Wilhelmshaven, a seaport town of Germany, in the former territory and at the N. W. end of the bay of Jade, since 1873 part of the Prussian province of Hanover, 40. m. N. W. of Bremen; pop. about 10,000. It grew up around the naval dockyard and military post inaugurated in 1869, and since used as the main station of the German navy. The port was laid out on swampy land purchased in 1853 from Oldenburg, and is diked against the sea. It has an inner and an outer basin, the latter flanked by piers 4,000 and 10,000 ft. long, and there are three dry docks for building and repairing ironclads, and factories for steam engines. The total cost of all the works when completed will probably reach $40,000,000.
Wilkin, a W. county of Minnesota, separated from Dakota by the Bois de Sioux and Red rivers, the latter of which also intersects it; area, about 900 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 295; in 1875, 528. The surface is uneven and elevated, and the soil is productive. It is traversed by the St. Paul and Pacific railroad. Capital, Breckenridge.
Willebrord Snell, a Dutch mathematician, born in Leyden in 1591, died there, Oct. 31, 162G. He studied law, but devoted himself principally to mathematics. When 17 years old he published an essay in which he endeavored to restore a lost treatise of Apollonius. He travelled in Germany, and won the friendship and esteem of Kepler. In 1613 he succeeded his father as professor in the university of Leyden. He was the first to make a trigonometrical measurement of an arc of a meridian, and thence to calculate the size of the earth. His result was erroneous, on account of the imperfection of the instruments then in use; but he himself discovered the errors. He also discovered the law of the refraction of light (see Light, vol. x., p. 438), and improved the methods of approximating to the ratio of the radius to the circumference of the circle. His most important work is Eratosthenes Batavus, sive de Terroe Ambitus vera Quantitate (Leyden, 1617).
William Alexander Graham, an American statesman, born in Lincoln co., N. C, Sept. 5, 1804. He was educated to the law, and in 1833 entered public life as a member of the lower branch of the state legislature, of which he was several times elected speaker. He represented North Carolina in the United States senate between 1841 and 1843, and was governor of the state from January, 1845, to January, 1849. On the accession of Mr. Fillmore to the presidency he was appointed secretary of the navy, an office which he filled until June, 1852, when, receiving from the whig national convention the nomination for vice president, he resigned the secretaryship. During the last year of the civil war he was a senator in the confederate congress, and in 1866 he was a delegate to the union convention in Philadelphia.