Richard Alsop Wise

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Richard Alsop Wise
Richard Alsop Wise.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd district
In office
March 12, 1900 – December 21, 1900
Preceded by William A. Young
Succeeded by Harry L. Maynard
In office
April 26, 1898 – March 4, 1899
Preceded by William A. Young
Succeeded by William A. Young
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
1910 – 1912
Personal details
Born (1843-09-02)September 2, 1843
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died December 21, 1900(1900-12-21) (aged 57)
Williamsburg, Virginia
Resting place Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
Political party Republican
Alma mater College of William and Mary
Medical College of Virginia
Profession civil servant, professor, physician
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate Army
Unit Army of Northern Virginia
Wise's Brigade of Infantry, Stuart's Cavalry Corps
Battles/wars American Civil War

Richard Alsop Wise (September 2, 1843 – December 21, 1900) was an educator and politician from Virginia. He was a U.S. Representative for parts of two terms. He was a son of Henry Alexander Wise, grandson of John Sergeant, brother of John Sergeant Wise, and cousin of George Douglas Wise, all U.S. Representatives.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of future Governor of Virginia Henry A. Wise and Sarah Sergeant, daughter of U.S. Representative John Sergeant. He attended private schools in Richmond, Virginia, Harrison's Academy in Albemarle County, Virginia, and then the College of William and Mary for two years, until the American Civil War began.

Civil War[edit]

During the war, he served in the Confederate States Army, first as a private in Stuart's cavalry, and then as an aide to his father, who was a brigadier general. Officially he was Assistant Inspector General of Wise's Brigade, in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Medical career[edit]

He graduated in medicine from the Medical College of Virginia in 1867 and practiced that profession for a few years.

In 1869, he returned to William and Mary as Professor of Chemistry, and taught there until 1881. From 1882 to 1885 he was Superintendent of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum of Virginia.

In 1871 he helped reorganize a volunteer militia for the city of Williamsburg and James City County, Virginia, which he commanded. Known as the Wise Light Infantry, the unit continued at least through 1885, when it appeared during the inaugural festivities of President Grover Cleveland in Washington.

Political career[edit]

Despite his Confederate background, Richard Wise became a Republican. He was a delegate to every Republican state convention in Virginia from 1879 to 1900. He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1892, 1896, and 1900.

He also held many political offices. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1885–1887.

He was Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts of the city of Williamsburg and James City County in 1888–1894.

In 1896, Wise ran for U.S. Representative, but lost to Democrat William A. Young. Wise successfully contested the election result, and served in the Fifty-fifth Congress from April 26, 1898, to March 3, 1899.

This result was repeated in 1896; Wise served in the Fifty-sixth Congress from March 12, 1900, until his death in Williamsburg on December 21, 1900. He was interred in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 1896 Wise was defeated in his bid for election to the U.S. House of Representatives by Democrat William Albin Young. However, Wise contested the election result. The House upheld his appeal and Wise was seated. He won a special election unopposed.
  • 1898: Wise was defeated for re-election by Democrat Young. He again contested the election result, was again seated by the House, and again won a special election unopposed.

Source[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William A. Young
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd congressional district

1898 – 1899
Succeeded by
William A. Young
Preceded by
William A. Young
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd congressional district

1900
Succeeded by
Harry L. Maynard