To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
Show all languages
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

John Sergeant Wise

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Sergeant Wise
John S. Wise.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1885
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
(Virginia's House delegation when district re-established in 1933)
United States Attorney for the
Eastern District of Virginia
In office
May 1882 – March 1883
Appointed byChester A. Arthur
Preceded byLunsford L. Lewis
Succeeded byEdmund Waddill, Jr.
Personal details
Born(1846-12-27)December 27, 1846
Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil
DiedMay 12, 1913(1913-05-12) (aged 66)
Princess Anne, Maryland, U.S.
Resting placeRichmond, Virginia
Political partyReadjuster Party
Alma materVirginia Military Institute
University of Virginia
Professionlawyer, writer
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Branch/serviceVMI Cadets
 Confederate States Army
Years of service1864–1865
Confederate States of America First Lieutenant.png
First Lieutenant
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
Battle of New Market

John Sergeant Wise (December 27, 1846 – May 12, 1913) was an American author, lawyer, and politician in Virginia. He was the son of Henry Alexander Wise, a Governor of Virginia, and Sarah Sergeant.

Early life

John was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1846, while his father was U.S. Minister to the Empire of Brazil. He lived as a youth with his father and others at Rolleston, their plantation on the Elizabeth River outside Norfolk, Virginia. His father served as a US Congressman before being elected as Governor of Virginia in 1856. After being privately tutored as a youth, Wise attended Virginia Military Institute.

Still a student when the American Civil War began, Wise served with the VMI Corps of Cadets at the Battle of New Market. He was posted in charge guard of the Cadets' baggage train. Defying orders to stay there, he took part in the Cadets' famous charge. After the battle, he was commissioned in the Confederate States Army.[1]

Law and politics

After the war, Wise studied law at the University of Virginia, where he was initiated as a Brother of Beta Theta Pi fraternity in 1867. That same year he graduated and was admitted to the bar.

Wise practiced law in Richmond, Virginia for many years. In 1880, he was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Representative. In May 1882, he was appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, serving until March 1883.

Later in 1882, Wise was elected U.S. Representative for Virginia's at-large seat as a "Readjuster" – a label used by a coalition of Republicans and dissident Virginia Democrats. He served in the 48th United States Congress, from 1883 to 1885.[1]

Before the 1884 elections, Virginia's districts were redrawn, abolishing the at-large seat. Wise did not seek re-election from a district. Instead, in 1885 he ran for Governor of Virginia as a Republican, but lost to Democrat Fitzhugh Lee.

In November 1902, Wise was the attorney of records in two federal lawsuits--Jones v. Montague, 194 U.S. Reports 147-153 (1904) and Selden v. Montague, 194 U.S. Reports 153 (1904)--which concerning the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1902. The former was on behalf of voters in Virginia's 3rd congressional district against Virginia's Governor Andrew Jackson Montague as well as the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Auditor of Public Accounts, and sought a writ of prohibition against counting the November 1902 election returns and also complained that the party in power sought to disenfranchise colored voters. The convention's delegates by a 47 to 38 majority voted not to submit their work product (which disenfranchised most Black and poor white voters) to voters as promised earlier, but instead proclaimed it as in effect as of July 10, 1902.[2] The federal courts ruled they had no jurisdiction and relied upon a South Carolina constitutional convention case, "Mills v. Green", 159 U.S. 651 (1895). U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brewer took judicial notice that the U.S. House of Representatives had seated the congressmen elected by Virginia voters that year and "the thing sought to be prohibited has been done and cannot be undone by order of court", so the U.S. Supreme Court declined to get involved.[3] By the 1904 election, fifty percent fewer white, and ninety percent fewer black men voted.[4]

Last years

Wise later moved to New York City, and practiced law there till his retirement. He died in 1913, near Princess Anne, Maryland, and was buried in Richmond.[5]

Literary career

John Wise wrote several books, most notably a memoir entitled The End of an Era (1899), which has been reprinted in numerous editions since its first publication. A full text edition is available online at the University of North Carolina's website, Documenting the American South.[6] It describes his boyhood in the last days before the Civil War, while he was living on his father's plantation "Rolleston" in Virginia, with a childhood slave companion and friend. He also discusses the war years, his father's role in the war, and his family.

Principal literary works

  • Diomed: The Life, Travels, and Observations of a Dog (1897)
  • The End of an Era (1899)
  • The Lion's Skin: a Historical Novel and a Novel History (1905)
  • Recollections of Thirteen Presidents (1906)


On November 3, 1869, he married Evelyn Byrd Beverly Douglas, daughter of Hugh Douglas and Nancy Hamilton. John and Evelyn had nine children, seven sons and two daughters:

  1. John Sergeant Wise (died young)
  2. Hugh Douglas Wise
  3. Henry Alexander Wise
  4. John Sergeant Wise (as was custom, he was given the same name as an older brother who died young, in order to carry on his father's name)
  5. Hamilton Wise
  6. Eva Douglas Wise
  7. Jennings Cropper Wise (recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross during the First World War, he became Commandant of Virginia Military Institute)
  8. Margaretta Watnough Wise
  9. Byrd Douglas Wise

New York State Senator Henry A. Wise (1906–1982) was his grandson.

In popular culture

Wise was portrayed by Luke Benward in the 2014 film Field of Lost Shoes, which depicted the Battle of New Market.


  1. ^ a b "Wise, John Sergeant". United States Congress. Retrieved May 21, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Brent Tarter, The Grandees of Government (University of Virginia Press 2013) p. 265, citing Report of the Proceedings and Debates of the Constitutional Convention State of Virginia Held in the City of Richmond June 12, 1901 to June 26, 1902, pp. 19-20
  3. ^ Tarter p. 270 citing Brewer opinion available on wikisource
  4. ^ Tarter p. 268
  5. ^ "John Sergeant Wise". Find A Grave. Retrieved May 21, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Wise, John. "The End of an Era". University of North Carolina. Retrieved May 21, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links

United States Congress. "WISE, John Sergeant (id: W000651)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Party political offices
Title last held by
Robert William Hughes
Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
William Mahone
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
District abolished
This page was last edited on 11 January 2021, at 05:05
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.