People You've Never Heard Of Part I

Alexander Wilson was born in Scotland in 1766 and died in Philadelphia in 1813. He was an ornithologist. He wrote the multi-volumed American Ornithology.

Charles Erwin Wilson was born in Ohio in 1890 and died in Louisiana in 1961. He was president of the Delco-Remy Corporation until 1929. Then from 1929 to 1939 he was vice president of General Motors. In 1952 he was named Secretary of Defense by President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Charles Thomas Rees Wilson was a Scottish physicist born in 1869 and died in 1959. He studied the “condensation of tiny drops of water on gaseous ions, the properties of ionized particles and the nature of atmospheric electricity (p2).”

Sir Harold Wilson was the Prime Minister of England from 1964-1970. He was born in 1916 and at the time of the publishing of the 1980 Encyclopedia Americana he was still alive.

John Wilson (pseudonym Christopher North)was a Scottish author born in 1785 and died in 1854. He wrote the poemsIsle of Palms and The City of the Plague, amongst many others.

Robert Wilson was an English actor and playwright. He died in 1600. He is the author of many morality plays such as Three Ladies of London (1584) and The Cobblers Prophesie (1594).

Alexander Winchell was born in NY in 1824 and died in Michigan in 1891. He was an American geologist and educator. He was a founder of the Geological Society of America. He wrote Sketches of Creation (1870), The Doctrine of Evolution (1874), World Life (1883), and Geological Studies (1886).

Johanna Joachim Winckelmann was born in Prussia 1717 and died in 1768. He was a German archaeologist and art historian. He published Sendschreiben von den Herulanischen Entdeckungen (1762, Letter About the Herculanean Discoveries). His major work was Geschichte der Kunst des Alterhums (1764, The History of Ancient Art).

John Winthrop was born in England in 1588 and died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1649. He was governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

William Wirt was an American lawyer, political leader, and author. He was born in 1772 and died on February 18, 1834. He was admitted to the bar in 1792. In 1817 he became Attorney General of the United States as appointed by James Monroe and served until the end of John Quincy Adams’ term. He also wrote The Letters of the British Spy (1803).

Isaac Mayer Wise (original surname Weiss) was a Bohemian-American rabbi and founder of Reform Judaism in the United States. He was born in 1819 in Bohemia and died in Ohio in 1900.

John Wise was born in 1808 and died in 1879. “He made his first ascent in a balloon of his own design in Philadelphia, PA on May 2, 1835 (p79).” He also was the first carry mail via the airways using his hot air balloon.

George Withers was born in England in 1588 and died in 1667. He was an English poet and he also wrote pamphlets. He wrote Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613), The Shepherd’s Hunting (1615), Fidelia (1615), Wither’s Motto (1621), Britain’s Remembrancer (1628), Emblemes (1635) and Ecchoes from the Sixth Trumpet (1666).

Wittekind or Widukind died in around 807 AD. He was a Saxon leader who struggled with Charlemagne.

Karel vande Woestijne was a Belgian-Flemish poet, novelist, and essayist born in 1878 and died in 1929. He wrote Het Vaderhuis (1903) and Christophorus (1926).

Margaret Woffington (aka Peg Woffington) was an Irish actress. She was born in Ireland around 1714 and died in England in 1760. She appeared as a child in The Beggar’s Opera. She was often cast as a society lady but audiences loved her male impersonations.

Maximilian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf was born in 1863 and died in 1932. He was a German astronomer. He discovered the comet that bears his name. He also discovered asteroid number 323.

*Notes: Names were chosen randomly from the Encyclopedia Americana: Volume 29. Grolier: Danbury, Connecticut 1980*