain of "Leif Erikson " (1886). The last was unveiled in Boston, 29 October, 1887. and the statue above the fountain represents the Norse-Icelandic discoverer of America as a man of physical beauty and vigor, in the costume of the ancient Scandinavian warrior. (See the accompanying illustration.) Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 487.
WHITNEY, Asa, manufacturer, born in Townsend, Massachusetts, 1 December 1791; died in Philadelphia, 4 June, 1874. His opportunities for education were meagre, and, after spending several years in his father's blacksmith-shop, he went in 1812 to New Hampshire, and soon became so capable as a machinist that his employer sent him to Brownsville, New York, to superintend the erection of machinery in a cotton-factory. Here he remained till 1830, carrying on a business in machine and forge-works, when he was appointed assistant superintendent of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, and became superintendent the following year. Resigning this post in 1839, he was elected canal commissioner of New York State, and for two years superintended the enlargement and management of the Erie Canal and its branches. In 1842 he moved to Philadelphia and entered into the manufacture of locomotives with Matthew W. Baldwin, but withdrew from the partnership in two years. Soon afterward he became president of the Morris Canal Company, for which he applied special machinery to a series of inclined planes worked by steam, by which means its boats could pass elevations. He took out patents on 22 May, 1847, for the corrugated plate car-wheel, and the curved corrugated plate wheel, and began their manufacture with his son George as partner. On 25 April, 1848, he patented his process for annealing car-wheels. It consisted in placing the wheels, soon after they were cast, in a heated furnace, where they were subjected to a further gradual increase of temperature, and were then slowly cooled for three days. The discovery of this process of annealing, as applied to chilled east-iron wheels, marked an era in the history of railroads. It enabled them with safety to increase both loads and speed. Previous to this discovery it was impossible to cast wheels with solid hubs, and therefore impossible to secure them rigidly to the axle. Now the whole wheel was easily cast in one piece, and capable of being forced securely upon the axle at a pressure of forty tons. Over ten million car-wheels are now in use in this country, and this principle of annealing is applied in some form to every wheel that is made of chilled cast-iron. On 19 March, 1850, he patented the tapered and ribbed corrugated wheel. For many years he made from 50,000 to 75,000 car-wheels per annum. The business is still carried on by the firm of A. Whitney and Sons. In 1860 Mr. Whitney was made president of the Reading Railroad, but he resigned in a year from failing health, after contributing largely to the success of the road. He gave liberally during his life, and among other public bequests he gave $50,000 to found a professorship of dynamical engineering in the University of Pennsylvania, 112,500 to the Franklin institute, and $20,000 to the Old Men's Home in Philadelphia. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 487-488.
WHITNEY, Asa, merchant, born in 1797; died in Washington, D. C., in August, 1872. He was in mercantile business in New York City. He recognized the necessity of a railroad to the Pacific, was the first to suggest its feasibility, and from 1846 till 1850 urged it upon congress, the legislatures of several states, and the public, by personal influence and his writings. He was Annually instrumental in securing appropriations in 1853 for the first surveys of the northern, southern, and middle routes, and lived to see communication opened from sea to sea in 1869. He was the author of "A Project for a Railroad to the Pacific " (New York, 1849), and " A Plan for a Direct Communication between the Great Centres of Populations of Europe and Asia " (London, 1851). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 488.
WHITNEY, Eli, inventor, born in Westborough, Massachusetts, 8 December, 1765; died in New Haven, Connecticut, 8 January, 1825. During the Revolutionary war he was engaged in making nails by hand. Subsequently, by his industry as an artisan and by teaching, he was able to defray his expenses at Yale, where he was graduated in 1792. In the same year he went to Georgia under an engagement as a private tutor, but, on arriving there, found that the place had been filled. He then accepted the invitation of the widow of General Nathanael Greene to make her place at Mulberry Grove, on Savannah River, his home while he studied law. Several articles that he had devised for Mrs. Greene's convenience gave her great faith in his inventive powers, and when some of her visitors regretted that there could be no profit in the cultivation of the green seed-cotton, which was considered the best variety, owing to the great difficulty of separating it from the seed, she advised them to apply to Whitney "who," she said, "could make anything." A pound of green seed-cotton was all that a Negro woman could at that period clean in a day. Mr. Whitney up to that time had seen neither the raw cotton nor the cotton seed, but he at once procured some cotton from which the seeds had not been removed, although with trouble, as it was not the season of the year for the cultivation of the plant, and began to work out his idea of the cotton-gin. He was occupied for some months in constructing his machine, during which he met with great difficulty, being compelled to draw the necessary iron-wire himself, as he could obtain none in Savannah, and to manufacture his own iron tools. Near the end of 1792 he succeeded in making a gin of which the principle and mechanism arc both exceedingly simple. Its main features are a cylinder four feet long and five inches in diameter, upon which is set a series of circular saws half an inch apart and projecting two inches above the surface of the revolving cylinder. A mass of cotton in the seed, separated from the cylinder by a steel grating, is brought into contact with the numerous teeth on the cylinder. These teeth catch the cotton while playing between the bars, which allow the lint, but not the seed, to pass. Beneath the saws is a set of stiff brushes on another cylinder revolving in the opposite direction, which brush off from the saw-teeth the lint that these have just pulled from the seed. There is also a revolving fan for producing a current of air to throw the light and downy lint that is thus liberated to a convenient distance from the revolving saws and brushes. Such are the essential principles of the cotton-gin as invented by Whitney and as it is still used; but in various details and workmanship it has been the subject of many improvements, the object of which has been to pick the cotton more perfectly from the seed, to prevent the teeth from cutting the staple, and to give greater regularity to the operation of the machine. By its use the planter was able to clean for market, by the labor of one man, one thousand pounds of cotton in place of five or six by hand. Mrs. Greene and Phineas Miller were the only persons that were permitted to see the machine, but rumors of it had gone through the state, and before it was quite finished the Wilding in which it was placed was broken into at night and the machine was carried off. Before he could complete his model and obtain a patent, a number of machines based on his invention had been made surreptitiously and were in operation. In May, 1793, he formed a partnership with Mr. Miller, who had some property, and went to Connecticut to manufacture the machines; but he became involved in continual trouble by the infringement of his patent. In Georgia it was boldly asserted that he was not the inventor, but that something like it had been produced in Switzerland, and it was claimed that the substitution of teeth cut in an iron plate for wire prevented an infringement on his invention. He had sixty lawsuits pending before he secured a verdict in his favor. In South Carolina the legislature granted him $50,000, which was finally paid after vexatious delays and lawsuits. North Carolina allowed him a percentage for the use of each saw for five years, and collected and paid it over to the patentees in good faith, and Tennessee promised to do the same thing, but afterward rescinded her contract. For years—amid accumulated misfortunes, lawsuits wrongfully decided against him, the destruction of his manufactory by fire, the industrious circulation of the report that his machine injured the fibre of the cotton, the refusal of congress, on account of the opposition of southern members, to allow the patent to be renewed, and the death of his partner—Mr. Whitney struggled on until he was convinced that he should never receive a just compensation for his invention. In 1791 the amount of cotton that was exported amounted to only 189,500 pounds, while in 1803, owing to the use of his gin, it had risen to more than 41,000,000 pounds. Despairing of gaining a competence, he turned his attention in 1798 to the manufacture of fire-arms near New Haven, from which he eventually gained a fortune. He was the first manufacturer of fire-arms to effect the division of labor to the extent of making it the duty of each workman to perform by machinery but one or two operations on a single part of the gun, and thus made interchangeable the parts of the thousands of arms in process of manufacture at the same time. His first contract was with the U. S. government for 10,000 stand of muskets to be finished in about two years. For the execution of this order he took two years for preparation and eight more for completion. He gave bonds for $30,000, and was to receive $13.40 for each musket, or $134,000 in all. Immediately he began to build an armory at the foot of East Rock, two miles from New Haven, in the present village of Whitneyville, where, through the successive administrations from that of John Adams, repeated contracts for the supply of arms were made and fulfilled to the entire approbation of the government. The construction of his armory, and even of the commonest tools, which were devised by him for the prosecution of the business in a manner peculiar to himself, evinced the fertility of his genius and the precision of his mind. The buildings became the model upon which the national armories were afterward arranged, and many of his improvements were transferred to other establishments and have become common property. His advance in the manufacture of arms laid this country under permanent obligations by augmenting the means of national defence. Several of his inventions have been applied to other manufactures of iron and steel and added to his reputation. He established a fund of $500 at Yale, the interest of which is expended in the purchase of books on mechanical and physical science. In 1817 he married a daughter of Judge Pierpont Edwards. Robert Fulton said that "Arkwright, Watt, and Whitney were the three men that did most for mankind of any of their contemporaries," and Macaulay said: "What Peter the Great did to make Russia dominant. Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton-gin has more than equalled in its relation to the power and progress of the United States." See "Memoir of Eli Whitney," by Denison Olmsted (New Haven, 1846). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 488-489.
WHITNEY, Josiah Dwight, geologist, born in Northampton, Massachusetts, 23 November, 1819. He was graduated at Yale in 1839, and then spent six months in the chemical laboratory of Dr. Robert Hare in Philadelphia. In 1840 he joined the survey of New Hampshire as assistant geologist under Charles T. Jackson, and remained connected with that work until May, 1842, when he went abroad. For five years he travelled on the continent of Europe, and pursued chemical, geological, and mineralogical studies. On his return to this country in 1847 he engaged in the geological exploration of the Lake Superior region, and with John W. Foster was in the same year appointed by the U. S. government to assist Charles T. Jackson in making a geological survey of that district. Two years later the completion of the survey was intrusted to Foster and Whitney, who published "Synopsis of the Explorations of the Geological Corps in the Lake Superior Land District in the Northern Peninsula" (Washington, 1849), and "Report on the Geology and Topography of a Portion of the Lake Superior Land District in the State of Michigan" (part i., Copper Lands, 1850; part ii.. The Iron Region, 1851). On the completion of this work he travelled for two years through the states east of the Mississippi for the purpose of collecting information with regard to the mining and mineral interests in this country. His results were issued as " The Metallic Wealth of the United States described and compared with that of other Countries" (Philadelphia, 1854). In 1855 he was appointed state chemist and professor in the Iowa state University, and was associated with James Hall in the geological survey of that state, issuing "Reports on the Geological Survey of Iowa" (2 vols., Albany, 1858-'9). During 1858-'60 Professor Whitney was engaged on a geological survey of the lend region of the upper Missouri in connection with the official surveys of Wisconsin and Illinois, publishing, with James Hull, a "Report on the Geological Survey of the State of Wisconsin" (Albany, 1862). He was appointed state geologist of California in 1860, and engaged in conducting a topographical, geological, and natural history survey of that state until 1874. when the work was discontinued by act of legislature. Besides various pamphlets and annual reports on the subject, he issued six volumes under the title of "Geological Survey of California" (Cambridge, 1804-'70). In 1865 he was appointed professor of geology in Harvard, which chair he still retains, with charge of its school of mining and practical geology. The degree of LL. D. was conferred on him by Yale in 1870. Professor Whitney was one of the original members of the National academy of sciences named by act of Congress in 1863, but he has since withdrawn from that body. He is also a member of other scientific bodies, both at home and abroad. In addition to contributing to the "American Journal of Science," the "North American Review," and similar periodicals, he has translated Berzelius's " Use of the Blowpipe " (Boston, 1845), and is the author of "The Yosemite Guide-Book (San Francisco, 1869). Professor Whitney has made a specialty of collecting a library of geological and geographical books. Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the United States, was named in his honor. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 489-490.
WHITTIER, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892, Haverhill, Massachusetts, poet, journalist, newspaper publisher and editor, Society of Friends, Quaker, radical abolitionist. Wrote antislavery poetry. Publisher and editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman. Founding member, Manager, and Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Member of the Executive Committee, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. Leader and active with the Liberty Party. Member, Free Soil Party. Called for immediate abolition of slavery in the United States.
(Blue, 2005, pp. 5, 37-64; Drake, 1950, pp. 113, 127, 137, 140-142, 158-159, 176, 181, 195; Dumond, 1961, pp. 167, 245, 286, 301; Filler, 1960, pp. 56, 66, 90, 105, 134, 148, 151, 194; Mabee, 1970, pp. 2, 4, 9, 11-13, 18, 21-22, 25-26, 29-30, 35-36, 48, 51, 65, 194, 211, 309, 326, 329, 359, 368, 373, 378; Pease, 1965, pp. 65, 102-104, 123-128; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 161, 433, 641, 723; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 493-494; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 173; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 23, p. 350; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. I. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 407)
WHITTIER, John Greenleaf, poet, born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, 17 Dec., 1807. His parents were members of the Society of Friends, and to the principles and practices of this sect he always remained faithful, conforming even to its peculiarities of speech and garb in a community where such observance, by being singular, must often have been trying to a temperament so shy and sensitive as his. His first American ancestor came to Massachusetts in 1638, and the conversion to Quakerism took place in the second generation of the family, after the settlement of the Bay Colony, at a time when that sect was sternly persecuted. There may therefore be something of heredity in the unswerving constancy of Whittier to unpopular opinions. At the date of his birth Haverhill was still a farming village, one of the prettiest among the many pretty hamlets which then gave a peaceful charm to the rural scenery of Massachusetts. Born on a farm, Whittier's first occupations were those of a farmer's boy, driving the kine to and from pasture, riding to mill, fetching in wood for the undying kitchen-fire, and helping in the lighter labors of haying and harvest. He was thus early brought into that intimate communion with Mother Earth and with Nature which comes not by mere observation, and which gives such a peculiar charm of picturesque truth to so many of his poems. How much he thus learned and to how good profit he put it are visible in many of his poems, but especially in his “Snow-Bound,” which, in addition to its other merits, has now also a historical value as a vivid picture of modes of life even then obsolescent and now almost as far away as those pictured by Homer. And not only will the scenery of New England, both outward and domestic, live in his verse, but it is worth remark that the nobler qualities of the Puritans have nowhere found such adequate literary expression since Milton as in this member of a sect which they did their utmost to suppress. Almost alone among American poets, he has revived the legends of his neighborhood in verse, and his “Floyd Ireson” is among the best of modern ballads, surpassed by none save Scott, if even by him. His schooling in other respects must have been scanty enough, since his only opportunity during boyhood would be the nearest district school (taught commonly by a college student younger than some of his rustic pupils), where he got such training in the simpler rudiments of knowledge as was possible under the conditions then existing. And this training, as usually in the country, was limited to the winter months, when farm-work was necessarily suspended. He has recorded his indebtedness during boyhood to Dr. Elms Weld, of Haverhill, who gave him the freedom of his library.
A farm-hand taught him shoemaking, the common occupation during winter in the fishing and farming villages along the coast, and by this means he earned enough to warrant his attending Haverhill Academy during six months of 1827. He was now sufficiently learned, according to the simpler notions of those days, to be himself a teacher, and taught in the district school of West Amesbury during the following winter. This supplied the means for another six months at the academy. In Whittier's case, as in that of so many other New Englanders, nothing is more characteristic or more touching than the persistent resolve to get the best education within their reach at whatever sacrifice.
The literary impulse in him must have been strong, for a while yet in his nineteenth year he contributed anonymous verse to the poet's corner of the “Free Press,” a journal edited by W. L. Garrison in Newburyport, and enjoyed the furtive bliss of print. Garrison saw signs of promise in these immature experiments, sought out the author, and gave him the precious encouragement of praise and sympathy. This led to a lasting friendship, and, with the traditions of his sect, may have had some influence in preparing Whittier to enlist in the anti-slavery crusade which began with the establishment of the “Liberator” in 1831, and afterward caught so much of its inspiration from his fervid lyrics. The ambition to become a poet was awakened in him appropriately enough by a copy of Robert Burns's poems, which fell into his hands in his fourteenth year.
His father dying, he carried on the farm for the next five years, and in 1835 was sent to the general court from Haverhill. During all these years he had been an industrious writer, seeking an outlet in all directions and contributing poems to John Neal's “Yankee” and to the “New England Magazine,” where the “Autocrat” began his admirable discourses. In 1829 he undertook the editorship of the “American Manufacturer” in Boston, and in 1830 succeeded George D. Prentice as editor of the “Haverhill Gazette” during the first six months of the year, and then of the “New England Weekly Review” in Hartford, Connecticut This office he resigned in 1832 on account of failing health and returned home. In 1836 he became secretary of the American anti-slavery society, and afterward moved to Philadelphia, where for a year (1838-'9) he edited the “Pennsylvania Freeman.” This he did with such sincerity that its printing-office was sacked and burned by a mob. At that time it required the courage of passionate conviction to maintain principles the noisier profession of which was to become profitable a few years later. Delicate as his organization was, Whittier faced many a brutal mob with unflinching composure. He was never a mere fanatic, but always quick to recognize and celebrate high qualities even in an adversary, as many of his poems show. He refused to follow Garrison in the renunciation of political action as one means of reform. In 1840 he took up his abode in Amesbury, a quiet village near his birthplace, and there (with the exception of six months spent at Lowell as editor of the “Middlesex Standard”), in the simple dignity of a frugal independence, the fruit of his own literary labors, he has lived ever since, and happily still lives, known and loved wherever our tongue is spoken. From 1847 to 1859 he contributed editorially to the “National Era,” an anti-slavery newspaper published at Washington, in which '”Uncle Tom's Cabin” was first printed.
In his seclusion Whittier was never idle, nor did he neglect his duties as a citizen while confirming his quality as a poet. Whenever occasion offered, some burning lyric of his flew across the country, like the fiery cross, to warn and rally. Never mingling in active politics (unless filling the office of presidential elector may be called so), he probably did more than anybody in preparing the material out of which the Republican party was made. When the civil war was impending he would have evaded it if possible by any concession short of surrender, as his “Word for the Hour” (January, 1861) shows. While the war continued he wrote little with direct reference to it, and never anything that showed any bitterness toward the authors of it. After it was over he would have made the terms of settlement liberal and conciliatory. He was too wise and too humane to stir the still living embers of passion and resentment for any political end however dear to him.
Of all American poets, with the single exception of Longfellow, Whittier has been the most popular, and in his case more than in that of any other the popularity has been warmed through with affection. This has been due in part to the nobly simple character of the man, transparent through his verse, in part to the fact that his poetry, concerning itself chiefly with the obvious aspects of life and speculation, has kept close to the highest levels of the average thought and sentiment. His themes have been mainly chosen from his own time and country—from his own neighborhood even—he deals with simple motives and with experiences common to all, and accordingly his scenery (whether of the outward or the inward eye) is domestically welcome to all his countrymen. He is never complex in thought or obscure in expression, and if sometimes his diction might gain in quality by a more deliberate choice, yet the pellucid simplicity of his phrase and the instant aptness of his epithet as often secure a more winning felicity through his frankness of confidence in the vernacular. His provincialisms of word or accent have an endearing property to the native ear, though even that will consent to a few of his more licentious rhymes. One feels that it is a neighbor who is speaking. Nor should the genial piety of his habitual thought and the faith that seeks no securer foothold than the Rock of Ages, on which the fathers stood so firmly, be overlooked among the qualities that give him a privilege of familiar entrance to a multitude of hearts and minds which would be barred against many higher, though not more genuine, forms of poetry. His religion has the sincerity of Cowper's without those insane terrors that made its very sincerity a torture. There are many points of spiritual likeness between the English and the American poet, especially in their unmetaphysicized love of outward natures, their austerity tempered with playful humor, and in that humanity of tone which establishes a tie of affectionate companionship between them and their readers. Whittier has done as much for the scenery of New England as Scott for that of Scotland. Many of his poems (such, for example, as “Telling the Bees”), in which description and sentiment mutually inspire each other, are as fine as any in the language.
Whittier, as many of his poems show, and as, indeed, would be inevitable, has had his moments of doubt and distrust, but never of despair. He has encountered everywhere the moral of his inscription on a sun-dial, convinced that “there's light above me by the shade below.” He, like others, has found it hard to reconcile the creed held by inheritance with the subtle logic of more modern modes of thought. As he himself has said:
“He reconciled as best he could
Old faith and fancies new.”
But his days have been “bound each to each with natural piety”; he has clung fast to what has been the wholesome and instructive kernel of all creeds; he has found consolation in the ever-recurring miracles, whether of soul or sense, that daily confront us, and in the expression of his own delight and wonder and gratitude for them has conveyed that solace to the minds and hearts of all his readers. One quality above all others in Whittier—his innate and unstudied Americanism—has rendered him alike acceptable to his countrymen and to his kindred beyond the sea. His first volume was “Legends of New England,” in prose and verse (Hartford, 1831), which has been followed by “Moll Pitcher” (1832); “Mogg Megone” (Boston, 1836); “Ballads” (1838); “Lays of My Home, and other Poems” (1843); “Miscellaneous Poems” (1844); the first English edition of his poetry, entitled “Ballads, and other Poems,” with an introduction by Elizur Wright (London, 1844); “The Stranger in Lowell” (1845); “Supernaturalism in New England” (New York and London, 1847); “Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal” (Boston, 1849); “Voices of Freedom” (Philadelphia, 1849); a larger English collection of his “Poetical Works” (London, 1850); “Old Portraits and Modern Sketches” (Boston, 1850); “Songs of Labor, and other Poems,” and “The Chapel of the Hermits, and other Poems” (1853); “A Sabbath Scene: a Sketch of Slavery in Verse” (1853); “Literary Recreations and Miscellanies” (1854); “The Panorama, and other Poems” (1856); “Complete Poetical Works” (2 vols., 1857); “Home Ballads and Poems” (1860); “Snow-Bound” (1862); a new edition of his “Complete Poetical Works” (1863); “In War Time, and other Poems” (1863); “National Lyrics” (1865); a collection of his “Prose Works” (2 vols., 1866); “The Tent on the Beach” (1867); “Among the Hills” (1868); an illustrated edition of his “Complete Poetical Works” (1868); one corresponding in typography with the “Prose Works” (1869); a volume of his “Ballads of New England” contains sixty illustrations by various artists (1869); “Miriam, and other Poems” (1870); “The Pennsylvania Pilgrim, and other Poems” (1872); “Hazel Blossoms” (1874); “Mabel Martin” (1875); a new collected edition of his “Poetical Works” comprising poems that he had written till the date of publication (1875); “Centennial Hymn” (1876); “The Vision of Echard, and other Poems” (1878); “The King's Missive, and other Poems” (1881); “Bay of Seven Islands, and other Poems” (1883); “Poems of Nature” (1885); and “St. Gregory's Guest, and Recent Poems” (1886). A final edition of his poetical and prose works has been supervised by himself, and includes his sister's poems (7 vols., 1888-'9). See a “Biography,” by Francis H. Underwood (Boston, 1875; new ed., 1883), and “John G. Whittier: his Life, Genius, and Writings,” by W. Sloane Kennedy (1882). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 493-494.
WHITTIER, Elizabeth Hussey, born near Haverhill, Massachusetts, 7 December, 1815; died in Amesbury, 3 September, 1864, although not a literary aspirant, was the author of poems marked by tenderness, grace, and rhythmic felicity. Several of them were included by her brother in his volume entitled " Hazel Blossoms." Like him, she was a member of the Society of Friends, and an ardent advocate of liberty. The engraving represents Whittier's home. Oak Knoll, in Danvers, Massachusetts [Sister of John Greenleaf Whittier]. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 494.
WHITTLESEY, Charles, geologist, born in Southington, Connecticut, 4 October, 1808, died in Cleveland, Ohio, 18 October, 1886, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1831, and assigned to the 5th U.S. Infantry. In 1832 he was stationed at Fort Howard, Wisconsin, and, after serving in the Black Hawk War, he resigned on 30 September of the same year. After studying law he followed that profession in Cleveland and in 1836-'7 he was editorially connected with the Cleveland "Herald." In 1837 he was appointed assistant geologist of Ohio, under William W. Mather, and given charge of the topographical and mathematical parts of that survey, which disclosed the rich coal and iron deposits of eastern Ohio that are the foundation of its manufacturing industries. At this time he carefully examined and measured several of the works of the mound-builders, and his plans and notes of twenty of these remains were embodied in Davis and Squire’s "American Monuments of the Mississippi Valley " (Washington, 1848). From 1847 till 1851 he was engaged by the U. S. government in making a mineralogical and geological survey of the region about Lake Superior and the upper Mississippi. Subsequently he was professionally engaged as a mining engineer in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and in 1858 became associated in the geological work of the survey of Wisconsin. In February, 1861, he was enrolled in a company that tendered its services to General Winfield Scott to escort the president-elect, Abraham Lincoln, to Washington. He was made assistant quartermaster-general on the staff of the governor of Ohio on 17 April, 1861, and during the western Virginia Campaign acted as chief engineer of the Ohio troops. At the expiration of his three-months service he was appointed, on 15 August. 1861, colonel of the 20th Ohio Infantry, and detailed as chief engineer of the Department of Ohio, with charge of planning and constructing the defences of Cincinnati. He was present at Fort Donelson, where he led his regiment, and after the surrender was sent to the north in charge of over 10,000 prisoners. At the battle of Shiloh he commanded the 3d Brigade of General Lewis Wallace's division, but failing health compelled his retirement from active service, and he resigned on 19 April, 1862. He then resumed the geological exploration in the Lake Superior and upper Mississippi basin, and continued his literary labors. In 1867 he was active in the founding of the Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society, of which he was president until his death. His bibliography included about 200 titles, and, in addition to his reports for the geological surveys, he published in the “Smithsonian Contributions" "Descriptions of Ancient Works in Ohio" (Washington, 1851); "On Fluctuations of Level in the North American Lakes " (1800); "Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior" (1863); and "On the Fresh-Water Glacial Drift in the Northwestern States " (1866). He is also the author of " Life of John Fitch." in Sparks's "American Biography" (Boston, 1845); and "Early History of Cleveland and Vicinity" (Cleveland." 1867). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 496.
WHITTLESAY, Elisha, 1783-1863, Canfield, Ohio, lawyer, U.S. Congressman, American Colonization Society (ACS), Vice-President, 1836-41. (Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 495-496; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961)
WHITTLESAY, Elisha, lawyer, born in Washington, Connecticut, 19 October, 1783; died in Washington, D.C., 7 January, 1863. He was brought up on a farm, received an academical education, studied law, and on his admission to the bar began practice in Canfield, Ohio, in 1806. He served as an aide-de-camp during the war of 1812-'15, was for sixteen years prosecuting attorney of his district, a member of the Ohio state House of Representatives in 1820-'1, and served in Congress from Ohio by successive elections from 1 December, 1823, till 9 July, 1838, when he resigned. He was one of the founders of the Whig party, was appointed by President Harrison in 1841 auditor of the post-office department, and by President Taylor in 1849 first comptroller of the treasury, from which post he was removed by President Buchanan in 1857, but he was reappointed by President Lincoln in 1861, and held office till his death. In 1845 he was appointed general agent and director of the Washington national monument association, and contributed greatly to the success of that enterprise. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 495-496.
WHITTLESEY, Joseph H., soldier, born in New York in 1821; died in Seattle, W. T., 2 August. 1886. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1844, and assigned to the 2d U. S. Dragoons, becoming 1st lieutenant, 18 October, 1847. He served in the military occupation of Texas and in the war with Mexico, and was brevetted 1st lieutenant for gallantry at Buena Vista in 1847. Until the opening of the Civil War he was on duty in New Mexico and Oregon. As major of the 5th U. S. Cavalry he served with the Army of the Potomac till May, 1862. During the remainder of the war Major Whittlesey was employed in organizing volunteer cavalry. He was retired from active service on account of disability resulting from exposure in the line of duty. He was employed on light duty until February, 1867, when he was ordered to inspect the educational institutions of the United States, for the purpose of devising a system of military instruction for colleges and universities with relation to a scheme for future National defence. He was professor of military science at Cornell in 1868-'70, and treasurer of the Soldiers' Home. Washington, D. C, till 1881. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 496.
WICHELL, John, Illinois, abolitionist, American Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1851-1857.
WICKERSHAM, James Pyle, educator, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. 5 March, 1825. He is of the fifth generation in direct descent from Thomas Wickersham, who in 1701 settled on a 1,000-acre tract of land in Chester County that had been deeded by William Penn in 1682 to his father-in-law, Anthony Killingbeck. The Wickersham family came from the parish of Bolney, County of Sussex, England. James received a good education in the public schools and at Unionville Academy, near his birthplace. When he was sixteen years old he was teacher in a public school, and in 1845 he became principal of the Marietta (Pennsylvania) Academy. He was the first county superintendent of Lancaster County in 1854, and in 1855 he opened the normal school at Millersville, Pennsylvania, which in 1859 became the first state normal school in Pennsylvania. In 1866 he was appointed state superintendent of public instruction, and held that post for nearly fifteen years. He assisted in the organization of the Lancaster County Educational Association, and became its second president in 1863. He helped to organize the Pennsylvania state teachers' association, was its fourth president in 1855, assisted at the organization of the National educational association, and was its seventh president in 1865. He was twice elected president of the National Department of School Superintendents. In 1863 he raised a regiment of soldiers for three months' service, and commanded it during the Gettysburg Campaign. Lafayette gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1871. In 1882 he was appointed U. S. minister to Denmark. He has written on educational subjects for magazines and newspapers. For ten years (1871-'81) he was editor of the "Pennsylvania School Journal." His School Economy" (Philadelphia. 1864) and " Methods of Instruction " (1805) have been translated into the Spanish, French, and Japanese languages. His most elaborate work is the " History of Education in Pennsylvania" (1886). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 497.
WICKHAM, Williams Carter, soldier, born in Richmond, Virginia, 21 September, 1820; died there, 23 July, 1888, was educated at the University of Virginia, adopted the profession of law, served in the state senate, and was an active member of the " old-line " Whig party. At the beginning of the Civil War he entered the Confederate Army as captain, and became colonel of the 4th Virginia Regiment, rising to the rank of brigadier-general. He served in most of the important battles of the Army of Northern Virginia, and was wounded three times, severely at Williamsburg. In 1864 he was a member of the Confederate Congress. After the war he joined the Republican Party, attaching himself to the conservative branch of that body. He was an admirer and advocate of General Grant, supported him for the presidency, and exerted a pacific influence in the reconstruction of the state. From the first he opposed the adjustment of the state debt as proposed by the followers of William Mahone, and engaged in many controversies with that senator. He was chosen to the state senate in 1882-'3, and in the next election he was returned without opposition. At the time of his death he was a vice-president, general manager, and receiver of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 498.
WICKLIFFE, Charles A., politician, born in Bardstown. Kentucky, 8 June, 1788, died in Howard County, Maryland, 31 October, 1869. He was educated at the Bardstown grammar-school, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1809, and began practice in Bardstown. He soon achieved distinction as a lawyer. He was aide to General Samuel Caldwell at the battle of the Thames, 5 October, 1813, was a member of the state house of representatives in 1814-'23, and sat in Congress from Kentucky in 1823-33, having been chosen as a Henry Clay Democrat. He was then elected again to the state legislature, and was its speaker in 1834. In 1836 he was elected lieutenant-governor of his native state, and in 1839 he became acting governor. In 1841, he was appointed postmaster-general by President Tyler, holding the post till March, 1845, and in the latter year he was sent by President Polk on a secret mission to Texas in the interests of annexation. He was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1845, a member of the Peace Congress in February, 1861, served again in Congress in 1861-'3, having been chosen as a Union Whig, and was a delegate to the Chicago National Democratic Convention in 1864. Mr. Wickliffe was wealthy, and his aristocratic bearing and contempt for the poorer classes won him the name of " the Duke." Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 498.
WICKS, L. D., New York, American Abolition Society (Radical Abolitionist, Vol. 1, No. 1, New York, August 1855)
WIGFALL, Louis Trezevant, senator, born in Edgefield district. S. C. 21 April, 1816; died in Galveston, Texas, 18 February, 1874. He was educated at the College of South Carolina, but left before graduation to go, as a lieutenant of volunteers, to Florida, where he took part in the operations against the Indians. He subsequently studied law at the University of Virginia, was admitted to the bar, and moved to Marshall, Texas, where he practised his profession. He served in the lower branch of the Texas legislature in 1849-'50, and was a member of the state senate in 1857-'8, and again in 1859-'60. During the latter session he was chosen U. S. Senator, and took his seat, 4 January, 1860. In that body he was among the ablest and most uncompromising defenders of the slave power. As he did not take his seat at the called session of the 32d Congress, he was expelled on 11 July, 1861. In the meantime he had been present at the bombardment of Fort Sumter, as a member of General Pierre G. T. Beauregard's staff. On the afternoon of the second day, 13 April, being on Morris Island, and noticing that the fire from the fort had ceased and that the flag had been shot away, Colonel Wigfall, with the approval of General James Simons, in command of the forces on the island, embarked in a skiff, and set out across the bay. On reaching Fort Sumter, he made his way through an open port-hole inside the fortification, where he met Major Robert Anderson, and demanded the unconditional surrender of the fort, on the ground that the work was no longer tenable and that further resistance would be madness. After some parley, Major Anderson consented to have a white flag hoisted, and the surrender was an accomplished fact. Wigfall subsequently became colonel of the 2d Infantry in the provisional Confederate Army, and was promoted brigadier-general, 21 October, 1861. He commanded a brigade composed of three Texas regiments and one of Georgia troops until 20 February, 1862, when he resigned. Besides his military service, he also represented Texas in the provisional Confederate Congress from February, 1861, till February, 1862. He was also senator in the Confederate Congress from February, 1862, until the end of the war. He then went to England, where he resided for several years. In 1873 he settled in Baltimore. He died while visiting Texas on a lecturing tour. General Wigfall was a forcible speaker, being remarkable for his impassioned style, and an ardent partisan, and took part in several duels. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 499.
WIGHT, Peter Bonnett, architect, born in New York City, 1 August, 1838. He was graduated at the College of the City of New York in 1855, and, after studying architecture for eighteen months, went to Chicago in 1858 to practice that profession, but returned the following year to his native city. Between 1862 and 1868 he built the New York Academy of Design (see vignette), the Yale School of the Fine Arts, and the Brooklyn Mercantile Library, now known as the Brooklyn Library. In 1862 he planned the first army hospital that was built by the government during the Civil War. In 1864 he erected the building of the Union square branch in New York City of the Sanitary Fair, and managed it until its close. Immediately after the Chicago fire in 1871 he moved to that city, and between 1872 and 1870 was chiefly engaged in the erection of commercial buildings to the value of nearly $2,000,000. Among the latter was the American Express building, in executing which he was associated with Henry H. Richardson. In 1878 he retired partially from the more active pursuit of his profession, and practised mainly as a consulting architect, devoting his time to constructive, engineering, and sanitary matters connected with building. In 1880 he organized the Wight Fire-Proofing Company for the construction of fire-proof buildings, of which he is still the general manager and principal stockholder. In 1868 he invented the first improvement in the construction of fire-proof buildings. In 1874 he took out a patent for his method of rendering iron columns fire-proof, and he has since been granted three others for the same purpose. Other patents of his are for the construction of fire-proof ceilings in buildings in which wooden joists are used for floor construction; for making iron floor-beams fire proof when flat, hollow, tile floor arches are used; for devices for automatically closing gates to swing-bridges; and for making terra-cotta coping for brick walls. Mr. Wight, besides frequently contributing articles on subjects connected with his specialty to various periodicals, has published a monograph on the "National Academy of Design Building," with photographic illustrations (New York, 1865), and " One Phase in the Revival of the Fine Arts in America" (Chicago, 1886). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 501-502.
WILBER, Charles Toppan, physician, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, 18 May, 1835, while a student of medicine became connected as a teacher with the New York State Asylum for Idiots, of which his brother was superintendent, and he was thus led to an investigation of the various forms of dementia. In 1858 he was called to assist in the organization of the Ohio State Asylum for Idiots at Columbus, and for some time he acted as its assistant superintendent. In 1859 he moved to Lakeville, Connecticut, and aided in the establishment of a school for feeble-minded children, which was afterward conducted by Dr. Henry M. Knight. In 1860 he was graduated at the Berkshire medical institution and returned to Ohio, settling at Marietta, where he began to practice. The following year he entered the volunteer service, and remained in the army until the end of the Civil War as assistant surgeon and surgeon. In September, 1865, he took charge of the Illinois institution for the education of feeble-minded children at Jacksonville, and he was so successful in its management that the legislature subsequently voted the erection of larger and more appropriate buildings at a cost of $185,000. […]. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 503.
WILCOX, Cadmus Marcellus, soldier, born in Wayne County, North Carolina, 29 May, 1826. He studied at Cumberland College, Nashville, his parents having moved to Tennessee during his infancy, then entered the U. S. Military Academy, and was graduated in 1846. He served through the war with Mexico, being engaged as acting adjutant of the 4th U.S. Infantry in the siege of Vera Cruz and the battle of Cerro Gordo, and as aide to General John A. Quitman in the storming of Chapultepec, where he earned the brevet of 1st lieutenant, and in the capture of the city of Mexico. He was promoted 1st lieutenant on 24 August, 1851, served as assistant instructor of tactics at the military academy from 1852 till 1857, then went to Europe for a year on sick-leave, was made captain of infantry on 20 December, 1860, and at the beginning of the Civil War was on frontier duty in New Mexico. Resigning his commission on 8 June, 1861, he was appointed colonel in the provisional army of the Confederacy, and assigned to the command of an Alabama regiment. He joined General Joseph E. Johnston's army with his regiment on 16 July, 1861, marched to Manassas to re-enforce General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, and served with the Army of Northern Virginia till its final surrender, being promoted brigadier-general on 21 October, 1861, and major-general on 9 August, 1863. He commanded a brigade in General James Longstreet's corps at the second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and a division under General Ambrose P. Hill, which resisted the repeated assaults of General Winfield S. Hancock's troops at the battle of the Wilderness. General Wilcox declined a brigadier-general's commission in the Egyptian Army after the war. In 1886 he was appointed chief of the railroad division of the general land-office in Washington, D. C. He is the author of a book on "Rifles and Rifle Practice " (New York, 1859), and the translator of "Evolutions of the Line, as practised by the Austrian Infantry and adopted in 1853 " (1860). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 504.
WILD, Edward Augustus, 182-1891, Brookline, Massachusetts, homeopathic doctor, Brigadier General in the Union Army, abolitionist. Recruited African American soldiers for the Union Army. Commanded a brigade of U.S. Colored Troops. (Bowe, 1888; Casstevens, 2005; Heitman, 1903; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 504-505)
WILD, Edward Augustus, soldier, born in Brookline, Massachusetts, 25 November, 1825. He was graduated at Harvard in 1844, and on 21 April, 1861, became captain in the 1st Massachusetts Regiment, with which he served in the Peninsular Campaign, being wounded at Williamsburg and Fair Oaks. He became major of the 32d Massachusetts, 24 July, 1862, lieutenant-colonel on 7 Aug., and colonel of the 35th on 20 Aug., and took part in the battle of South Mountain, where his left arm was shattered. After assisting Governor John A. Andrew in raising and organizing colored troops in February-April, 1863, he was made brigadier-general of volunteers on 24 April, and, with the exception of a few months at the siege of Charleston, served in North Carolina, recruiting colored troops. In December he led an expedition through the eastern counties of the state, and on 18 January, 1864, he took command of the district of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. He commanded a brigade in the affair at Wilson's wharf, and was in front of Petersburg when he was placed under arrest on 23 June, 1864, for refusing to obey the order of his superior to relieve his brigade quartermaster and take another. The finding of the court-martial was set aside by the commanding general, and this action was subsequently confirmed by the judge-advocate-general at Washington. He afterward served on the expedition to Roanoke River in December, 1864, and then before Richmond till its capture, and in 1865 superintended the operations of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia. On 15 January, 1866, he was mustered out of service. Since the war General Wild has been engaged in silver-mining. Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 504-505
WILDE, Samuel, Brooklyn, New York, abolitionist, American Abolition Society, Executive Committee, 1855-59.
WILDER, A. Carter, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Congressional Globe)
WILDES, George Dudley, clergyman, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, 19 June, 1819. He was fitted for Harvard, and became usher in mathematics at Chauncey Hall school, Boston. He was graduated at the Virginia Theological Seminary at Alexandria, was ordained deacon in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1846, by the bishop of Kentucky, and at the same time invited to the professorship of mathematics at Shelby College, Kentucky. He was ordained priest in Dedham. "Massachusetts, in 1848, by Bishop Eastburn. After holding several charges, he became assistant at St. Paul's, Boston, and also supervisor of the Episcopal school of Massachusetts. Afterward he was at Brookline and then at Salem, where he became a member of the State board of education. At the outset of the Civil War Dr. Wildes was instrumental in raising the 23d and 19th Massachusetts Regiments, forming also the field hospital corps, volunteering as its head for service, and being commissioned a chaplain. Since 1867 he has been rector of Christ Church, Riverdale, New York. He received the degree of A. M. from Harvard in 1855, of S. T. D. from Hobart in 1871, and that of D. D. from the College of Kansas in 1886. Since its organization in 1874 he has been general secretary of the church congress, being one of its original founders. In this capacity he has edited eleven volumes of papers and addresses (1872-'88). Dr. Wildes has published sermons and addresses, has edited Bishop Griswold's "Lectures on Prayer," and translated George Herbert's Latin poems. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 507.
WILKES, Charles, naval officer, born in New York City, 3 April, 1798: died in Washington. D. C, 8 February, 1877. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman, 1 January. 1818, and was promoted to lieutenant, 28 April, 1826. He was appointed to the department of charts and instruments in 1830, and was the first in the United States to set up fixed astronomical instruments and observe with them. On 18 August, 1838, he sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, in command of a squadron of five vessels and a store-ship, to explore the southern seas. He visited Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, Rio de Janeiro, Tierra del Fuego, Valparaiso, Callao, the Paumotou group, Tahiti, the Samoan group (which he surveyed and explored), Wallis Island, and Sydney in New South Wales. He left Sydney in December, 1839, and discovered what he thought to be an Antarctic continent, sailing along vast ice-fields for several weeks. In 1840 he thoroughly explored the Feejee group, and visited the Hawaiian Islands, where he measured intensity of gravity by means of the pendulum on the summit of Mauna Loa. In 1841 he visited the northwestern coast of America and Columbia and Sacramento Rivers, and on 1 November set sail from San Francisco, visited Manila, Sooloo, Borneo, Singapore, the Cape of Good Hope, and St. Helena, and east anchor at New York on 10 June, 1848. Charges preferred against him by some of his officers were investigated by a court-martial, and he was acquitted of all except illegally punishing some of his crew, for which he was reprimanded. He served on the coast survey in 1842-'3', was promoted to commander, 13 July, 1843, and employed in connection with the report on the exploring expedition at Washington in 1844-'61. He was commissioned a captain, 14 September, 1855, and when the Civil War opened was placed in command of the steamer "San Jacinto" in 1861 and sailed in pursuit of the Confederate privateer "Sumter." On 8 November, 1861, he intercepted at sea the English mail-steamer "Trent," bound from Havana to St. Thomas, W. I., and sent Lieutenant Donald M. Fairfax on board to bring off the Confederate commissioners, John Slidell and James M. Mason, with their secretaries. The officials were removed to the "San Jacinto," in which they were taken to Fort Warren, in Boston harbor. The Navy Department gave Captain Wilkes an emphatic commendation; Congress passed a resolution of thanks, and his act caused great rejoicing throughout the north, where he was the hero of the hour. But on the demand of the British government that Mason and Slidell should be given up. Secretary William H. Seward complied, saying in his despatch that, although the commissioners and their papers were contraband of war, and therefore Wilkes was right in capturing them, he should have taken the "Trent" into port as a prize for adjudication. As he had failed to do so, and had constituted himself a judge in the matter, to approve his act would be to sanction the "right of search," which had always been denied by the U. S. government. The prisoners were therefore released. In 1862 Wilkes commanded the James River Flotilla, and shelled City Point. He was promoted to commodore, 16 July, 1862, and took charge of a special squadron in the West Indies. He was placed on the retired list because of age, 25 June, 1864, and promoted to rear-admiral on the retired list, 25 July, 1866. For his services to science as an explorer he received a gold medal from the Geographical Society of London. The reports of the Wilkes exploring expedition were to consist of twenty-eight quarto volumes, but nine of these were not completed. Of those that were published, Captain Wilkes was the author of the "Narrative" of the expedition (6 vols., 4 vol., also 5 vols., 8vols, Philadelphia, 1845; abridged ed., New York, 1851), and the volumes on "Meteorology" and "Hydrography." Admiral Wilkes was also the author of " Western America, including California and Oregon" (Philadelphia, 1849), and "Theory of the Winds " (New York, 1856). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 508-509.
WILKESON, Samuel, 1781-1848, Buffalo, New York, manufacturer, businessman, real estate, political leader, jurist, president, American Colonization Society (ACS). Director of the ACS, 1839-1841, Member of the Executive Committee, 1839-1841. (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 509-510; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 218; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 237-239, 308)
WILKESON, Samuel, manufacturer, born in Carlisle. Pennsylvania, in 1781; died in the mountains of Tennessee in July. 1848. His father, John, a native of Ireland of Scotch descent, came to this country in 1760. settled in Delaware, and served against the British in the. war of the Revolution. The son received few educational advantages, and worked on a farm till about 1806, when he began his career as a builder and owner of vessels and a trader on Lake Erie and elsewhere. During the war of 1812 he supplied General William Henry Harrison with transports for the use of the troops in invading Canada. In 1814 he settled in Buffalo and engaged in business as a merchant. In 1819 he was an active advocate of the construction of the Erie canal, and in 1822 he was chiefly instrumental in securing the selection of Buffalo as its terminus. He was appointed first judge of the Erie court of common pleas in February, 1821, though he was without a legal education, was elected to the state senate in 1842, and served in that body and in the court for the correction of errors for six years. In 1836 he was elected mayor of Buffalo. He erected and put in operation a furnace in Mahoning County, Ohio, the first in this country to "blow in " on raw bituminous coal and smelt iron with that fuel uncoked, built the first iron-foundry in Buffalo, and established in that city the business of manufacturing steam-engines, stoves, and hollow-ware. He favored a system of gradual and compensated emancipation of the slaves, and advocated the colonization of the Negroes on the west coast of Africa. He afterward moved to Washington, the headquarters of the American colonization society, over which he presided, for two years edited its organ, the "African Repository," directed the affairs of the colony of Liberia, establishing commercial relations between it and Baltimore and Philadelphia, and gathered colonists wherever he could in the south.—His son Samuel, born in Buffalo. New York, 9 May, 1817, was educated at Williams and Union, and was graduated at the latter in 1837. He was for twelve years a staff-writer on the New York “Tribune," and its war-correspondent in the Army of the Potomac, and was the editor and owner of the Buffalo "Democracy" and of the Albany "Evening Journal," having bought out Thurlow Weed in 1865. He has been secretary of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company since March, 1869.—The second Samuel's son, Bayard, born in Albany, N. Y., 17 May, 1844; died near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1 July, 1863, in the first year of the Civil War solicited and obtained a commission as 2d lieutenant in the 4th U. S. Artillery. He served with his battery in and about Fortress Monroe and Norfolk, and took part in the battle of Fredericksburg. He was promoted captain of his battery, and commanded it at the battle of Gettysburg, where he was killed. He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of artillery after his death for gallantry in battle. —Another son. Frank, born in Buffalo, New York, 8 March, 1845, has contributed to the New York "Times," the New York " Sun," and other papers, and has published "Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army of the Potomac" (New York, 1887).—Another son, Samuel, was one of the builders of Tacoma, on Puget sound. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 509-510.
WILKESON, Samuel, Jr., New York, abolitionist leader (Sorin, 1971).
WILKIE, Francis Bangs, journalist, born, in West Charlton, New York, 2 July, 1832. He was graduated at Union in 1857, during which period he had editorial charge of the "Daily Star" of Schenectady. Soon after he settled in Davenport, Iowa, where he established the " Evening News," and in 1861 became the war-correspondent of the "New York Times," having charge of all the military movements in the region west of the Alleghany Mountains. He then became an editorial writer on the "Chicago Times" in 1864, which he held till the close of 1887. He was the correspondent of the latter during the Russo-Turkish War, and for several years was at the head of the European bureau of that journal. His published works are "Davenport, Past and Present " (Davenport, Iowa, 1858); "The Iowa First" (Dubuque, Iowa, 1862); "Walks about Chicago, and Army and Miscellaneous Sketches" (Chicago, 1871); "The Chicago Bar" (1872); "Sketches beyond the Sea"(1879): "History of the Great Inventions and their Influence on Civilization" (Cincinnati, 1883); "The Gambler," a novel (Chicago, 1888); and "Pen and Powder" (Boston, 1888). He signs his articles " Poliute." Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 510.
WILKINS, William, born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 20 December, 1779; died in Homewood, Alleghany County, Pennsylvania, 23 June, 1865. He attended Dickinson College for a short time, read law at Carlisle, and was admitted to the bar at Pittsburg on 28 December, 1801. He practised law there for more than fifty years, except when engaged in the performance of public duties. He was president of the common councils of the city in 1816-'19, was elected to the legislature in 1820, and was a candidate for speaker, but was defeated and made chairman of the judiciary committee. He resigned on 18 December 1820, when he was appointed president-judge of the 5th judicial district of Pennsylvania. He held this office until 25 May, 1824, when he was made judge of the U. S. District Court for western Pennsylvania. While on the bench in 1828, he was elected to Congress, but declined to serve. In 1831 he was chosen U. S. Senator for the full term of six years, and gave up the judgeship. He was a supporter of Andrew Jackson in opposition to John C. Calhoun's doctrines, and, as Chairman of the Senate Committee, he reported the bill that passed Congress, authorizing the president to use the army to suppress the nullification movement. In 1833 the electoral vote of Pennsylvania was cast for him for vice-president. In 1834 he was appointed minister to Russia. In 1842 he was again elected to the House of Representatives, and served until 19 January, 1844, when he was made Secretary of War by President Tyler. In 1855 he was chosen state senator from Alleghany County. At the opening of the Civil War, although more than eighty years of age, he took an active interest in supporting the government as major-general of the home-guard, being always a stanch war Democrat. From 1805 until the time of his death he was active in any matter for the improvement of Pittsburg. In 1810 he helped to organize the Pittsburg Manufacturing Company, which in 1814 was incorporated as the Bank of Pittsburg, and he was its first president. He was interested in building the bridge across Monongahela River, and aided the Pennsylvania Railroad in reaching the city of Pittsburg. His second wife was Matilda Dallas, daughter of Alexander James Dallas. [Son of John Wilkins, pioneer]. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 510-511.
WILKINSON, John, naval officer, born in Norfolk, Virginia, 6 November. 1821. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman, 8 December, 1837, attended the naval school at Philadelphia, and became a passed midshipman, 29 June, 1843, served in the "Oregon" on special service in 1844-'5, and in the "Portsmouth" in 1845-'6. He was attached to the "Saratoga" in the later operations on the Gulf coast of Mexico, was commissioned a master, 25 June, 1850, and became lieutenant, 5 November, 1850. He served in the steamer "Southern Star," on the expedition to Paraguay, in 1858-'9, was on duty in the coast survey in 1860-'l. When the Civil War began he resigned his commission, 20 April, 1861, and entered the Confederate Navy as a lieutenant. He was assigned to duty in Fort Powhatan on the James River, and then ordered to command a battery at Acquia creek. In the spring of 1862 he was appointed executive of the ram "Louisiana," at New Orleans, in which he was taken prisoner at the capture of the city by Farragut. He was exchanged, 5 August, 1862, and on 12 August left Richmond with funds and Confederate bonds with which to purchase and load a vessel in England with a cargo of war material. He there bought the steamer "Giraffe," in which he ran the blockade at Wilmington, North Carolina, having on board machinery to make Confederate paper-money. Shortly afterward the "Giraffe" was renamed the "R. E. Lee." He made regular trips from Wilmington to Bermuda with cotton, and back with cargoes of arms and military stores. In October, 1863. he was ordered to command an expedition to release the Confederate prisoners on Johnson's Island, but the Canadian governor-general learned of the plot, and it was a failure. He served in the iron-clad "Albemarle " in 1864, and in September had command of the "Chickamauga," in which he destroyed a great many merchant-vessels. In 1865 he had charge of the blockade-runner " Chameleon," which he took to Liverpool, where she was seized after the war, and delivered to the U. S. government. He has published "The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner'' (New York, 1877). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 512.
WILKINSON, Morton Smith, born 1819, lawyer. Republican U.S. Senator from Minnesota. U.S. Senator from 1859-1865. U.S. Congressman from March 1869-March 1871. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 512; Congressional Globe).
WILKINSON, Morton Smith, senator, born in Skaneateles, Onondaga County, New York, 22 January, 1819. He received an academical education, went to Illinois in 1837, was engaged for two years in railroad business, afterward returned to his native place, where he studied law, was admitted to the bar in Syracuse in 1842, and in 1843 began practice at Eaton Rapids, Michigan He moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1847, was elected a member of the first territorial legislature in 1849, and was appointed one of a board of commissioners to prepare a code of laws for the territory. He was elected to the U. S. Senate as a Republican in 1859, and held his seat till 1865, serving as chairman of the committee on Revolutionary claims, and as a member of the committee on Indian affairs. He was a delegate to the Baltimore convention of 1864 and to the Loyalists' Convention of 1866 at Philadelphia, and served in Congress from Minnesota from 4 March, 1869, till 3 March, 1871. He was a member of the state senate in 1874-'7, and afterward united with the Democratic Party. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 512.
WILLARD, B. W., New York, American Abolition Society (Radical Abolitionist, Vol. 1, No. 1, New York, August 1855)
WILLARD, Sidney, soldier, born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, 3 February, 1831; died in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 13 December, 1862, was graduated at Harvard in 1852, and studied and practised law in Boston. During the Civil War he entered the National Army, and was made major of the 35th Massachusetts Regiment on 27 August, 1862, and fell at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 516.
WILLARD, Sylvester David, physician, in Wilton, Connecticut, 19 June, 1825; died in Albany, N. Y., 2 April, 1865. He was educated in the academy in his native town, graduated at Albany Medical College in 1848, and acquired a large practice in that city. From 1857 till 1865 he was secretary of the New York State Medical Society, whose "Transactions" he edited, and he was president of the Medical Society of Albany County in 1858. He entered the National Army as volunteer surgeon in 1862, and in 1865 became surgeon-general of the state of New York. Being directed by the legislature to report the condition of the insane in the state, Dr. Willard urged the necessity of erecting a large asylum for the poor, and a bill to establish such un asylum was in the state senate at the time of Dr. Willard's death. It afterward passed, and the institution was called the Willard asylum for the insane. It is one of the largest of the kind in this country. Both houses of the legislature passed resolutions of regret upon his death. Dr. Willard devoted much time to historical and antiquarian research, and was the author of many scientific papers, addresses, and contributions to medical journals. He published " Historical Address" (Albany, 1857); "Biographical Memoirs of Physicians of Albany County" (1857); "Memoir of Thomas Spencer, M. D." (1858); and "Annals of the Medical Society of the County of Albany, 1800-'51. with Biographical Sketches" (1864). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 516.
WILLCOX, Albert Oliver, merchant, born in New York City, 10 May, 1810. He was educated in the New York high-school, and embraced a mercantile career. Between 1835 and 1800 he was an active member of several anti-slavery societies. As chairman of the executive committee of one of these, he issued, on 3 November, 1838, an address containing the first proposal of political anti-slavery action. He was among the founders of the " National Era" in Washington, D. C, in 1844. He was engaged for many years before the war in extending the earliest mercantile agency, and in the dry-goods business, and has since followed the insurance business in New York City, and devoted himself to the public advocacy of woman suffrage. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 516.
WILLCOX, Orlando Bolivar, soldier, born in Detroit, Michigan, 10 April, 1823. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, in 1847. eighth in a class of thirty-eight, among whom were Ambrose P. Hill and Ambrose E. Burnside, and was assigned to the 4th U.S. Artillery. He served in the latter part of the Mexican war, on the plains, and in the final campaign against the Seminoles in 1850-7, but resigned his commission on 10 September of the latter year, studied law, and in 1858 was admitted to the bar at Detroit, Michigan, where he practised till the opening of the Civil War. He became colonel of the 1st Michigan Regiment on 1 May, 1861, and his command was the first from the west, to arrive at the seat of war. He was engaged in the capture of Alexandria, Virginia, and commanded a brigade at Bull Run, where he was wounded and captured. After confinement in Charleston and Columbia. South Carolina, till 17 August, 1862, during part of which time he was kept a close prisoner as a hostage for Confederate privateers that were on trial for their lives in New York, he was exchanged and commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, to date from 21 July, 1861. He took part in the Maryland and Rappahannock Campaigns, temporarily commanded the 9th Army Corps and the District of Central Kentucky from 10 April till 9 June, 1863, had charge of the District of Indiana and Michigan during the draft riots, and then engaged in the operations in eastern Tennessee till March, 1864. He commanded a division in the 9th Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the Richmond Campaign, and on 1 August, 1864, was brevetted major-general of volunteers "for distinguished and gallant services in the several actions since crossing the Rapidan." At Petersburg his division was the first to break through, and received the actual surrender of the city. From 26 April till 28 July, 1865, he had charge of the District of Washington, North Carolina, and from 7 August, of that year, till 15 January, 1866, he commanded that of Michigan. On the latter day he was mustered out, and returned to the practice of law at Detroit, where he was also made U. S. assessor of internal revenue; but on 28 July, 1866, he was recommissioned in the regular army, as colonel of the 29th U.S. Infantry, and on 2 March, 1867, he received the brevets of brigadier-general for Spottsylvania, and major-general for the capture of Petersburg. He was transferred to the 12th U.S. Infantry on 15 March, 1869, was superintendent of the general recruiting service in New York City in 1873-'4. and commanded various posts and departments till his promotion to brigadier-general, 13 October, 1886. While in command of the Department of Arizona, he received the thanks of the territorial legislature on 19 February, 1881, for "his constant and vigilant care, his untiring effort and military skill in protecting the people and freeing the territory of Arizona from the cruel and brutal outrages of the hostile Indian tribes within the military department." On 16 April, 1887, he was placed on the retired list, at which time he was in command of the Department of the Missouri. General Wilcox has published "Shoepack Recollections " (Boston. 1856). and "Faca, an Army Memoir, by Major March " (1857). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 516-517.
WILLET, Joseph Edgerton, educator, born in Macon, Georgia, 17 November, 1826. He was graduated at Mercer University in 1846 and elected in 1847 adjunct professor of natural philosophy and chemistry, but spent some time in the analytical laboratory of Yale College before fully taking up the duties of his chair. Since 1849 he has been engaged in teaching natural science in Mercer University, having been made full professor in 1848. During the Civil War he was employed by the Confederate government to superintend the laboratory at Atlanta, in which all kinds of ammunition were manufactured, and in recent years he has served on the U. S. commission to investigate the habits, nature, and ravages of the cotton caterpillar. Professor Willet has delivered a course of lectures on "Science and Religion," besides lecturing before agricultural societies. He is the author of a prize-book, "The Wonders of Insect Life " (1869). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 517.
WILLEY, Austin, 1806-1896, Maine, reformer, abolitionist, clergyman. Congregational minister. In 1839, he became editor of the Advocate of Freedom, which was an antislavery newspaper that had been founded in Brunswick, Maine, in 1838. He edited the paper until the end of the Civil War. Published Liberty Party newspaper, Liberty Standard. He wrote The History of the Anti-Slavery Cause in State and Nation. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 518; Dumond, 1961, pp. 301, 405n12; Willey, Austin, The History of the Anti-Slavery Cause in State and Nation, Portland, Maine, 1886; Minutes, Convention of the Liberty Party, June 14, 15, 1848, Buffalo, New York)
WILLEY, Austin, reformer, born in Campton, New Hampshire, 24 June, 1806. He was educated at Pembroke Academy, studied at Bangor theological seminary, where he was graduated in 1837. and in 1839 became editor of the "Advocate of Freedom," an anti-slavery paper that had been established in the preceding year at Brunswick, Maine, which he conducted until the abolition of slavery. He was also an early advocate of prohibition, and contributed to the adoption of the Maine law. He has published in book-form a "Family Memorial" (San Francisco, 1865). and " History of the Anti-Slavery Cause in State and Nation " (Portland. 1886). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 518.
WILLEY, Waitman Thomas, 1811-1900, lawyer. U.S. Senator from Virginia (1861), later West Virginia (1863). Willey was elected by the Unionist legislature at Wheeling to take the seat of U.S. Senator James M. Mason. He participated in the convention that decided to create the new state of West Virginia. Thus, West Virginia was the only state to secede from the Confederacy. Presented the Constitution of West Virginia and lobbied the U.S. Congress to accept its provisions, which called for the gradual abolition of slavery for the new state. Became a Radical Republican. Served in Senate until March 1871. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 519; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 246; Congressional Globe)
WILLEY, Waitman Thomas, senator, born in Monongalia County. Va. (now West Virginia), 18 October, 1811. He was graduated at Madison College, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1831, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1833. He was clerk of the county and circuit courts successively from 1841 till 1855, and a member in 1850-'l of the Virginia Constitutional Convention. Mr. Willey was a delegate to the state convention that met at Richmond in February, 1861, and after the adoption of the ordinance of secession was elected by the Unionist legislature at Wheeling to occupy the seat in the U. S. Senate that was vacated by James M. Mason, taking his seat on 13 July, 1861. He attended the convention that decided to create a new state, was chosen to represent West Virginia in the senate, and took his seat on 8 December, 1863. In the following year he was re-elected for the full term that ended on 3 March, 1871, and served as chairman of the committees on patents and on claims. In 1806 he was a delegate to the Loyalists' convention at Philadelphia, and in 1871 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention of West Virginia. He has written for reviews and delivered lectures on various subjects, including a series on "Methodism" in 1853. Allegheny College gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1863. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 519.
WILLIAMS, Alpheus Starkey, soldier, born in Saybrook, Connecticut, 10 September, 1810; died in Washington, D. C, 21 December, 1878. He was graduated at Yale in 1831, studied law there, and afterward spent some time in European travel, a part of his tour being in company with Edwin Forrest and Nathaniel P. Willis. In 1836 he began the practice of law in Detroit, Michigan In 1838 he was captain of a local militia company. In 1840 he was appointed judge of probate of Wayne County, and he held that post until 1844, when he was elected recorder of the city of Detroit. At the opening of the war with Mexico he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served with credit until the close of hostilities, when he returned to Detroit and resumed the practice of law. In 1861, when the Civil War began, he was one of the first to offer his services in support of the government, and as he had always been an active member of the Democratic Party, his example had great influence. On 17 May, 1861, he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers. He at once entered upon his duties in the Army of the Potomac, and in the spring of 1862 was made commander of a division in the corps of General Nathaniel P. Banks in the Shenandoah valley. During the retreat of the corps in May, 1862, he did himself great credit by his skill and courage. While still a brigadier-general he commanded, with ability and success, an army corps in the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, and Gettysburg. In the autumn of 1863 he was sent with his corps to Tennessee, and in the following spring, as division commander, he entered upon the Atlanta Campaign. He took an active part in all the battles of that summer. At the head of the 20th Corps he marched with Sherman to the sea, and at Savannah he was promoted to be brevet major general of volunteers to rank from 12 January, 1865, being 39th on the list of such brevet appointments, though far in advance of them all in date of previous commission and in actual service. Perhaps his was the only instance during the Civil War where an officer of his grade was placed in command of a corps, except in a momentary emergency. Notwithstanding this neglect to recognize his merits. General Williams gave his best energies to his work. He shared in the campaign in the Carolinas and in the grand review at Washington, and was retained in service during the reconstruction era in Kentucky and Arkansas, until July, 1866, when he was honorably mustered out. He was soon afterward appointed U. S. minister to San Salvador, where he spent three years in diplomatic duties. He returned in 1870 to his old home, and was in that year an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Michigan. In 1874, and again in 1870, he was elected a representative in Congress. He had established a reputation as an honest and independent legislator, when his career was cut short by death. During his second term in Congress he was chairman of the committee on the District of Columbia, and did much to beautify the capital city. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 519.
WILLIAM, Julia, African American, abolitionist (Yellin, 1994, p. 58n40)
WILLIAMS, Caroline, African American, abolitionist (Yellin, 1994, p. 58n40)
WILLIAMS, Chauncey P., New York, abolitionist leader (Sorin, 1971)
WILLIAMS, Edward P., naval officer, born in Castine, Maine, 26 February, 1833; died in Yeddo bay, near Yokohama, Japan, 24 January, 1870. He was graduated at the U. S. Naval Academy, 10 June, 1853. He was commissioned a lieutenant, 16 September, 1855. During the first year of the Civil War he served in the steamer " Paul Jones" on the South Atlantic blockade, and subsequently he was executive of the steamer "Powhatan." He was promoted to lieutenant-commander, 16 July, 1862. Williams was one of the volunteers that were called for by Admiral Dahlgren to storm Fort Sumter, and on the night of 8 September, 1863, commanded the first division of boats with sailors and marines in that attack. He was captured and sent as prisoner to Columbia, South Carolina, where he remained for one year until exchanged. He was promoted to commander, 25 July, 1866, served at the rendezvous at Boston, 1865-'6, and on ordnance duty at Boston and New York, 1866-'8. On 9 February, 1869, he took command of the steamer " Oneida" on the Asiatic Station. He sailed from Yokohama at 4.30 p. m., 24 January, 1870, and at 6.30 P. M. his vessel was run down by the English mail-steamer " Bombay " and sank in fifteen minutes. The " Bombay" was not injured, and, after backing out to clear her sharp stern from the "Oneida," she steamed away without waiting to give assistance or heeding signals of distress. Twenty-two officers and 115 men were lost, 2 officers and 37 men were saved. Captain Williams stood on the bridge and refused to leave his ship when he was urged to do so by those in the boat. The Secretary of the Navy said in his official report to Congress that, after a thorough investigation of the collision, he concluded that the disaster was due to the recklessness and bad navigation of the English steamer. Another theory was that the captain of the "Bombay" mistook the "Oneida" for a rival merchant steamer of the American Pacific mail line, and ran into her purposely. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 520-521.
WILLIAMS, George Henry, jurist, born in New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, 23 March, 1823. He was educated at an academy in Onondaga County, studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1844, and, moving to Iowa, began practice there. He was elected judge of the first judicial district of that state, serving from 1847 till 1852, and was a presidential elector in 1852. In 1853-'7 he was chief justice of Oregon territory, and he was reappointed to that office by President Buchanan, but declined. He was a member of the convention that framed the constitution of Oregon in 1858, and, having been elected U. S. Senator from the state as a Union Republican, served from 4 December, 1865, till 3 March, 1871. He was a member of the joint high commission that in 1871 arranged the Treaty of Washington for the adjustment of differences between Great Britain and the United States growing out of the Alabama claims, and was appointed by President Grant Attorney-General of the United States, serving from 10 January, 1872, till 15 May, 1875. On 1 December. 1873, he was nominated by President Grant chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court: but his nomination was not confirmed by the Senate, and his name was withdrawn. He afterward practised law in Washington, D. C. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 522.
WILLIAMS, George Washington, author, born in Bedford Springs, Pa,, 16 October, 1849. He is a mulatto. He served in the Civil War, was a lieutenant-colonel of artillery in the Republican Army of Mexico in 1865-'7, and attended school at Newton Centre, Massachusetts, until 1874. For a year he preached in Boston, but in 1875 he became a journalist. He was graduated at Cincinnati law College in 1877, spent two years in the office of Alphonso Taft, and in 1879-'81 was a member of the Ohio legislature. In 1880-'2 he was judge-advocate-general of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in 1885-'6 he was U. S. minister to Hayti. In 1888 he was a delegate to the world's conference of foreign missions at London. England, where his speech on "The Drink Traffic in the Congo" attracted much attention. He has edited "The Southwestern Review" at Cincinnati and "The Commoner " at Washington, and is the author of "History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 till 1880" (2 vols., New York, 1883); "History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion" (1887): and "History of the Reconstruction of the Insurgent States "(2 vols., 1889). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 522.
WILLIAMS, Henry W., Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Recording Secretary, 1842-47.
WILLIAMS, Herbert, LaPorte County, Indiana, abolitionist, American Anti-Slavery Society, Manager, 1837-40, Vice-President, 1840-44.
WILLIAMS, Jesse Lynch, civil engineer, born in Westfield, Stokes County, North Carolina, 6 May, 1807; died in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 9 October, 1880. His ancestors, English Quakers, came to Maryland about 1700. His parents, who adhered to the same faith, moved to Cincinnati in 1814, and subsequently to a place near Richmond, Indiana. The son was first a rod-man and then an engineer on the preliminary survey for the Miami and Erie Canal, and continued in the service of the state of Ohio from 1824 till 1832, when he was appointed by Indiana chief engineer of the Wabash and Erie canal. In 1837 he became chief engineer of all the internal improvements of the state, including about 1,300 miles of canals, railroads, and other works. In 1853 he became chief engineer of the Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad, and in 1850, after its consolidation with other roads to form the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago road, he became a director. From 1864 till his resignation in 1869 he was appointed annually a government director of the Union Pacific Railroad and devoted himself to securing the best location through the Rocky mountains. He was chief engineer and receiver of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad in 1869-'71, and was connected with other roads. Mr. Williams was active in the councils of the Presbyterian church, and served as a director of the Theological seminary of the northwest from its organization till his death. A discourse on his life by the Reverend David W. Moffat, D. D., was printed privately (Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1886). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 523.
WILLIAMS, John S, lawyer, born in Lockport. New York, 14 December, 1825. He received a liberal education, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practised in his native place and in Lafayette, Indiana, where he settled in 1853. He was elected mayor of that town in 1856 and 1858, and for some time edited the Lafayette "Daily American." He recruited the 63d Indiana Volunteers in the autumn of 1861, was commissioned as its colonel, and was with his regiment at the second battle of Bull Run, and till July, 1863, when he was compelled through illness to resign. He resumed practice, and in 1866 was appointed by President Johnson collector of internal revenue for the 8th District of Indiana, holding the office till the accession of a new administration in 1869. Subsequently he became the publisher of the Lafayette "Sunday Times."' In April, 1885, President Cleveland appointed him 3d Auditor of the U. S. Treasury Department. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 528.
WILLIAMS, John Stuart, senator, born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, in 1820. He was graduated at Miami University, Oxford. Ohio, in 1838, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and engaged in practice at Paris, Kentucky. He served in the war with Mexico, first as a captain and afterward as colonel, and was in command of the 4th Kentucky Volunteers at the taking of the city of Mexico. After his return he resumed practice, and engaged in agriculture and the breeding of fine stock, took an active part as a Whig in politics, served as a delegate to national conventions and as a presidential elector, and was in the legislature of Kentucky in 1851-'2. Although he had opposed secession, he raised a brigade for the Confederate Army, received a commission as brigadier-general in 1862, and was serving under General Joseph E. Johnston when the surrender took place. Going back to his home, he urged the people to renew their allegiance to the National government. He served again in the legislature in 1873-'4, and was elected a U. S. Senator from Kentucky as a Democrat, and served from 4 March, 1879, till 3 March, 1885. Since that time he has been engaged in farming, in improving lands in southern Florida, and in promoting railways in the mineral regions of Kentucky. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 528.
WILLIAMS, Julia, 1811-1870, Charleston, South Carolina, abolitionist, Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS), Boston, Massachusetts. Married to prominent leader of the abolitionist movement, Henry Highland Garnett. Worked for freedman in Washington, DC, after the Civil War. (Gold, 1993; Yellin, 1994, p. 61)
WILLIAMS, Nelson Grosvenor, soldier, born in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York, 4 May, 1823. He was educated at Utica Academy, and spent one year at the U. S. Military Academy. At the beginning of the Civil War he was appointed colonel of the 3d Iowa Volunteers, and served in Missouri until March, 1862. He commanded the 1st Brigade of the 4th Division of the Army of the Tennessee at the battle of Shiloh, where a horse was killed under him, and was at the siege of Corinth. He was made brigadier-general on 29 November, 1862, but resigned soon afterward, owing to injuries received at Shiloh. In 1869 he entered the U. S. Custom Service in New York City. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 529.
WILLIAMS, Joseph Hartwell, lawyer, born in Augusta, Maine, 15 February, 1814, was graduated at Harvard in 1834, and at the law-school in 1837, and practised his profession in Augusta till 1862. He married a sister of the Reverend Sylvester Judd. He was president of the state senate in 1857, and became acting governor on the resignation of Hannibal Hamlin in February of that year. Governor Williams was nominated to the office of judge of the Maine Supreme Court in 1862, but declined. In 1864-'6 and 1874 he was a member of the legislature, serving in 1865-'6 as chairman of the committee on finance. He is the author of "A Brief Study in Genealogy," treating of the Cony family, to which his mother belonged (printed privately, Cambridge, 1885). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 530.
WILLIAMS, Peter, Jr., 1780-1840, New York City, African American, clergyman, author, abolitionist, political leader. Early in his career, he favored Black colonization. Co-founder of first African American newspaper, Freedom’s Journal in 1827. Manager and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), December 1833. Manager, 1833-1836, and Member of the Executive Committee, 1834-1835, of the AASS. (Rodriguez, 2007, p. 155; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 160)
WILLIAMS, Ransom, New York, New York, abolitionist, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Executive Committee, 1844-1849.
WILLIAMS, Seth, soldier, born in Augusta. Maine, 22-March, 1822; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 23 March. 1866, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1842, commissioned as 2d lieutenant of artillery on 31 August, 1844, and as 1st lieutenant on 3 March, 1847, and during the Mexican War served as aide-de-camp to General Robert Patterson, participating in all the principal battles, and gaining the brevet of captain for gallantry at Cerro Gordo. He was adjutant of the military academy in 1850-'3, and subsequently served in the adjutant-general's department till his death. He was promoted major on 11 May, 1861, and appointed a brigadier-general in the volunteer army on 23 September, and from 20 August, 1861, till 11 November, 1862, served as adjutant-general on the staff of General George B. McClellan, being promoted lieutenant-colonel on 17 July, 1862. He was adjutant-general of the Army of the Potomac while it was commanded by General McClellan, and continued to serve in that capacity under Generals Ambrose E. Burnside, General Joseph Hooker, and General George G. Meade, wining the brevet of colonel for gallant conduct, at Gettysburg. His health was impaired by continued and arduous duties, and from November, 1864, till the close of hostilities he served on General Ulysses S. Grant's staff as inspector-general of the army. He took part in nearly every important engagement, and received the brevet of major-general of volunteers on 1 August, 1864, for brave conduct in the field in the campaigns from Gettysburg to Petersburg, that of brigadier-general in the U. S. Army on 13 March, 1865, for gallantry in the final campaign near Richmond, and that of major-general on the same date for gallant and meritorious services throughout the war. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 530.
WILLIAMS, Robert, soldier, born in Culpeper County, Virginia, 5 November, 1829. His grandfather, James Williams, served in the Virginia line in the Revolutionary War and also in command of Virginia troops during the war of 1812. Robert was educated at the local schools and at the U. S. Military Academy, where he was graduated and promoted to brevet 2d lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Dragoons in 1851. He served at the cavalry-school for practice and with his regiment in Oregon for six years, in the meantime becoming 2d lieutenant in 1853, and 1st lieutenant in 1855. In 1857 he was assigned to duty as an assistant instructor in tactics at West Point. Having been appointed in May, 1861, captain and assistant adjutant-general, he served as such until October, when he was commissioned colonel of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry. He was engaged in operations at Hilton Head, South Carolina, in the attack on Secessionville, James Island, South Carolina, and in central Virginia till October, 1862, when he resigned from the volunteer service and was assigned to duty at the war department, having become major and assistant adjutant-general in July of the same year. He afterward served as adjutant-general, respectively, of the Departments of the Missouri and of the Platte, and of the Division of the Missouri. He was promoted by seniority in his department to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in February, 1869, colonel, 1 July, 1881, and by brevet to the grade of brigadier-general, U. S. Army, 13 March, 1865, "for diligent, faithful, and meritorious services during the rebellion." General Williams married the widow of Stephen A. Douglas. He has published professional papers in periodicals. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 531.
WILLIAMS, Thomas, 1779-1876, Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, clergyman, abolitionist. Manager, 1833-1834, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833. Member of the Executive Committee of the American Colonization Society, 1840-1841. (Dumond, 1961, p. 180; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 533; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961)
WILLIAMS, Thomas, clergyman, born in Pomfret, Connecticut, 5 Nov., 1779; died in Providence, Rhode Island, 29 Sept., 1876. He studied for two years at Williams, then entered Yale, was graduated in 1800, and taught at Beverly, Massachusetts, and Woodstock and Norwich, Connecticut, till 1803, when he opened a school for colored pupils in Boston, Massachusetts He was there licensed in order to act as chaplain of the almshouse, was sent to New York state as a missionary in the same year, and repeated his tour in 1804 and 1805, after being ordained as an evangelist on 16 May, 1804. From 1807 till his death, except while officiating as pastor at Foxborough, Massachusetts, in 1816-'21, at Attleborough in 1823-'7, at Hebronville in 1827-'30, and at Barrington, Rhode Island, in 1835, he resided mainly at Providence, and, while holding no charge, preached to colored people and others through the state of Rhode Island. He drafted the articles of faith and the rules of the Rhode Island evangelical consociation, and was its first scribe. Of his many printed sermons, some of which were signed by the pen-name “Demens Egomet,” one was called “An Explicit Avowal of Nothingarianism,” another had the title “Jehovah, or Uni-trini-tarianism,” and others commemorated the first settlement of Rhode Island and the revival of religion in 1740. Several volumes of collected sermons were issued at various times. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 533.
WILLIAMS, Thomas, 1806-1872, lawyer. Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Served as Congressman from December 1863 through 1869. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 533; Congressional Globe)
WILLIAMS, Thomas, lawyer, born in Greensburgh, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 28 August, 1806. He was graduated at Dickinson College in 1825, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1828, and entered into practice at Pittsburg. He served in the state senate from 1838 till 1841. In 1861 he entered the state house of representatives, and after serving two years was elected to Congress as a Republican, taking his seat on 7 December, 1863. He was twice re-elected, was a member of the committee on the judiciary during his entire period of service, and in March, 1868, acted as one of the managers of the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 533.
WILLIAMS, Thomas, soldier, born in New York state in 1815; died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 5 August. 1862. He was appointed a cadet in the U. S. Military Academy from Michigan, graduated in 1837, and immediately commissioned as 2d lieutenant of infantry. He served in the Florida Wars and during the Canadian rebellion on the northern frontier, was assistant professor of mathematics at the military academy in 1840-'l, being promoted 1st lieutenant on 5 October, 1840, and from 1844 till 1850 was aide-de-camp to General Winfield Scott. During the Mexican war he was present at Vera Cruz and the other principal engagements of the war, receiving the brevet of captain for bravery at Contreras and Churubusco, and that of major for taking a gallant part in the battle of Chapultepec. He became a captain on 12 September, 1850, was engaged in operations against the Seminoles in Florida in 1856-'7 and in the Utah Expedition in 1858, was promoted major on 14 May, 1861, and made a brigadier-general of volunteers on 28 September, 1861. He took part in the North Carolina Expedition, and remained in command of Fort Hatteras till March, 1862, then took command of a brigade, in the Ship Island Expedition, was engaged in opening the lower Mississippi in April and May, 1862, commanded in the first unsuccessful attack on Vicksburg. He projected and superintended the cutting of a canal that was designed to turn the course of the Mississippi away from that city. On the failure of this enterprise he was placed in command at Baton Rouge, where he successfully repelled the vigorous attack of General John C. Breckinridge, and was killed in the moment of victory while leading to the charge an Indiana regiment whose field-officers had fallen. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 533-534.
WILLIAMSON, James Alexander, soldier, born in Adair County, Kentucky, 8 February, 1829. He was educated at Knox College, Illinois, but was not graduated, studied law, and was admitted to the bar, but was mustered into the military service of the United States, 8 August, 1861, as 1st lieutenant and adjutant of the 4th Iowa Infantry. After the battle of Pea Ridge, where he was wounded, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the regiment and immediately afterward he was made its colonel. At the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, near Vicksburg, on 28 December, 1862, he led the "assault of Thayer's brigade on the enemy's lines and was seriously wounded. By order of General Grant he was allowed to inscribe on the colors of his regiment " First at Chickasaw Bayou." He was present at the siege of Vicksburg, and immediately after the surrender was given command of the 2d Brigade of the 1st Division of the 15th Army Corps. Colonel Williamson continued in command of a brigade or division until the capture of Savannah, when he was made a full brigadier-general of volunteers, 13 January, 1865, having previously been promoted by brevet on 19 December, 1864. He was also brevetted major-general of volunteers, 13 March, 1865. After the capture of Savannah he was ordered to St. Louis, Missouri, to take command of the district of Missouri, where he remained until sometime after the surrender of the armies of the Confederacy, when he was ordered to report to General Grenville M. Dodge for duty in a military and inspecting expedition of posts in the northwest, on Laramie, Powder, and Bighorn Rivers. While on this duty he was mustered out of the military service; but he did not receive the order until his return to St. Louis in October, 1865. General Williamson then resumed his profession, and was commissioner of the general land-office from June, 1876, till June, 1881, and chairman of the public lands commission created by act of Congress, 3 March, 1879. He was elected chairman of the Iowa delegation to the National Republican Convention at Baltimore in 1864, but did not attend in consequence of his military duties, and he was again elected chairman of the delegation in 1868. He is now general solicitor for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 537.
WILLIAMSON, Passmore, 1822-1895, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, businessman and abolitionist. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and Vigilance Committee. Aided escaped slaves Jane Johnson and her two sons in 1855. He was subsequently jailed for his actions. (Still, 1872; Wilson, 1972, Vol. 2, pp. 445-451)
WILLIAMSON, Robert Stockton, soldier, born in New York in 1824; died in San Francisco, California, 10 November, 1882. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1848, assigned to the Topographical Engineers, and took part in various surveys on the Pacific Coast till 1856, when he became 1st lieutenant. From that time till the Civil War he was on the staff of the commanding general of the Department of the Pacific, and in charge of military roads in southern Oregon, with meteorological observations on that coast. On 6 August, 1861, he was promoted captain, and, after reconnaissance on the lower Potomac till March, 1862, he was chief topographical engineer in the operations in North Carolina, being brevetted major, 14 March, 1862, for services at New Berne, and lieutenant-colonel on 26 April for the siege of Fort Macon. He then served with the Army of the Potomac, of which he was chief topographical engineer, from 21 November till 21 December, 1862, and held that post in the Department of the Pacific from 9 February till 3 March, 1863, when he was transferred to the Corps of Engineers, in which he was made major on 7 May. Afterward he served on the Pacific Coast as superintending engineer of various surveys of rivers, harbors, and sites for fortifications. On 22 February, 1869, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel. Colonel Williamson published "Report of a Reconnaissance and Survey in California in Connection with Explorations for a Railway Route to the Pacific " in vol. lii. of " Pacific Railway Reports " (Washington, 1853); "On the Use of the Barometer on Surveys and Reconnaissance’s" (New York, 1868); and "Practical Tables in Meteorology and Hypsometry," being an appendix to the foregoing (1869). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 537-538.
WILLICH, August, born in Gorzyn, in the Prussian province of Posen, in 1810: died in St. Mary's, Mercer County, Ohio, 23 January, 1878. His father, a captain of hussars during the Napoleonic Wars, died when August was three years old. With an elder brother, the boy found a home in the family of Friedrich Schleiermacher, the famous theologian, whose wife was a distant relative. He received a military education at Potsdam and Berlin, and at eighteen years of age was commissioned 2d lieutenant of artillery in the Prussian Army. Incoming a captain in 1841. In 1846, in company with a number of the younger and more ardent officers of his brigade, he became so imbued with republican ideas that he tendered his resignation from the army in a letter written in such terms that, instead of its being accepted, he was arrested and tried by a court-martial. By some means he was acquitted, and afterward was permitted to resign. When the great revolution of 1848 threatened the overthrow of all European monarchies, Willich, with several former army friends, among whom were Franz Sigel, Friederich K. F. Hecker, Louis Blenker, and Carl Schurz, went to Baden and took an active part in the armed attempt to revolutionize Germany. After its failure. Willich and many of his compatriots became exiles. He escaped to Switzerland, but afterward made his way to England, where several of his fellow-exiles had also found refuge. Here he remained till 1853, devoting much of his time and labor to aiding his distressed countrymen to reach the United States. He had learned the trade of a carpenter while in England, and so earned a livelihood. Coming to the United States in 1853, he first found employment at his trade in the U.S. Navy-yard at Brooklyn. Here his attainments in mathematics and other scientific studies were soon discovered, and he found more congenial work in the coast survey. In 1858 he was induced to go to Cincinnati as editor of the "German Republican.'' in which work he continued till the opening of the Civil War in 1861. He enlisted, at the first call to arms, in the 1st German (afterward 9th Ohio) Regiment, which within three days mustered about 1,500 men. He was at once appointed adjutant, and, on 28 May, commissioned major. This regiment afterward became one of the best in the service. In the autumn of 1861 Governor Oliver P. Morton, of Indiana, who was raising a German regiment in that state, commissioned him as its colonel. This was the 32d Indiana Infantry, famous in the Army of the Cumberland for its drill and discipline, as well as for its gallantry in action. Willich devoted himself to this regiment, and with such good results that, on 26 November, 1861, three companies, deployed as skirmishers, repelled in confusion a regiment of Texan Rangers. This affair gave it a prestige that it retained to the end of the war. On 17 July, 1862, he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers. At the battle of Stone River, 31 December, 1862, he was captured almost before the action began, and was held a prisoner for several months. He was exchanged in season to take part, at the head of his brigade, in the battle of Chickamauga, 19 and 20 September, 1863, and from that time on he shared in all the movements and battles of the army, including the Atlanta Campaign and the march to the sea and through the Carolinas. He was made brevet major-general, 21 October, 1865, and was mustered out of service, 15 January, 1866. On his return to Cincinnati he was chosen county auditor, which post he held for three years. He was visiting his old home in Germany at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war, and at once offered his services to the king, whom he had before attempted to dethrone. His offer was gratefully acknowledged, but, on account of his advanced age, it was not accepted. He found consolation, if not more congenial occupation, in attending lectures on philosophy at Berlin. Returning to the United States, he chose St. Mary's, Ohio, as his residence. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 538-539.
WILLIS, Anson, lawyer, born in Ulster County, New York, 28 January, 1802; died in Portchester, New York, 14 December, 1874. He was self-taught, studied law, and was for forty years a resident of New York City, which he represented in the assembly in 1835-'6. Afterward he served two terms as judge of the 6th judicial district court in that city. During the Civil War he was a zealous supporter of the U. S. government. Judge Willis published " Our Rulers and Our Rights, or Outlines of the United States Government" (Philadelphia, 1868), and left unfinished "Origin of all the Nations of the Earth." Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 539.
WILLISTON, John P., Northampton, Massachusetts, abolitionist, American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Executive Committee, 1841-1844.
WILLISTON, Samuel W., E. Hampton, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1837-40
WILLSON, Joseph, 1817-1895, African American, author, printer, dentist, anti-slavery activist. Member, Young Men’s Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia. (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 11, p. 197)
WILMARTH, Seth, inventor, born in Brattleboro, Vermont, 8 September, 1810; died in Maiden, Massachusetts, 5 November, 1886. He became a machinist in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and in 1855 was appointed superintendent and master-mechanic of the Charlestown Navy-yard. During the twenty years of his service there he made many valuable improvements in various departments, the most important being the large planer and the great lathe in the machine-shop, which were then the largest of their kind in the world, both bearing his name as inventor. Among his patents, numbering about twenty, were those for his revolving turrets, and for the hydraulic lift for raising the turret shafts on monitor vessels. Soon after the war the latter was submitted to the Navy Department, and was rejected as being of questionable utility, if not dangerous, its purpose having been efficiently accomplished by the means of a sledge-hammer and screw-wedge on many existing vessels. About 1873 the same plan was purchased by the U. S. government for $50,000. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 543.
WILMOT, David, 1814-1868, lawyer, jurist, anti-slavery activist, U.S. Congressman, Pennsylvania. He was an early founder of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania. Introduced Wilmot Proviso into Congress to exclude slavery in territories acquired from Mexico in 1846-1849. The Proviso stated: “Provided, That, as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the Executive of the moneys herein appropriated, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted.” Congressman Wilmot’s writings suggest that one of his motives was to protect White laborers in the new territory. In a New York speech, Wilmot talked of the end of slavery when he stated, “Keep it within its given limits… and in time it will wear itself out. Its existence can only be perpetrated by constant expansion… Slavery has within itself the seeds of its own destruction.” In 1856, Wilmot attended the Republican national convention and supported John C. Frémont as its presidential candidate. He was appointed by the Pennsylvania state legislature to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1861-1863.
(Blue, 2005, pp. 10, 13, 52, 105, 184-212, 265; Dumond, 1961, pp. 359-360; Going, 1966; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 32-33, 47-48, 60, 92, 98, 146, 147, 255n; Morrison, 1967; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 49, 133, 252, 261, 397, 476, 513, 517-518; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 544; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 317; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 23, p. 553)
WILMOT, David, jurist, U.S. Congressman, born in Bethany, Pennsylvania, 20 January, 1814; died in Towanda, Pennsylvania, 16 March, 1868. He received an academical education at Bethany and at Aurora, New York, was admitted to the bar at Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, in 1834, and soon began practice at Towanda, where he afterward resided. His support of Martin Van Buren in the presidential canvass of 1836 brought him into public notice, and he was subsequently sent to Congress as a Democrat, serving from 1 December, 1845, to 3 March, 1851. During the session of 1846, while a bill was pending to appropriate $2,000,000 for the purchase of a part of Mexico, he moved an amendment “that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory.” This, which became known as the “Wilmot Proviso,” passed the house, but was rejected by the Senate, and gave rise to the Free-Soil movement. Mr. Wilmot was president-judge of the 13th district of Pennsylvania in 1853-'61, a delegate to the National Republican conventions of 1856, and 1860, acting as temporary chairman of the latter, was defeated as the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 1857, and elected to the U. S. Senate as a Republican, in place of Simon Cameron, who resigned to become Secretary of War in President Lincoln's cabinet, serving from 18 March, 1861, to 3 March, 1863. In that body he was a member of the committees on pensions, claims, and foreign affairs. He was appointed by President Lincoln judge of the U. S. Court of Claims in 1863, and died in office. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 544.
WILSON, Allen Benjamin, inventor, born in Willet, New York, 18 October, 1824; died in Woodmont, Connecticut, 29 April, 1888. He was a cabinet-maker, and in 1849, while in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, invented a sewing-machine without ever having seen one before. It used a double-pointed shuttle in combination with the needle, which made a stitch at each forward and backward movement of the shuttle, instead of one at each throw of the shuttle, as in Elias Howe's machine. His first patent bears the date of 12 November, 1850, and is the fifteenth on the patent office record for an improved sewing-machine. This included the double-pointed shuttle and the two-motion feed-bar. In 1851 he secured a patent for the rotating hook, which was designed to supersede the shuttle, and to make the lock-stitch with greater rapidity, neatness, and economy of power. A year later he devised the four-motion feed, which was subsequently adopted in all machines. In his device the hook seizes the loop of thread in the needle when it has descended to its lowest point, opens it out, and carries it around the bobbin, so that the thread is then passed through the loop of the stitch. This is then drawn up with the thread in the needle, so that the two are looped together about half way through the cloth, forming the strongest possible seam, showing the stitching exactly even upon both sides, with no threads above the surface to wear off and allow the seam to rip. On the completion of his machine, Mr. Wilson entered into partnership with Nathaniel Wheeler, a practical manufacturer, and they began to make their machines in a small shop in Watertown. Their first machine, completed early in 1851. was sold for $125, and for a time this output was limited to eight or ten machines a week, but the demand soon increased, and they moved to Bridgeport, where they established the largest factory of its kind in the world, making 600 machines a day. In 1852 the firm was organized as the Wheeler and Wilson sewing-machine Company, and Mr. Wilson withdrew from the business and settled in Waterbury, where he engaged in other enterprises. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 546.
WILSON, David, author, born in West Hebron, Washington County, New York, 17 September, 1818; died in Albany, New York, 9 June, 1887. He was graduated at Union in 1840, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and practised at Whitehall, New York, until his health failed and he was compelled to relinquish his profession, after which he devoted himself largely to literary employments. He was a member of the assembly in 1852, and in 1854 declined a nomination for Congress. He moved to Albany in 1857 on being appointed deputy state treasurer, and in the following year was elected clerk of the assembly. He was deputy clerk of the court of appeals in 1861-'4, and afterward engaged in the brewing and malting business. Mr. Wilson published "Life in Whitehall: a Tale of Ship-Fever Times" (Auburn, 1850); "Solomon Northup, or Twelve Years a Slave," a narrative of the abduction and enslavement of a free Negro of Washington County (1853); "Life of Jane McCrea," including an account of General John Burgoyne's Campaign (1854); "Life of Henrietta Robinson, the Veiled Murderess" (1855); and "A Narrative of Nelson Lee, a Captive among the Comanches" (1859). He collected materials for a history of the Six Nations, but did not live to complete the work. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 547.
WILSON, George Francis, manufacturer, born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, 7 December, 1818; died in East Providence, R. I., 19 January, 1883. He was apprenticed to the trade of wool-sorting at the age of seventeen, and at the end of three years became an expert in the business and familiar with all the machinery in the mill. Being ambitious of obtaining a better education, he entered the academy at Shelburne Palls, Massachusetts, where he subsequently became a teacher. In 1844 he moved to Chicago, where he opened an academy that soon became a flourishing institution, he returned to the east in 1848 and settled in Providence, where he devoted himself to the manufacturing business. In 1855, with Eben N. Horsford, he began the manufacture of chemicals, under the style of George P. Wilson and Company, and two years later their establishment became known as the Rumford Chemical Works. The direct management of the works was controlled by him, and by his knowledge of mechanics he was able to devise various improvements in the machinery, resulting in the more economical manufacture of the goods. He also invented an improvement in the manufacture of steel, a revolving oiler for paper manufacture, and several improvements in illuminating apparatus for light-houses. Mr. Wilson devoted considerable attention to agriculture, to methods of fertilization of soils, and to the breeding of stock, while the range of his scientific knowledge was unusual for one whose life was almost entirely devoted to business pursuits. The degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Brown in 1872. He was a member of the city school committee, and was twice elected to represent Providence in the general assembly. During his residence in East Providence, whither he moved in 1861, he was for many years associated with the management of municipal affairs. He left $100,000 to Brown University, and $50,000 to Dartmouth College, to be used for scientific purposes. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 548.
WILSON, Harriet E., free African American woman, wrote Our Nig or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, a novel and exposé on racism and exploitation of African Americans in the North (Rodriguez, 2007, p. 62)
WILSON, Henry, 1812-1875, abolitionist leader, statesman, U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States. Massachusetts State Senator. Member, Free Soil Party. Founder of the Republican Party. Strong opponent of slavery. Became abolitionist in 1830s. Opposed annexation of Texas as a slave state. Bought and edited Boston Republican newspaper, which represented the anti-slavery Free Soil Party. Called for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1815. Introduced bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia and the granting of freedom to slaves who joined the Union Army. Supported full political and civil rights to emancipated slaves. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 548-550; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 322; Congressional Globe)
Biography from Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography :
WILSON, Henry, statesman, born in Farmington, New Hampshire, 16 February, 1812; died in Washington, D. C., 22 November, 1875. He was the son of a farm-laborer, whose ancestors were from the north of Ireland, and at the age of ten was apprenticed to a farmer till the age of twenty-one. During those eleven years of service he received not more than twelve months' schooling altogether, but read more than a thousand volumes. When his apprenticeship terminated in December, 1833, he set out from Farmington on foot in search of work, which he found at Natick, Massachusetts, in the house of a shoemaker. On attaining his majority he had his name, which was originally Jeremiah Jones Colbaith, changed by legislative enactment to the simpler one of Henry Wilson. He learned the trade of his employer and followed it for two years, earning enough money to return to New Hampshire and study in the academies at Stafford, Wolfborough, and Concord. At the same time he made his appearance in public life as an ardent Abolitionist during the attempts that were made in 1835 to stop the discussion of the slavery question by violent means. The person to whom he had intrusted his savings became insolvent, and in 1838, after a visit to Washington, where his repugnance to slavery was intensified by the observation of its conditions, he was compelled to relinquish his studios and resume shoemaking at Natick. In 1840 he appeared in the political canvass as a supporter of William Henry Harrison, addressing more than sixty Whig meetings, in which he was introduced as the “Natick cobbler.” In that year and the next he was elected to the Massachusetts house of representatives, and then after a year's intermission served three annual terms in the state senate.
He was active in organizing in 1845 a convention in Massachusetts to oppose the admission of Texas into the Union as a slave state, and was made, with John Greenleaf Whittier, the bearer of a petition to Congress against the proposed annexation, which was signed by many thousands of Massachusetts people. In the following year he presented in the legislature a resolution condemnatory of slavery, supporting it with a comprehensive and vigorous speech. In 1848 he went as a delegate to the Whig National Convention in Philadelphia, and on the rejection of anti-slavery resolutions spoke in protest and withdrew. On his return he defended his action before his constituents, and soon afterward bought the Boston “Republican” newspaper, which he edited for two years, making it the leading organ of the Free-Soil party. He was chairman of the Free-Soil state committee in 1849-'52. In 1850 he returned to the state senate, and in the two following years he was elected president of that body. He presided over the Free-Soil National Convention at Pittsburg in 1852, and in the ensuing canvass acted as chairman of the national committee of the party. As chairman of the state committee he had arranged a coalition with the Democrats by which George S. Boutwell was elected governor in 1851 and Charles Sumner and Robert Rantoul were sent to the U. S. Senate. He was a candidate for Congress in 1852, and failed of election by only ninety-three votes, although in his district the majority against the Free-Soilers was more than 7,500. In 1853 he was a member of the state constitutional convention and proposed a provision to admit colored men into the militia organization. In the same year he was defeated as the Free-Soil candidate for governor. He acted with the American Party in 1855, with the aid of which he was chosen to succeed Edward Everett in the U. S. Senate. He was a delegate to the American National Convention in Philadelphia in that year, but, when it adopted a platform that countenanced slavery, he and other Abolitionists withdrew. He had delivered a speech in advocacy of the repeal of the Fugitive-Slave Law and the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia shortly after taking his seat in the Senate in February, 1855. On the disruption of the American organization through the secession of himself and his friends, he took an active part in the formation of the Republican Party, with the programme of opposition to the extension of slavery. On 23 May, 1856, the morning after his colleague in the Senate, Charles Sumner, was assaulted by Preston S. Brooks, Mr. Wilson denounced the act as “brutal, murderous, and cowardly.” For this language he was challenged to a duel by Brooks; but he declined on the ground that the practice of duelling was barbarous and unlawful, at the same time announcing that he believed in the right of self-defence.
During the next four years he took part in all the important debates in the Senate, delivering elaborate speeches on the admission of Kansas, the Treasury-note Bill, the expenditures of the government, the Pacific Railroad project, and many other topics. His speeches bore the impress of practical, clear-sighted statesman ship, and if the grace of oratory and polished diction was wanting, they always commanded attention and respect. The congressional records during his long term of service in the Senate show that he was one of the most industrious and efficient members of that body, and that his name stands connected with nearly all the important acts and resolves. Strong in his convictions, he was fearless in their expression, but he was scrupulously careful in his statements, and the facts he adduced were never successfully disputed. In March, 1859, he made a notable reply to James H. Hammond, of South Carolina, in defence of free labor, which was printed and widely circulated through the northern states. He had been continued in the Senate for a full term by an almost unanimous vote of the Massachusetts legislature in the preceding January. In March, 1861, he was made chairman of the committee on military affairs, of which he had been a member during the preceding four years. He induced Congress to authorize the enlistment of 500,000 volunteers at the beginning of hostilities between the states, and during the entire period of the war he remained at the head of the committee, and devised and carried measures of the first importance in regard to the organization of the army and the raising and equipment of troops, as well as attending to the many details that came before the committee. He had been connected with the state militia as major, colonel, and brigadier-general from 1840 till 1851, and in 1861 he raised the 22d Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, and marched to the field as its colonel, serving there as an aide to General George B. McClellan till the reassembling of Congress.
During the session of 1861-'2 he introduced the laws that abolished slavery in the District of Columbia, put an end to the “black code,” allowed the enrolment of blacks in the militia, and granted freedom to slaves who entered the service of the United States and to their families. During the civil war he made many patriotic speeches before popular assemblages. He took a prominent part in the legislation for the reduction of the army after the war and for the reconstruction of the southern state governments, advocating the policy of granting full political and civil rights to the emancipated slaves, joined with measures of conciliation toward the people who had lately borne arms against the United States government. He was continued as senator for the term that ended in March, 1871, and near its close was re-elected for six years more. He was nominated for the office of Vice-President of the United States in June, 1872, on the ticket with Ulysses S. Grant, and was elected in the following November, receiving 286 out of 354 electoral votes. On 3 March, 1873, he resigned his place on the floor of the Senate, of which he had been a member for eighteen years, in order to enter on his functions as president of that body. The same year he was stricken with paralysis, and continued infirm till his death, which was caused by apoplexy.
It is but just to say of Henry Wilson that with exceptional opportunities which a less honest statesman might have found for enriching himself at the government's expense, or of taking advantage of his knowledge of public affairs and the tendency of legislation upon matters of finance and business, he died at his post of duty, as he had lived, rich only in his integrity and self-respect. Among his many published speeches may be mentioned “Personalities and Aggressions of Mr. Butler” (1856); “Defence of the Republican Party” (1856); “Are Workingmen Slaves?” (1858); “The Pacific Railroad” (1859); and “The Death of Slavery is the Life of the Nation” (1864). He was the author of a volume entitled “History of the Anti-Slavery Measures of the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth United States Congresses,” in which he relates the progress of the bills relating to slavery and cites the speeches of their friends and opponents (Boston, 1865); of a history of legislation on the army during the Civil War, with the title of “Military Measures of the United States Congress” (1866); of a small volume called “Testimonies of American Statesmen and Jurists to the Truths of Christianity,” being an address that he gave before the Young Men's Christian Association at Natick (1867); of a “History of the Reconstruction Measures of the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses, 1865-'8” (1868); of a series of articles on Edwin M. Stanton that were reprinted from a magazine, with those of Jeremiah S. Black, with the title of “A Contribution to History” (Easton, Pennsylvania, 1868); of a published oration on “The Republican and Democratic Parties” (Boston, 1868); and of a great work bearing the title of “History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America,” on which he labored indefatigably during his last illness, yet was not quite able to complete (3 vols., Boston , 1872-'5). See his “Life and Public Services,” which was written by his friend, Thomas Russell, and Reverend Elias Nason, who was his pastor for many years (1872). Congress directed to be printed a volume of “Obituary Addresses,” that were delivered in both houses, on 21 January, 1876 (Washington, 1876). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 548-550.
Chapter: “Conclusion,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1878.
The proposed limits of this volume have been reached without taking up all the topics embraced within its original plan. It is to be hoped, however, that sufficient has been said to afford a measurably adequate idea of the progress of events developed by the " irrepressible conflict," and which have led to the present posture of affairs, — results already attained, and those the future will disclose as a natural consequence of the great struggle. Slavery has been traced from its small beginnings to its overshadowing greatness, — from the few seeds planted at Jamestown in 1620 to its woeful harvest covering the land, — from being a system of labor, in bad repute and dying out, or existing by sufferance when the Constitution was framed, to its becoming an "institution," dominating the government, and exerting a commanding if not a controlling influence in society, in the church, and in the commercial world. It has been shown, too, that in the plenitude of its power, impatient of the least restraint or check, anxious to guard against apprehended dangers arising from its local, restricted, and questionable character, it demanded new guaranties, and claimed that it should be no longer sectional but national, not only wandering everywhere at will, but everywhere protected by the aegis of the Constitution, and maintained by the arm of Federal authority. Such guaranties being too humiliating and wicked for any but the most craven to submit to, this Power appealed to arms, determined to rend what it could not rule, and break what it could not control with an unquestioned supremacy. In the war thus inaugurated slavery went down, not, however, for moral but military reasons, not because it was wrong but because it was unsafe, and because it could not continue and the Union endure. The war closed, the work of reconstruction began, the recusant States were brought back, and the flag again waves, if not over loyal hearts, at least as the symbol of restored nationality and authority, where it had been trailed in the dust, and treated with the greatest indignity and hate.
Claiming, as its title imports, only or mainly to give some account of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, this work has proposed nothing like a full and connected military or political history of the war, and of the process of re construction. Its purpose has been rather to seize upon those portions of such history, perhaps not always with the nicest discrimination, which would shed the clearest light upon the subject it was written to examine, elucidate, and improve, and yield the most profitable instruction.
The topics omitted for lack of space are subsidiary, however, and of less real importance than those for which room has been found. Necessary, perhaps, to the completeness of historic detail, they would be only the exponents of principles already enunciated and illustrated in other connections, examples of general facts already recognized and recorded, the carrying out of the new policy entered upon and made possible only by the giving up by Southern members of their seats in Congress, and their mad relinquishment of the power their occupation had given them. Henceforward, with human rights instead of human chattelhood the goal and guide, freedom instead of slavery the polestar of government, members, in their debates and in the details of legislation, whether effected or only attempted, could but exhibit a similarity of argument and appeal. On measures of the same general character and purpose friends and foes could hardly do otherwise than repeat themselves. Without, therefore, the excitement of pending issues, with the uncertainty and anxiety as to what the result would be, there is less of loss, now that excitement has passed and the results are known, in not having the precise details before the mind. Besides, it is almost among the marvels of history how easily some of the most radical legislation of those days was effected, — how noiselessly and almost without division slave-laws were revoked, the very mention of whose repeal before the war would have roused the nation, both North and South, to fierce excitement, been the signal of the wildest clamor, the most frantic expostulations, and the most terrible and defiant threats. One indeed could but stand amazed at the change, be silent with wonder, and almost question his own identity, or that of others, as he saw law after law repealed almost without remonstrance, and that mountain of unrighteous legislation, the crystallized product of the cruelty and fiendish ingenuity of generations, melting away, like icebergs in a summer sea and under the fervors of a tropical sun, in the presence of an aroused indignation, that had hitherto been trammelled by compromise and the sense of constitutional obligations, and suppressed by fear of offending Southern brethren and sacrificing Southern support, but now prepared to indicate its right to be heard, and to enforce the claims of justice and a common humanity.
Perhaps, however, the marvel will not appear so great, at least to those who comprehend the philosophy or rationale of the change. Through the secession of the States from the Union, and of their members from Congress, resulted two or three facts whose importance arid potency can hardly be overestimated. By it they not only removed shackles from Northern limbs, but they put shackles on their own, or they did that which was tantamount thereto. By leaving their places in Congress they disarmed themselves of the only weapons they had ever used with much effect, they abandoned the only tenable position from which they could defend their cherished system or assail its enemies. Everything else was against it, — argument, sentiment, reason, conscience, the laws of nature and the law of God, the claims of justice and the pleadings of humanity, the teachings of philosophy and the sweet voices of poetry, — all, all, as it could not well be otherwise, were arrayed against the "sum of all villanies." But their position in the government, with the three-fifths representation of their slaves, gave them political power, and long practice gave them great astuteness and adroitness in its use, while Northern selfishness, venality, lack of convictions, and what has been justly termed "careless citizenship," afforded a wide and fruitful field for their peculiar strategy. In their citizen ship were the hidings of the slaveholders' power, and by that sign alone they conquered. Had they been content therewith, nothing appears why this might not have continued for years, perhaps generations. For the fact, already stated, may be here repeated, that Mr. Lincoln, when elected to the Presidency, was in a minority of a million, and that on a platform that simply insisted on the non-extension of slavery, while it not only permitted but guaranteed its continuance where existing. And this, it is to be remembered, notwithstanding the light shed by the antislavery agitation of a generation and the faithful warnings thundered in the nation's ear from the Abolition pulpits and platforms of those days of earnest reasoning and appeal; aided, too, in their work of argument and alarm by the continued aggressions of the Slave Power, from the annexation of Texas to the Lecompton infamy, from the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act to the Dred Scott decision. Not ignoring the Divine agency and the possibilities within reach of the Divine arm, humanly speaking, it may be claimed there did not appear to man's finite vision during the summer and autumn of 1860 any reason for believing that the Slave Power could be dethroned, or dislodged from its seemingly impregnable position by any forces then at command or in view. The composition and doings of the Peace Congress; the Crittenden Compromise, with the narrow escape from its adoption, designed to eternize slavery and place it beyond the reach of repeal, however earnestly and largely the people might desire it; the action and tone of Congress during the closing months of Mr. Buchanan's administration, — all lead to the conclusion that had the Slave Power been content, it might have still remained in practical possession of the government.
But the peace the North so earnestly desired and eagerly sought was not to be the reward of such surrender and betrayal, nor were the slaveholders to be placated even by concessions so extreme. On a large scale and in view of the nations was to be exhibited another example of the haughty spirit that goes before a fall, of that judicial blindness that precedes destruction. By the Divine wisdom, made more resplendent by this dark background of human folly, God revealed anew how the wrath of man could be made to praise him, and how the remainder of wrath he could restrain. By a fatuity that hardly finds a parallel in human history, the slaveholders sacrificed slavery to save it, and in their frantic efforts to defend it against all possible danger, they increased those dangers immeasurably, abandoning, as they did, the only stronghold from which defence was possible. Placing in the hands of their antagonists the same weapons they themselves had hitherto used with so much effect, the rest became inevitable, and only a question of time. Slavery fallen, what was created for or enacted by it would very naturally follow. The tyrant dead, his satellites were allowed to die without regret; the system destroyed, its auxiliaries were allowed to pass away without protest. Laws like the Fugitive Slave Act and those forbidding the instruction of slaves fell naturally and necessarily into disuse and became practically repealed, because there were no longer slaves to be returned to bondage or slaves to be kept in enforced ignorance. There were enactments, too, in the interests of slavery which affected others than slaves, and bore heavily upon freemen themselves. Among them were the laws that confined the militia of the slaveholding States to white persons and authorized the barbarous custom of whipping. There, too, was the system of peonage in New Mexico, allowed to exist not so much as a relic of slavery as by sufferance, because a government committed to the grosser and more barbarous form of chattelhood, and dominated by the Slave Power, could hardly be expected to interfere with this milder system of "modified servitude inherited from Mexico," at least from any regard for the primal rights of man. Beside these, there were military organizations in the slaveholding States, Rebel in spirit and purpose, and composed mainly of men who had belonged to the armies of the Confederacy. Such organizations were justly deemed antagonistic to the Union, and little likely to promote continued peace. Though not so much the creatures of slavery as of treason, — and their menace was rather against the authority of the government than against the freedom of the individual, — like peonage in New Mexico and the other laws above mentioned, they owed their origin to slavery, were pervaded by its spirit and purpose, and could not with safety be allowed to exist. Though a bill early introduced by Mr. Wilson for their disbandment failed, a similar measure, moved as an amendment to an appropriation bill, was subsequently carried with little opposition.
On the same day that the above-named amendment was introduced into the Senate, Mr. Trumbull moved to amend the same appropriation bill by a provision prohibiting "whipping or maiming of the person," and it was carried without debate or division. With little more discussion or dissent an amendment to a bill for the temporary increase of the pay of the officers of the army, striking out the word "white" from the militia laws, was adopted.
When New Mexico became a Territory of the Union, there existed a system of peonage, by which when a Mexican owed a debt the creditor had a right to his labor until the debt was paid. The debtor became a domestic servant and practically a slave until its liquidation. There were about two thousand of this class, principally Indians, in the Territory. But a resolution abolishing the system was introduced by Mr. Wilson, and without much ado it was passed; thereby removing another of the relics of the slave system.
It was also proposed to give account of some attempted legislation, as a history of the times and an index of congressional thought and feeling, evinced by those who were striving to use aright the power for the moment in their hands, and thus secure the fruits of the war, guard against similar at tempts in the future, but especially protect the freedmen and the loyal men of the South, hated and oppressed because they had proved themselves true to the Union. A chapter was proposed giving a somewhat detailed account of attempts, beginning as early as the third day of the first session of the XXXIXth Congress, in December, 1865, to secure amendments of the Constitution to prevent the assumption of "Rebel debts," to define "citizenship," and to fix the "basis of representation." They all failed of enactment, and are mainly valuable as matters of historic record, to show how earnest and prompt were the Republican leaders to meet squarely the issues presented, and to provide, if possible, for the exigencies of the hour. This failure of enactment, with the character of the debates, revealed the uncertain and hesitating steps with which members moved along the untraveled path they were called to tread, and grappled with problems for which no precedents could be found; though the arguments urged and the reasons for action were substantially those employed in subsequent discussions, which resulted in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which were finally adopted, and which are now parts of the Constitution. Another subject, of which some account was to have been given, was the process by which the different border slave States, which, though believing in slavery, had not joined the Rebellion, were induced to accept emancipation and adapt their legislation to the new order of things. Of this it is to be said, however, that while those States had much in common, being affected by influences which were general and national, each had its own autonomy, its local history and struggle. While, therefore, the result attained was substantially the same in all, the processes by which it was reached varied materially, according to the different circumstances and leadership in these separate commonwealths. Much depended upon leadership. Always and everywhere true, at least, in greater or less degree, at this juncture of affairs the measures actually adopted by the many were the result largely, if not entirely, of the views and feelings of the few. When all were in a maze, knowing not what to do or expect, the natural leader's voice was listened for, and, if heard, generally heeded. When all were dazed by the resplendent events in progress, not knowing what the next act in the imposing drama was to be, though prepared for almost anything, it is not strange that men, dis trusting themselves, should have looked to others for counsel and guidance. Everything in confusion, the very foundations of society seemingly sliding from beneath their feet, the very stars in their courses appearing to fight against them, Southern men were willing to accept almost any solution that promised repose, and the salvation of anything from the general wreck around them. The voice of leaders at such a time had special potency, and the policy finally adopted unquestionably depended oftentimes far more on the influences to which these leaders chanced to be exposed than upon any well-considered opinions and purposes of the people themselves. This undoubtedly affords some solution of the fact, that while the three border slave States, Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky, rejected the Fourteenth Amendment by a vote of three to one, the State of Missouri accepted it by a vote of one hundred and eleven to forty.
The details, therefore, of State action, not by any means uninstructive and devoid of local and special value, cannot be of that general and historic interest which inheres in the great and providential fact that those States were induced to move at all; that, without any great change of sentiment and feeling on the subject of slavery, they should adopt legislation recognizing its destruction, and adapted thereto. That, and not the special methods pursued in the separate States, is the significant and memorable fact. This recognition, however, did not carry with it anything like a hearty adoption of the Republican policy of which it formed a part. Thus a Democratic convention, held in Kentucky in 1866, resolved, "That we recognize the abolition of slavery as an accomplished fact, but earnestly assert that Kentucky has the right to regulate the political status of the Negroes within their territory." And even what was called a Union convention, a few months later, entered its protest against Negro suffrage, denying that the Thirteenth Amendment gave to Congress the power "to pass any law granting the right of suffrage to persons of African descent." In Maryland, in 1867, the legislature, while resolving that " we regard the abolishment of Negro slavery as a fact achieved, to which the peace and quiet of the country require that we should bow in submission," did "most solemnly and earnestly protest against any action by the Congress of the United States to assign the Negro a social status or endow him with the elective franchise." It also declared "that the loss of private property occasioned by the emancipation of slaves constitutes a valid claim upon the Federal government for compensation, and that the General Assembly ought to provide for ascertaining the extent of such loss, with a view of pressing the claim at an early day."
It was also proposed to give a somewhat detailed account of the trial of President Johnson on articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives, March 2, 1868. The original motion, made by Mr. Ashley of Ohio, January 7, 1867, charging him with "high crimes and misdemeanors" specified that "he has corruptly used the appointing power; that he has corruptly used the pardoning power; that he has corruptly used the veto; that he has corruptly disposed of public property of the United States; that he has corruptly interfered in elections, and committed acts, and conspired with others to commit acts, which, in contemplation of the Constitution, are high crimes and misdemeanors." The articles were read to the Senate sitting as Court of Impeachment, March 4, 1868. The trial proceeded till the 16th of May, when a vote was taken, thirty-five voting Guilty, and nineteen. Not Guilty; and judgment of acquittal was entered. Although a somewhat striking episode, and, for the time being, exciting a widespread interest, this trial cannot be regarded as having any very direct bearing on the history of slavery. That the President's course was utterly indefensible, that he proved himself false to his promises and loudly promulgated opinions as well as to the party which elected him, besides aggravating and greatly increasing the difficulties of reconstruction, is matter of record, and has been referred to in previous chapters of this volume. Himself a product of slavery, which was itself a " gigantic lie," how could he be true to a party or cause based on the grand verities enunciated in the Republican platform, and made the dominating forces of its history? And yet the trial itself was of local and temporary interest and importance, and hardly deserves a very large space or mention in a general history of the Slave Power.
Another chapter was to have been devoted to the presidential election of 1868. But, though occupying, no doubt, a commanding position in the work of reconstruction, — an important link in the chain of events now under review, its main significance and the chief contribution it affords for history appear in the exceedingly disloyal attitude in which it presents the Democratic party. Without even an attempt to conceal its purpose by words, — words that cost and often mean so little, and are indeed so often used by men to "disguise their thoughts" — it proclaimed not only its bitter hostility to the defenders of their country, but it’s too manifest sympathy with those who would destroy it. Both in the platform adopted and in the utterances of its candidates little short of the baldest treason was presented, not in mealy words, but in those most objurgatory and defiant. In its platform and in its arraignment of the Republican party, it spoke of " the unparalleled oppression and tyranny which have marked its career,” having subjected "ten States to military despotism and Negro supremacy," and of its substituting "secret star-chamber inquisitions for constitutional tribunals"; pronounced "the reconstruction acts (so called) of Congress, as such, as usurpations, and unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void"; and demanded "amnesty for all past political offences, and the regulation of the elective franchise in these States by their citizens." But the most significant event of the canvass was the letter of Frank P. Blair, the Democratic candidate for Vice-President. On the 30th of June he wrote what became the famous "Brodhead letter," in which he indulged in the most violent and inflammatory language and recommendations. Beside accusing the Republican party of the most heinous political offences, and suggesting the most violent remedies, he said unequivocally: "There is but one way to restore the government and the Constitution, and that is for the President elect to declare these acts null and void, compel the army to undo its usurpations at the South, disperse the carpet-bag State governments, and elect senators and Representatives." For this frank avowal of his treasonable and revolutionary opinions and purposes he was honored with a unanimous vote of the convention on the first ballot for the office of Vice-President, while it required twenty-three ballotings to secure the nomination of Horatio Seymour for the Presidency on the same electoral ticket; so well did the former represent the principles and purposes of the Democratic party. The Republican party simply reaffirmed the principles already enunciated in its platforms, proclaimed its inflexible purpose to maintain them in their entirety, and placed in nomination the distinguished soldier that had led the national forces to victory, with Schuyler Colfax for Vice-President. It triumphed by decisive majorities at the polls, and revealed the welcome fact that the people had not yet forgotten the lessons of the war, and were not quite ready to restore the defenders of the "lost cause” to seats they had so traitorously vacated for the destruction of the government. With this the record must close, though the conflict still rages, and the final issue remains in doubt. With no formal attempt to deduce the lessons this history was written to inculcate, — excepting a simple reference to what has been noted, the dangers of all compromises of moral principles, the prolific and pestiferous nature of national as well as individual sinning, the deteriorating and depressing influence of unrighteous laws on the morality of a people and the grave perils in a republic of "careless citizenship" and the presence of an unfaithful Church, which, instead of faithful testimony borne against wrong-doing, consents thereto and throws around it the sanctions of religion, — it only remains to notice briefly the present posture of affairs and the outlook disclosed thereby. That there have been great and marvellous changes none deny. The abolishment of slavery, the entire repeal or abrogation of the infamous slave-codes, the summary and sudden transformation of four million chattels personal into freemen and enfranchised citizens, with everything that legislation and constitutional amendments can do to maintain their freedom and protect them in its enjoyment, do certainly constitute great and memorable achievements that find few parallels in human history. All admit the greatness of the change, but men differ as to its extent. Nor are these differences mere matters of opinion, or of abstract theories simply, inconsequential and harmless, like views that neither demand nor lead to corresponding action. On the contrary, they enter largely into the purposes and policies of the hour. Thus large numbers, including the whole Democratic party, contend that emancipation and the constitutional amendments, even if accepted as accomplished facts, justify no further infringement on State prerogatives, and that the freed men, still amenable to State authority, must be remanded to the State governments alone for protection. Even so able and astute a statesman as Mr. Bingham, the reputed author of the Fourteenth Amendment, opposed the Civil Rights bill because, he said, in times of peace "justice is to be administered under the Constitution, according to the Constitution, and within the limitation of the Constitution."
The large majority of the Republicans, however, instructed by the sad history of Mr. Johnson's administration, deemed it both unsafe and unpardonable thus to remand the freedmen for protection to those whose tender mercies are cruel. In the pledge of the Proclamation of Emancipation to "maintain" the freedom it proclaimed they see something more than a word. Regarding it a solemn pledge to be fulfilled, they recognize the obligation to provide appropriate legislation therefor, though, as the debates have disclosed, not altogether clear that by so doing they have not transcended limits prescribed by both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. And it still remains an open question, as yet un settled by any general agreement, where State sovereignty ends and the Federal prerogative begins. Though, as Mr. Frelinghuysen said, in his opening speech on the Civil Rights bill, "the whole struggle in field and forum is between national sovereignty and State sovereignty, a struggle between United States citizenship and State citizenship, and the superiority of allegiance due to each, “opinions are as divergent as ever on the answer to be given. It still remains a question not yet answered by those with whom alone rests the authority, whether this is a nation of people or a mere federation of States.
But more serious than constitutional difficulties remain. For, granting that all constitutional differences had been composed, that all questions of government had been answered to mutual satisfaction, and that everything that law, organic or other, can do had been done, there remains the far more serious difficulty of constituency. As never before, the question of man's ability to govern himself stares the nation in the face, and arrests attention by its sudden and startling distinctness. The numbers are increasing who cannot repress their doubts nor silence their misgivings as they contemplate the new dangers that loom up not only in the distant, but in the more immediate future. Manhood suffrage, with all that is involved therein, the figures of the census-tables, and their startling revelations of growing illiteracy, especially in the late slaveholding States, where the large per cent of voters can neither read nor write the ballots they cast, are facts to excite the gravest apprehensions. The fact, too, that the South, though defeated, with "sullen intensity and relentless purpose" still bemoans and defends the "lost cause"; though accepting the destruction of slavery, still believes it to be the proper condition of an inferior race, and the corner-stone of the most desirable civilization; though accepting Negro enfranchisement because imposed by a superior force, still contends that this is a white man's government, in which the freedmen have no legitimate part, and from which they shall be excluded, even if violence and fraud be needful therefor, may well excite alarm in the most sanguine and hopeful. Conjoined with these is that alarming but correlated fact — the pregnant fault and the vulnerable heel of American politics — that good men can stand aloof from active participation in the work of the government, justify themselves in so doing, and lose little credit thereby. These facts and considerations invest with growing interest the subject, multiply questionings, and greatly deepen the solicitude of the thoughtful as they seek to forecast events, and, peering wistfully into the future, look with too little success for gleams of light or harbingers of better days.
Washington inculcated in his Farewell Address that intelligence and morality are "indispensable supports" of free institutions, and that all morality that is not the outgrowth of religious principle is of questionable worth. Nor is this the voice of the Father of his Country only. It is the generally accepted axiom of those who treat of republican institutions. And yet among the teachings of the census-tables are found such items as these. In the Southern States, of the white children alone sixty-one per cent are never seen at school; of the colored children "eighty-eight per cent are habitually absent." "Of every one hundred colored children in North Carolina ninety-one never enter a school. In Georgia ninety-five per cent receive no instruction. In Mississippi the per cent is ninety-six." "Ten years," says the United States Commissioner of Education, "without schools for children will insure an adult generation of ignorant citizens, who in losing the knowledge of will have lost the desire for letters." With truth he added: "Were an invading hostile army to threaten our frontiers the whole people would rise in arms to repel them; but these tables show the mustering of the hosts of a deadlier foe, a more relentless enemy, already within our borders and by our very firesides; a great army of ignorance growing ever stronger, denser, and more invincible."
The demon of slavery has indeed been exorcised and cast out of the body politic, but other evil spirits remain to torment, if not destroy. The same elements of character in the dominant race that not only rendered slavery endurable, but demanded it and made its protection, support, and conservation the condition precedent of all affiliation in church or state, still remain to be provided for, guarded against, or eliminated, in our efforts to maintain our free form of government. Perhaps, indeed, legislation has done its best or utmost, and all that now remains, or can be done, is to bring up the popular sentiment and character to its standard. Can it be done?
In January, 1871, the author appealed, through the pages of the "Atlantic Monthly," to the members of the Republican party to take a " new departure " and incorporate philanthropic and patriotic with political action; in other words, to engage individually and socially, and outside of party organization, in missionary work to prepare those made free to use intelligently and wisely the power their enfranchisement has given them. "The two great necessities," he said, "of the country at the present time are unification and education." In behalf of the former he said: "To make the people one in spirit and purpose, to remove everything calculated to engender and perpetuate strife or promote sectional animosities and interests, should be regarded, during the generation now entered upon, as the special work of the bravest philanthropy and of the purest and most enlarged statesmanship," To the latter, after urging the usual considerations in support of its essential necessity to the maintenance of free institutions, and considering some of the serious difficulties in the way of its effective pro motion, he invited the earnest and thoughtful attention of his countrymen. "I do not assume the office of instructor," he said, "nor do I propose to indicate what is to be done, or how this grave exigency is to be met. I only bespeak here a careful study of this great social and national problem, thus suddenly forced upon the Republic. Fully believing that the nation has never witnessed an hour, not even in the darkest night of the Rebellion, when there were presented more pressing claims for special effort, or when there were demanded of the patriotic, philanthropic, and pious men of thought, more time, effort, and personal sacrifice, I present the matter as second to no question now before the country."
But if there was in 1871 foundation for such solicitude and alarm, how much greater the occasion now. Then the governments in the reconstructed States were mainly, if not entirely, in the hands of men loyal not only to their country, but to the principles and policy of the Republican party. Not wholly without mistakes or unworthy members in their administrations, the tendency was upward, and the drift was in the right direction. The freedmen were cared for, a policy was inaugurated embracing, as already noted, with their active participation in the affairs of government, a preparation, aided largely by Northern philanthropy and Christian beneficence, educational and industrial, for their new and untried position. Inadequate, almost ludicrously so, to the great and manifold exigencies of the situation, except as the beginning and earnest of greater and more systematic efforts, they excited hopes and encouraged expectations for the new-formed commonwealths of the South. But all this is now changed. A reaction has taken place. The old regime is reinstated, and everything, save legal chattelhood, is to be restored. Race distinctions, class legislations, the dogmas that this is a white man's government, that the Negro belongs to an inferior race, that capital should control, if it does not own, labor, are now in the ascendant, and caste, if slavery may not be, is to be the "corner-stone" of Southern civilization. At least, this is the avowed purpose. "Labor," says, recently, a governor of one of these reconstructed States, "must be controlled by law. We may hold inviolate every law of the United States, and still so legislate upon our labor system as to retain our old plantation system, or, in lieu of that, a baronial system." Clothe these sentiments, uttered without rebuke or dissent from those he assumes to represent, with power, as they have been by restored Democratic ascendency in most of the Southern States, in several of the Northern, and in the popular branch of Congress, and the wonder ceases that education languishes, that the number of scholars diminishes, that school laws are repealed or rendered useless, and that Northern philanthropy is discouraged. But without some such agencies, whence can come the unification and education required?
The Christian, who traces God's hand in American history, recalls the many Divine interpositions therein recorded, gathers courage from the review, and, though the omens seem unpropitious, finds it hard to despair of the Republic. And yet even he whose trust is the strongest forgets not that God accomplishes his purposes by human instrumentalities, and that no faith, personal or national, is legitimate or of much avail that is not accompanied by corresponding works.
Source: Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 3. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1878, 725-740.
WILSON, Hiram V., 1803-1864, Ackworth, New Hampshire, abolitionist, cleric, agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Ohio. Helped set up schools and aid Blacks who escaped to Canada. Founded British-American Manual Labor Institute of the Colored Settlements of Upper Canada. Delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1843. (Blue, 2005, pp. 80, 82-85; Dumond, 1961, p. 164; Henson, 1858, pp. 167-171; Siebert, 1898, p. 199; Woodson, 1915, p. 25; The Emancipator, February 22, 1837)
WILSON, James Grant, born in Edinburgh, 28 April. 1832. He was educated at College Hill, Poughkeepsie, continuing his studies in the languages, music, and drawing, under private teachers, joined his father in business, later becoming his partner. In 1855 he went abroad, and soon after his return established in Chicago the first literary paper published in the northwest, and became known as a public speaker. In 1862 he disposed of his journal and was commissioned major of the 15th Illinois Cavalry, becoming soon after acting colonel of the regiment, and taking part in many engagements, and in the Vicksburg Campaign. In August, 1863, he accompanied General Ulysses S. Grant to New Orleans, and there accepted, by his advice, the colonelcy of the 4th Regiment United States Colored Cavalry, and was assigned to duty as aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the Department of the Gulf, with whom he remained till April, 1865, taking part in the Teche, Texas, and Red River Campaigns, and in the latter aiding Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Bailey in the construction of the Red River Dam. During the same period of nearly two years he acted as military agent in Louisiana for the state of New York. When General Banks was relieved, Colonel Wilson was brevetted brigadier-general and sent to Port Hudson, where for a time he was in command, and in July he resigned and returned to New York City, where he has since resided, pursuing a literary career, with the exception of several years spent with his family in Europe. Since 1874 he has been a delegate from St. James's church to the New York diocesan conventions, and he was a member of the General convention that met in Richmond, Virginia In 1879 he was appointed a member of the board of visitors to the U. S. Naval Academy, and the following year he was a visitor to the U. S. Military Academy, delivering the address to the cadets, and preparing the reports of both boards. General Wilson was appointed in 1882, by the governor, chairman of the committee to collect $40,000 as the state's contribution to the Garfield monument. (See vol. ii., p. 604.) Since 1885 he has been president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, is a vice-president of the Association for the reform and codification of the law of nations, a member of the executive committee of the Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and an honorary member of many American and foreign historical and other societies. He was instrumental in erecting a monument over the grave of Fitz-Greene Halleck at Guilford, Connecticut, and a statue in Central park, New York, the first in honor of an American poet, and is active in the movement for the New York statue of Columbus. (See vol. 1., p. 698.) He has published numerous addresses, including those on Colonel John Bayard, Commodore Isaac Hull, Chief-Justice Kirkpatrick, and Bishop Samuel Provost, and contributed upward of a hundred articles to " Harper's " and other American and English magazines. Among the principal works that he has written or edited are " Biographical Sketches of Illinois Officers" (Chicago, 1862; 3d ed., 1863); "Love in Letters: Illustrated in the Correspondence of Eminent Persons" (New York, 1867); "Life of General U. S. Grant" (1868; 3d ed., enlarged, 1885); "Life and Letters of Fitz-Greene Halleck" (1869): "Sketches of Illustrious Soldiers" (1874): "Poets and Poetry of Scotland, from the Earliest to the Present Time" (2 vols., London and New York, 1876); "Centennial History of the Diocese of New York, 1785-1885" (New York, 1886); "Bryant and his Friends: Some Reminiscences of the Knickerbocker Writers" (12mo; illustrated ed.. 8vo, 1886): "Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography" (6 vols., 1886-'9): and "Commodore Isaac Hull and the Frigate “Constitution'" (1889). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 551-552.
WILSON, James F., born 1838, lawyer. Ohio State Senator. Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio. Elected to Congress in 1861. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 552; Congressional Globe)
WILSON, James F., senator, born in Newark, Ohio, 19 October, 1828. He received a classical education, studied law, and in 1853 began practice in Iowa, making Fairfield his residence. He was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1856, and in the following year entered the legislature. He passed into the state senate in 1859, was chosen its president in 1861, and in the same year was elected to Congress to fill the vacancy that was caused by the resignation of Samuel R. Curtis, taking his seat on 2 December. He was re-elected for the following term, serving as chairman of the judiciary committee, and on his second and third re-election was placed at the head of the same committee, and of that on unfinished business. In 1868 he was one of the managers of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. In 1869 he was made a commissioner for the Pacific Railroad. He was elected a senator from Iowa for the term that will expire on 4 March, 1889, and was appointed on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI. pp. 552.
WILSON, James Harrison, soldier, born near Shawneetown, Illinois, 2 September, 1837. His grandfather, Alexander, a Virginian by birth, was one of the founders of Illinois, and his father, Harrison, was an ensign in the war of 1812, and captain during the Black Hawk War. The son was educated at the common schools, at McKendree College, and at the U. S. Military Academy, where he was graduated in 1860 and assigned to the corps of Topographical Engineers. He served at the headquarters of the Department of Oregon until June, 1861, when he became 2d lieutenant, and on 19 Sept,, 1861, he was made 1st lieutenant. He was on duty as chief topographical engineer of the Port Royal Expedition till March, 1862, then served in the Department of the South, including the bombardment of Fort Pulaski, and was an acting aide-de-camp to General George B. McClellan till October, 1862, being present at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel of volunteers in November, 1862, and served as chief topographical engineer and inspector-general of the Army of the Tennessee till October, 1863, being active in the operations before and during the siege of Vicksburg. He became captain of engineers in May, 1863, and brigadier-general of volunteers, 31 October, 1863, and was engaged in the operations near Chattanooga, the battle of Missionary Ridge, and the relief of Knoxville, constructing bridges till December, 1863. General Wilson, after a short tour of duty at Washington in charge of the Cavalry Bureau, was placed in command of the 3d Division of the cavalry corps in the Army of the Potomac, and bore a conspicuous part in the operations under General Philip H. Sheridan from May till August, 1864, including the Richmond raid and combats near Petersburg. He also led his division during the Shenandoah Campaign, including the battle of the Opequan, till October, 1864, when he was assigned to the command of the cavalry corps of the Military Division of the Mississippi, organizing a body of 15,000 mounted men, and contributing largely to the success that attended the armies in the west under General George H. Thomas and General William T. Sherman, particularly by the assault and capture of Selma, Georgia, Montgomery, Alabama, and Columbus and Macon, Georgia, on 20 April, 1865, the date of his promotion as major-general of volunteers. In twenty-eight days he captured five fortified cities, twenty-three stand of colors, 288 guns, and 6,820 prisoners, among whom was Jefferson Davis. Having been mustered out of the volunteer service in January, 1866, General Wilson was for a short time engaged in the improvement of Mississippi River, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 35th U.S. Infantry, 28 July, 1866, and brevetted to the grade of major-general, U. S. Army, "for gallant and meritorious services" in the capture of Fort Pulaski, the battles of Chattanooga, the Wilderness, and Nashville, and capture of Selma, respectively. He was honorably discharged, at his own request, 31 December, 1870. He has been largely engaged in railroad and engineering operations since his retirement from the army. He is the author of "China: Travels and Investigations in the Middle Kingdom" and "Life of Andrew J. Alexander" (New York, 1887); also, in conjunction with Charles A. Dana, "Life of General U. S. Grant" (Springfield, Massachusetts, 1868).—His brother, Bluford, served during the Civil War as assistant adjutant-general of volunteers, and afterward was solicitor of the U. S. Treasury during the " whiskey-ring" prosecutions. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 552-553.
WILSON, John Allston, civil engineer, born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, 24 April, 1837. He was graduated at the Rensselaer polytechnic institute in 1856, and in 1857-'8 served as topographer on surveys in Central America for the Honduras Interoceanic Railway. In 1858 he entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad as assistant engineer, and in 1861-'4 he was principal assistant engineer in charge of construction, after which he was chief engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company on their main line or on affiliated roads until 1875. Meanwhile, in 1863, he served as aide on the staff of General Darius N. Couch (then in command of the Department of the Susquehanna), and had charge of the construction of fortifications at Harrisburg and vicinity. In 1875 he was engaged as consulting engineer on the construction of the buildings for the World's Fair in Philadelphia, and since January, 1876, he has been a partner in the firm of Wilson Brothers and Company, civil engineers and architects. Mr. Wilson has been chief engineer for various railroads in Pennsylvania and New York; also has been connected with lumber-manufacturing and coal-mining interests in Pennsylvania. A large number of railway structures, including bridges, have been built by him, especially along the lines of the roads with which he has been connected. He is a member of the Franklin Institute, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and other technical societies. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 553-554.
WILSON, John Leighton, 1809-1886, Sumter County, South Carolina clergyman, missionary, anti-slavery activist. Wrote influential pamphlet that caused the British government to keep its naval squadron off the African Coast in order to suppress the illegal African slave trade. (Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 554-555; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 10, Pt. 2, p. 337)
WILSON, John Leighton, missionary, born in Sumter County, South Carolina, 25 March, 1809; died near Mayesville, South Carolina, 13 July, 1886. He was graduated at Union College in 1829, and at the Columbia (South Carolina) theological seminary in 1833, being a member of the first class that was educated in that institution. He was ordained as a missionary the same year, and, after studying Arabic at Andover Seminary, sailed in November on a voyage of exploration to western Africa, returning in the following spring. As a result of his investigations, he decided that Cape Palmas was a promising field for missionary work. In May, 1834, he was married, and returned with his wife to Africa before the close of that year. Here they labored until 1841, during which period they organized a church of forty members, educated more than one hundred native youth, and reduced the Grebo language to writing, publishing a grammar and dictionary, and translating the gospels of Matthew and John, together with several small volumes, into the native tongue. In 1842 Mr. and Mrs. Wilson moved to the Gaboon River, 1,200 miles southeast of Cape Palmas, and began a new mission among the Mpongwe people. Here again the language was reduced to writing for the first time, and a grammar, a vocabulary, parts of the Bible, and several small volumes were published. In the spring of 1853, owing to failing health, he and his wife returned to the United States. The following autumn he became secretary of the board of foreign missions of the Presbyterian church, and continued to discharge his duties until the beginning of the civil war, when he returned to his home in the south. On the organization of the Southern Presbyterian church, Dr. Wilson was appointed secretary of foreign missions, and continued to act as such until 1885, when he was made secretary emeritus. For seven years during this period the home mission work was combined with that of foreign missions, he taking charge of both. In 1852 a strong effort was made in the British parliament to withdraw the British Squadron from the African coast, under the impression that the foreign slave-trade could not be suppressed. To prove that this view was erroneous, Dr. Wilson wrote a pamphlet, and pointed out what was necessary to make the crusade against the traffic successful. The pamphlet, falling into the hands of Lord Palmerston, was republished in the “United Service Journal,” and also in the parliamentary “Blue Book,” an edition of 10,000 copies being circulated throughout the United Kingdom. Lord Palmerston subsequently informed Dr. Wilson that his protest had silenced all opposition to the squadron's remaining on the coast, and in less than five years the trade itself was brought to an end. Dr. Wilson edited “The Foreign Record” (New York, 1853-'61), which gave an account of the progress of work in the foreign missionary field, and “The Missionary” (Baltimore, 1861-'85). He received the degree of D. D. from Lafayette College in 1854. While in Africa he sent to the Boston society of natural history the first specimen of the gorilla that was sent from there. He contributed to the “Southern Presbyterian Review” and other periodicals. He also published “Western Africa: its History, Condition, and Prospects” (New York, 1857). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 554-555.
WILSON, J. R., Coldenham, New Jersey, abolitionist, American Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1834-1835.
WILSON, Matthew, artist, born in London, England, 17 July, 1814. He came to this country in 1832, and for several years painted miniatures in Philadelphia. He then became a pupil of Henry Inman, and in 1885 went to Paris, where he studied with Edouard Dubufe. He was elected an associate of the National Academy in 1843. Among his numerous portraits are those of Samuel J. Tilden; Governor Thomas G. Pratt, of Maryland; Secretaries Gideon Welles, George M. Robeson, and William E. Chandler, for the U. S. Navy Department; Albert Gallatin, for the Treasury Department; Washington Irving: James Fenimore Cooper; Henry Wilson; and Thaddeus Stevens. He also painted the last portrait of Abraham Lincoln two weeks before the president's death, and has since executed a full-length picture of Mrs. Washington for the White House. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 555.
WILSON, Oliver Morris, lawyer, born in Logansport, Indiana, 16 August, 1836. He was graduated at Hamilton College in 1858 and studied law. After serving in the Civil War as captain and major of Indiana volunteers, he was secretary of the Indiana Senate in 1865-'9, assistant U. S. Attorney for the state in 1869-'71, and member of the legislature in the latter year. He was adjutant-general of the Grand Army of the Republic for Indiana in 1866-8, and organized the first department in that order. Major Wilson has published " Digest of Parliamentary Law" (Philadelphia, 1869), and "Indiana Superior Court Reports" (1875). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 556.
WILSON, Theodore Delavan, naval constructor, born in Brooklyn, New York, 11 May, 1840. He served an apprenticeship as a shipwright at the Brooklyn Navy-yard, and at the beginning of the Civil War was a non-commissioned officer in the 13th New York Militia Regiment for three months. Upon his return he was appointed a carpenter in the U.S. Navy, 3 August, 1861. and he served in the steamer "Cambridge," of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, in 1861-'4, and with Rear-Admiral Gregory as inspector of vessels in the private establishments near New York City. After passing the required examination he was commissioned as an assistant naval constructor, 17 May, 1866. He served at the Pensacola Navy-yard in 1866-'7, and at Philadelphia in 1867-'9, and was instructor in naval architecture and ship-building at the U. S. Naval Academy in 1869-'73. He was commissioned naval constructor, 1 July, 1873, and served at the Portsmouth Navy-yard in 1873-'82. He was elected a member of the Institute of Naval Architects of England, being the first American member of that scientific body. He was appointed chief of the bureau of construction and repair, 3 March, 1872, and reappointed for a second term of four years, 15 December, 1886. In 1870 he received a patent for " air-ports," which have been adopted in the naval service and merchant-ships, and in 1880 he patented a bolt-extractor, which is in general use. While chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair he has designed several of the modern ships that have been recently built and are now building. He designed the "Chicago," " Boston," and "Atlanta," to meet the requirements of the advisory board, and the cruisers "Newark," "San Francisco," "Concord," "Yorktown," "Bennington," "Petrol," and "Maine," the latter of which is shown in the illustration. He is the author of "Ship-Building, Theoretical and Practical," which is used as a text-book at the Naval Academy and by the profession generally (New York, 1873). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 556.
WILSON, Thomas, merchant, born in Harford County, Maryland, 5 February, 1789; died in Baltimore, 2 September, 1879. His parents were members of the Society of Friends, and moved to Baltimore in 1798. The son received a plain education, and at the-age of seventeen was apprenticed to Thorndick Chase, a merchant of Baltimore, trading with the West Indies and the Spanish Main. He was advanced by Mr. Chase to the post of chief clerk before he was nineteen, and upon attaining his majority became a partner in the Arm of Brown and Wilson. He spent much of his time from 1811 till 1816 at La Guayra, Venezuela, as resident partner of his firm; but during the war of 1812 he returned to Baltimore and organized a line of small vessels to run from Boston to Folly Landing, Virginia, whence their cargoes were transported overland to Onancock, and thence by boats to Baltimore. While engaged in these ventures he narrowly escaped capture by the British on several occasions. In 1857 he retired from mercantile business, and confined his operations to dealing in securities. He was identified with many of the manufacturing interests of Maryland and Pennsylvania, was a member of the Maryland Colonization Society, and for many years president of the Baltimore Manual Labor School, in which charity he took great interest. During the Civil War of 1861-'5 he was a firm supporter of the National cause. By his will he devoted $625,000 to various charities, endowing the Thomas Wilson Sanitarium for Children—an institution designed to take care of sick children during the summer months— with $500,000; and a fuel-saving society—to aid deserving poor people to purchase their fuel cheaply, and sewing-women to obtain sewing-machines at low cost—with $100,000. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 556-557.
WILSON, William Lyne, congressman, born in Jefferson County, Virginia, 3 May, 1843. He was graduated at Columbian College in 1800, afterward studied in the University of Virginia, served in the Confederate Army, was professor of Latin in Columbian College from 1865 till 1871, studying law at the same time, and on being admitted to the bar in the latter year engaged in practice at Charlestown, West Virginia. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and a presidential elector in 1880. In 1882 he became president of West Virginia University, but he resigned in order to take his seat in Congress on 1 December, 1883. He was re-elected for the three following terms, and served on the ways and means committee that prepared the Mills tariff bill, taking an active part in the debates on that measure in 1888. He was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution in 1883-'7. and received the degree of LL. D., from Columbian University in 1883. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 558.
WILSON, William Joseph, 1818?-1878, African American, abolitionist leader, educator, Black voting rights activist, labor leader. Correspondent for Frederick Douglass’ Paper. (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 12, p. 237)
WILSON, Woodrow, educator, born in Staunton, Virginia, 28 December 1856. He is a son of the Reverend Joseph R. Wilson, D. D., and nephew of the Reverend James Woodrow, D. D., of Columbia, South Carolina. ne was graduated at Princeton in 1879, studied law at the University of Virginia, and practised at Atlanta, Georgia, in 1882-'3. Preferring to devote himself to special studies, he abandoned the legal profession and took a post-graduate course in history and politics at Johns Hopkins University in 1883-'5. receiving the degree of Ph. D. from that institution in 1886, and that of LL. D. from Wake Forest College, North Carolina in 1887. He was associate in history at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, in 1885-'6, and associate professor of history and political science in the same college in 1886-'8. In the latter year, he was elected to the chair of history and political economy in Wesleyan University. Professor Wilson has published " Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics" (Boston, 1885). This work has attracted attention in England, Belgium, and Germany. In England, it has been accepted as an authority on American institutions. It has also been epitomized by Professor Emile de Laveleye in the " Revue des Deux-Mondes." He has contributed to a collection of essays by American economists, entitled 'The National Revenues" (Chicago, 1888), and articles on political and administrative subjects to periodicals. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 558.