Manuscript Group 250, Edward S. Wilde, (b. 1838/1844) Papers 1896-1905

MG 250
Edward S. Wilde (b. 1838/1844)
Papers, 1896-1905
1.5 linear ft.

New Jersey Historical Society
Manuscript Collection 

Processed by:  Jeanine Loehr
February 1983
Updated by:     Sharon O’Brien & Kripali Gadhia
March 1999


This collection consists of letters, legal papers, notes, and printed material of Edward Seymour Wilde, lawyer, Boer Independence Association president and free silver advocate.  He also had an interest in railroads in South Carolina and in encouraging the immigration of farmers to that state.  Papers, 1868, 1878, 1890-(1900-1902)-1905, total 1.5 linear feet.


 Edward Seymour Wilde was a lawyer who lived in Glen Ridge, formerly part of Bloomfield Township. He was born December 30, 1838 and was the only child of James (August 14, 1793-October 16, 1877) and Eliza (Cook Cadmus) Wilde. His father was a native of England and came to America when he was about 30 years of age. Eliza Cook Cadmus was born in Bloomfield (July 28, 1800-August 10, 1882). She was the only child of Hermon Cadmus, a son of Thomas Cadmus who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Hermon Cadmus was born in Bloomfield (December 7, 1774-March 5, 1869). Eliza’s maternal grandmother was Sarah Ward (March 17, 1775-January 25, 1863), a member of the family that came from Danbury, CT and settled in the Bloomfield area.

All of these ancestors died in the homestead where Edward Wilde was born, which stood on the northerly side of Park Street at the junction of Bloomfield Avenue, opposite Christ Church. The home was built by Colonel Thomas Cadmus for his son Hermon in 1800. Edward Wilde was born and was raised in this home. He attended schools in Bloomfield, later entering Princeton University, where he graduated from in 1861 and received a Master’s degree in 1864. After college he studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He practiced law in Newark until 1873. He had inherited valuable real estate from his mother’s family and this took most of his time after 1873 to manage. Mr. Wilde lived on part of the homestead property on Ridgewood Avenue and Wildwood Terrace. The opening of these and other avenues upon the family property are due mainly to Edward.

Edward married Helen McComb of New York City (daughter of John and Fanny McComb) on June 15, 1864. They had three children: James, Frances Gale and Helen A. Edward was involved with the Olive Branch Lodge, an organization that was chartered February 5, 1847 and first met in a room on the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Fulton Street in Montclair. After about 10 years or so, the organization closed and all furniture and effects was sold to the Masonic Lodge. Edward was also on of the original incorporators of the Newark, Bloomfield and Montclair Horse Car Railroad in 1867. It was originally built from the Bloomfield Cemetery along the west side of Park, down the old road and passed into a new avenue opened by the road to the north end of Mount Prospect Avenue in Newark.

In 1894, Wilde was living in Bloomfield, NJ.  In 1900, his address was 57 Wildwood Terrace, Glen Ridge.  Wilde was living in Montclair at 32 South Willow in 1904. Wilde was a democrat and was an advocate of free silver. He was president of the Beer Independence Association, at 800 Broad Street in Newark, the same address as Wilde’s law office. Wilde corresponded with like organizations and wrote editorials to newspapers.  The Association circulated a petition that was to be sent to Congress. Wilde was last listed in the Newark City directory in 1904, while the Bar Association still listed his Newark office until 1924.

Scope and Content Note

The documents in this collection span the years 1868 to 1905, although very few items predate 1890.  The bulk of this collection was generated between 1900 and 1902.  The majority of these items were dated 1901.

Most of the collection concerns Wilde’s interest in the Boer War and the Boer Independence Association, where he expressed his anti-British sentiment and pro-Boer sympathies.

This collection may be useful in the study of anti-British feeling in relation to the Boer War.  The copy letter series, the correspondence series, the Boer Independence Association series and the South Africa series will be of interest in this kind of study.  The notes on the Boer War in the Notes series and the Printed Material Series would also be germane to this research.

Of interest in may be the correspondence regarding Baron Von Wrangle.  A German Baron and soldier, he served in the U.S. army in the Spanish American War.  He helped the Boers in South Africa until he was wounded and returned to America.  He wrote to Wilde about his experiences in South Africa.

The collection also includes letters from H. Van Snevieten.  He fought in the Boer War, came to the United States and joined the army.  After advancing to the rank of sergeant, he left the country to fight again in South Africa.

In the Notes series and the Printed Material series, the articles and pamphlets that Wilde collected may be indicative of the information on currency and economics that was circulated for the free-silver movement.  These documents are dated 1890, 1895-1904, with few items between 1900 and 1902.

In the Legal Papers series, the correspondence with George Von Kolnitz may be of interest to researchers studying land speculation, railroading in North and South Carolina, or plans to induce immigration.  Wilde and Von Kolnitz were involved in business ventures and owned an interest in a railroad in South Carolina and discussed land schemes to induce Italian immigrants to work for them.

The collection includes legal papers of Wilde’s clients, such as three letter related to William Wood.

Series Descriptions

 Series I:  Edward S. Wilde.  Copy letters, 1886, 1900-1902, n. d., 4 folders.

Copies of outgoing correspondence in chronological order.  Subjects include personal, business, Boer Independence Association, bills, petitions, recruiting of members, Baron Von Wrangle (250.1).

Series II:  Edward S. Wilde.  Correspondence received, 1893, 1896, 1900-1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, n.d., 6 folders.  Correspondence in chronological order.  Subjects related to copy letters and H. Van Sneveiten (250.2).

Series III:  Edward S. Wilde.  Boer Independence Association, 1900-1902, n.       d., 5 folders (250.3)

·        membership and addresses.

·        meeting announcements, receipts, petition, correspondence.

·        “Boer League Scrapbook,” newspaper clippings in English and German.

·        printed material, of Association and correspondence .

Series IV:  Edward S. Wilde.  Notes, 1890-1905, n.d., 3 folders (250.4)

·        Boer War, 1901, n.d. notes on South Africa and England, and his writings on the subject.

·        Economics, 1890, 1896, 1905, n.d., notes and papers on wheat and purchasing power, wealth and debt of the U.S., interest rates and currency, Wilde’s writings on the subject.

·        Miscellaneous, 1901, 1902, 1904, n.d., notes on decorating, Essay on Ambition.

Series V:  Edward S. Wilde.  South Africa, n.d., 2 folders (250.5)

·        Biography and History 1896-1901, compiled by Wilde.

·        Chronology 1652-1901, compiled by Wilde.

Series VI:  Edward S. Wilde.  Printed Material, 1892-1905, n.d., 5 folders.  (250.6)

·        South Africa and England, 1896-1901, n.d., 2 folders of articles and pamphlets on South African and England.

·        Coinage and Economics, 1895-1904, n.d., 2 folders of articles and pamphlets on currency and economic issues.

·        Miscellaneous, 1892-1905, n.d., includes railroad information, political organizations, Bar Association.

Series VII:  Edward S. Wilde.  Legal Papers, 1885-1904, n.d. 6 folders.  (250.7)

·        Von Kolnitz correspondence.

·        Carolina Prospectus, Mortgages- railroad and land.

·        Mortgage to Israel Ward and Deed for Bloomfield Property.

·        “Estate of Horace Globe” re: Glen Ridge property.

·        papers returned by Elisha Camp re: a building in Newark

·        Miscellaneous

Series VIII:  Edward S. Wilde.  Legal papers- clients, 1868, 1900-1903, 6 folders  (250.8)

·        Andrew Lemassena, 1868, 1 folder.

·        Henry B. Taylor, 1900-1903, 5 folders (Mortgages).

Series IX:  Edward S. Wilde.  William Wood, 1868, 1878, 1folder.  (250.9)

three letters having some relation to William Wood.

Container List

Box     Folder             Title                                                                            Date

1          Series I:  Copy letters

1.    Copy letters                                                                                Aug.-Sept. 1901

2.        “       “                                                                           n.d., 1886, 1900-1901

3.        “       “                                                                                     Oct.-Nov. 1901

4.        “       “                                                                    Dec. 1901, Jan.-June 1902

Series II:  Correspondence received

5.    Correspondence                                                               n.d., 1893, 1896, 1900

6.               “                                                                                   Jan.-April 1901

7.               “                                                                                   May-Sept. 1901

8.               “                                                                                   Oct.-Nov. 1901

9.               “                                                                             Nov. 1901-Feb. 1902

10.             “                                                                    May-Nov. 1902, 1903-1905

Series III:  Boer Independence Association

11.  Membership Addresses                                                                 n.d.

12.           “                 “                                                                        n.d.

13.           “                 “                                                                        n.d.

14.           “                 “                                                                        n.d.

15.    Meeting announcements, records, receipts, petitions,                    1900-1902

and correspondence

16.  The Boer League Scrapbook                                                         1901

17.  Printed material                                                                         1901, 1902, n.d.

Series IV:  Notes

18.  Boer Relief Fund, printed material and correspondence             1900-1901, n.d.


1.    Economics                                                            1890, 1896, 1905, n.d.

2.    Miscellaneous                                                                   1901, 1902, 1904, n.d.

3.    Boer War                                                                                   1901, n.d.

Box     Folder             Title                                                                            Date

Series V:  South Africa

4.    Biography and history                                                                 1896-1901

5.    South African chronology                                                   n.d.

6.    South African chronology                                                   n.d.

7.    South African chronology                                                 1652-1901

Series VI:  Printed material

8.    South Africa and England                                      1899, 1900, 1901, n.d

9.         “        “                “                                              1896,1899, 1900, 1901, n.d.

10.       “        “                “                                                                    n.d.


1.    Coinage, economics                                      1895, 1896, 1899, 1901, 1904, n.d.

2.          “             “                                                                               “

3.    Miscellaneous                                                        1892, 1900, 1903, 1905, n.d.

4.    Coinage, economics                                     1895, 1896, 1902, 1903, 1904, n.d.

Series VII:  Legal papers

5.    Von Kolnitz, George correspondence                                1900-1904

6.    Carolina prospectus, mortgage                                    1896, 1902, 1903, n.d.

7.    Mortgage, deed                                                                 1885, 1894

8.    Estate of Horace Goble                                                  1901, 1892, n.d.

9.    Legal papers returned  by Elisha Camp                                     1901

10.  Miscellaneous                                                                1885, 1901-1903, n.d.

Series VIII:  Legal papers – clients

11.  Andrew Lemassena                                                                       1868

12.  Henry B. Taylor concerning Francesco Chiaravallo      1900-1901, n.d.

13.  Mortgage, Henry B. Taylor concerning Pietro Juzzolino      1901, n.d.

14.  Mortgage, Henry B. Taylor concerning Roswell Van Buskirk          1902, n.d.

15.  Mortgage, Henry B. Taylor concerning Abram Van Fleet   1903, n.d.

16.  Miscellaneous, Henry B. Taylor                                                     1903, n.d.

Series IX:  William Wood

17.  Letters received                                                                             1868-1878


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