Benjamin Wilkes’ interest in entomology was ignited after being invited to attend the Aurelian Society, and his large collection was open for viewing at his tavern on Fleet Street.
This stunning series of plates by Wilkes after Ehret and Van Huysum illustrates each insect’s development alongside their associated plants (etched by Wilkes after Ehret and Van Huysum). A masterpiece from an era known for decorative, classical print & engraving art styles.
Early Life and Education
No matter his motives for reform or his use as an attention seeker, William Ewart Gladstone quickly became a symbol for colonial rights and liberties that an oppressive government attempted to suppress. His confrontations (or antics) with Parliament were widely reported in newspapers while Colonial assemblies would meet at local taverns to celebrate his legal victories.
By the 1780s, however, his radical reputation had begun to dissipate; many critics charged that he used his influence for personal gain by being corrupt and using it to gather attention for himself.
Wilkes was born in Madison County, Tennessee near Mercer and died in Hardeman Co. Whiteville. He belonged to both Methodist Episcopal Church and Democratic Party. Additionally he belonged to Augusta Lodge No 45 A F& A M & Royal Arch Chapter for Royal Arch Masonry membership.
Edwin Booth had long been a fixture on Broadway playbills before John Wilkes shot President Abraham Lincoln. Edwin, his elder sibling and actor extraordinaire, soon eclipsed his fame due to his successful Shakespearean acting. Edwin also performed many Civil War productions which resulted in tension between himself and Edwin over his support of secessionism versus Unionism views he held; eventually this caused a permanent separation.
Dr. Benjamin was known for his long tenure at Savannah River Site working in various technical fields including atmospheric sciences and accelerator programs over his three-decade long career, mentoring new nuclear science and technology professionals in Aiken-Augusta area – something recognized annually through a scholarship created in his name by Savannah River Section of American Nuclear Society.
He has guest conducted the All-North Jersey Junior High School Orchestra, Peninsula Combined HS Band and Montclair State University Glee Club, while his choral groups consistently earned Division I Superior ratings at national music festivals and he has conducted choruses and musical theater projects around the globe.
Achievement and Honors
During the American Civil War, Benjamin served as Attorney General for the Confederacy. This appointment caused much outrage among Northerners who likened it to Judas Iscariot’s trial in the press; fearing he wouldn’t receive a fair hearing there, Benjamin decided to flee abroad in England for safety.
The President’s Achievement Award recognizes students who have demonstrated marked improvements in academic achievement and personal growth while remaining sensitive to the needs of others in both Hiram community and society. For more information about this award, click here.
Ava Wilkes ’21 is our Louisiana High School Student of the Year. A National Merit Finalist and full-time advanced class student, she takes advantage of every available learning opportunity both inside and outside of school; playing soccer and tennis while volunteering as tutor and homeroom representative.
Benjamin Wilkes’ upbringing included being raised before an altar and immersed in church life before receiving education at a college of the gospel, providing him with an exceptional Christian upbringing and education. His passionate defense of people’s rights to control their affairs in public was instrumental in shaping the United States Constitution and becoming one of its founding principles.
Carlotta Plantation in Bedford County was constructed in 1790. Now an historic site, when the Civil War came he joined up and served mostly west of Mississippi River until his death on 10 November 1886 in Bedford County where he left a number of children and grandchildren behind for burial at New Hope Cemetery in Whiteville – his personal library boasted some 20,000 volumes!
Benjamin Wilkes’ preface to The English Moths and Butterflies extolls their magnificence: Benjamin describes their variety in beauty as well as remarkable changes in form, meaning their existence fills his thinking mind with extraordinary pleasure and greater than usual attention.
Ben published his book during an era of intense amateur interest in natural history, and it is widely credited with sparking artistic interest in the topic. However, due to phobias such as hypochondria and fear of darkness he often avoids flying or driving until absolutely necessary; additionally he is an recovering alcoholic who once stated his intent of drinking himself to death.