Amos Parker Wilder

Amos Parker Wilder (February 15, 1862 – July 2, 1936) was an American journalist and diplomat who served as United States Consul General to Hong Kong and Shanghai in the early 20th Century.

Amos Parker Wilder
United States Consul General, Hong Kong
In office
Preceded byWilber T. Gracey
Succeeded byGeorge E. Anderson
United States Consul General, Shanghai
In office
Preceded byCharles Denby Jr.
Succeeded byThomas Sammons
Personal details
Born(1862-02-15)February 15, 1862
Calais, Maine, United States of America
DiedJuly 2, 1936(1936-07-02) (aged 74)
New Haven, Connecticut

Early life

Wilder was born on September 10, 1861 in Calais, Maine,[1] the son of Amos Wilder and Charlotte P. Wilder.[2] He was educated at Yale University (A.B., 1884; PhD, 1892). From 1882 to 1892 he edited the New Haven Palladium, and from 1892 to 1894 worked as an editorial writer in New York City. In 1894 he moved to Wisconsin, where he purchased a one-half interest in the Madison Wisconsin State Journal, and in 1901 acquired controlling interest.[1]

Wilder was recognised a fine orator and a man of strong opinions. He was a devout Congregationalist and served as a church deacon.[3] He was also and teetotaler and temperance advocate from his youth. He was also in favour of women's suffrage.[4]

Diplomatic career

In 1906, Wilder was appointed United States Consul General in Hong Kong and in 1909 transferred to be United States Consul General in Shanghai, serving until 1914.[1]

In Shanghai, given his views on alcohol, he refused to help an American brewery enter the Chinese market on moral grounds stating he was willing to resign his position.[5]

Post diplomatic career

After returning to the United States, Wilder spent the remainder of his life in the north east of the country, holding various important positions. From 1921 to 1929 was associate editor of the New Haven Journal Courier.[1] He was also head of the Yale-China Program.[2]


Wilder married Isabella Thornton Niven. They had six children, Amos Niven Wilder, a noted theologist and poet, Thornton Wilder, a noted writer, Charlotte Wilder, a professor of English and poet, Isabel Wilder, a novelist and Janet Wilder Dakin a professor of biology and author.[6] A twin brother of Thornton Wilder died at birth.[7]

Wilder did not hesitate to apply his strong opinions to his children. He promoted higher education for them all, they all achieved success in their fields. He ordered or steered them in the direction he saw best. In Thornton's case he required Thornton to spend many summers working as a farm labourer, sometimes only for board.[8]


Wilder died on February 24, 1936, in New Haven, Connecticut and was buried at Mount Carmel Burying Ground in Hamden, New Haven County.[2]


  1. "Wilder, Amos Parker 1862 – 1936 | Wisconsin Historical Society". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  2. "Amos Parker Wilder (1862–1936)". Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  3. Thornton Wilder and the Puritan Narrative Tradition, p12
  4. Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar, p38
  5. Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar, p38
  6. "The Wilder Family". Thornton Wilder. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  7. "Life & Family | Thornton Wilder Society". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  8. Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar, p38
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