CHARLES WILKES (1798-1877), American naval officer and explorer, was born in New York City on the 3rd of April 1798.
The superintendent of the local Sunday school sent him to an academy at Washington, Wilkes county, for one year and in the following year (1828) he was sent by the Georgia Educational Society to Franklin College (university of Georgia), where he graduated in 1832.
The most prominent measures of his administration were the prosecution of Wilkes and the passing of the American Stamp Act, which led to the first symptoms of alienation between America and the mother country.
That part of the Antarctic continent known as Wilkes Land was named in his honour.
Of these Wilkes wrote the Narrative (6 vols., 1845; 5 vols., 1850) and the volumes Hydrography and Meteorology (1851).
That Wilkes discovered an Antarctic continent was long doubted, and one of the charges against him when he was court-martialled was that he had fabricated this discovery, but the expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1908-1909 corroborated Wilkes.
Wide, from Cape Agulhas to Enderby Land, 2200 m., and from Tasmania to Wilkes Land, 1550 m., while the meridianal extension of the Indian Ocean is 6200 m., of the Pacific, 9300 m., and of the Atlantic, 12,500 m., measuring across the North Pole to Bering Strait.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON STEPHENS (1812-1883), American statesman, vice-president of the Confederate States during the Civil War, was born in Wilkes (now Taliaferro) county, Georgia, on the 11th of February 1812.
He accompanied his brother, Arthur Lee, to England in 1766 to engage in mercantile pursuits, joined the Wilkes faction, and in 1775 was elected an alderman of London, then a life-position.
His dispute with George Onslow, member for Surrey, who at first supported and then threw over Wilkes for place, culminated in a civil action, ultimately decided, after the reversal of a verdict which had been obtained through the charge of Lord Mansfield, in Horne's favour, and in the loss by his opponent of his seat in parliament.