Open main menu

Page:Collier's New Encyclopedia v. 10.djvu/405

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.




Virginia of an ordinance of secession, the popular vote in the section W. of the mountains being strongly opposed to it. A convention of loyalists met at Wheeling in June, 1861, and in August adopted an ordinance providing for the formation of a new State to be called Kanawha. In November a constitution was adopted and the name West Virginia chosen. This constitution was adopted by the people by a very large majority in April, 1862, and the State was formally admitted to the Union by Act of Congress and the approval of President Lincoln, June 19, 1863.

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY, a coeducational non-sectarian institution in Morgantown, W. Va.; founded in 1867; reported at the close of 1919: Professors and instructors, 123; students, 1,609. President F. B. Trotter, LL. D.

WESTWARD HO, a seaside resort on the coast of North Devon, England, 2½ miles W. of Bideford. It owes its existence to Charles Kingsley's Elizabethan romance (1855), of the same name, which attracted swarms of visitors to North Devon. For their accommodation this pretty cluster of villas and lodging houses, with its church, hotel, club house, and college, has sprung up since 1867. The bathing facilities are excellent, and it is a great resort of golfers. The village is in the parish of Northam.

WETMORE, GEORGE PEABODY, a United States Senator from Rhode Island, born at London, England, in 1846. He graduated from Yale in 1867, and from the Columbia Law School in 1869. In the same year he was admitted to the bar. He was trustee of the Peabody Museum of Natural History of Yale, and of the Peabody Educational Fund. In 1885-1886, and again in 1886-1887, he was governor of Rhode Island. He was defeated for a third term in the latter year, and was defeated for the United States Senate in 1889. He was, however, elected to that office in 1895, and was re-elected in 1900 and 1906.

WETTER, a lake in Sweden; about 24 miles S. E. of Lake Wener; greatest length, 80 miles; medium breadth, about 15 miles. Its height above the level of the Baltic is nearly 300 feet, but its depth is in some parts above 400 feet. The Wetter forms parts of the canal connections between the Cattegat and the Baltic. The chief town on its shores is Jönköping.

WETTERHORN (“peak of tempests”), one of the most striking peaks of the Bernese Oberland; has three summits—the W., called by the natives Hasli-Jungfrau, 12,147 feet high; the middle, known as the Mittelhorn, 12,165 feet; and the E., the Rosenhorn, 12,110 feet. These were ascended first in 1844 and frequently since, the ascent being made from Grindelwald, and the previous night spent at a club hut built among the rocks, at the foot of the main peak. The contrast between the bright fresh pastures and the black precipices and dazzling snow ridges of the Wetterhorn is particularly striking, making the valley of the Reichenbach a favorite resort of artists.

WETZLAR, a town of Rhenish Prussia; on the Lahn; 95 miles S. E. of Köln. It has a cathedral, built at intervals during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, and still unfinished. Protestants worship in the choir. Catholics in the nave. There are also a gymnasium and a synagogue, and glove factories, spinning, iron works, phosphorus works, etc. Wetzlar is a scene in Goethe's “Werther.” It first appears in history during the 12th century. The Diet of Spires met here from 1689 to 1808. Pop. about 15,000.

WEXFORD, the capital of the county of the same name, in Ireland, 93 miles S. of Dublin; at the mouth of the Slaney river, which here expands to form a harbor 6 miles long. It contains three Roman Catholic churches, two Episcopal, one of which, St. Selsker, dates from about 1,200, and meeting houses belonging to minor sects, St. Peter's College, a preparatory school for Maynooth, a diocesan Protestant school, and various others. The trade is chiefly retail, but corn, poultry, and oysters are shipped to Liverpool, with which there is regular steamboat communication. The harbor is finely situated, but a bar at its mouth prevents the entrance of any but small vessels. Parts of the old fortifications and of St. Selsker's priory remain. The town is extremely ancient, and was occupied by the Danes as one of their strongest settlements; and from the time of the invasion it became an English stronghold against the native population. During the civil wars of 1641 it was occupied by the confederate Catholics, but was taken by Cromwell in 1644. The insurgents of 1798 also had possession of it for a short time. Pop. about 15,000.

WEYLER, VALERIANO, MARQUIS OF TENERIFFE, a Spanish military officer; born in 1839 of a Prussian father and Spanish mother. He early obtained a record for excessive barbarity. He arrived at Havana, Cuba, as Captain-General of the island on Feb. 10, 1896.