Richard Henry Wilde

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Richard Henry Wilde (September 24, 1789 – September 10, 1847) was a United States Representative and lawyer from Georgia.

Biography[edit]

Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1789 to Richard Wilde and Mary Newitt, but came to America at age eight[1] and moved to Augusta, Georgia, in 1802. His brother was Judge John W. Wilde, a judge of Augusta, Georgia. He was a businessman and studied law. After gaining admittance to the state bar in 1809, Wilde practiced law in Augusta. He served as the solicitor general of the superior court of Richmond County, Georgia, and was also the attorney general of Georgia from 1811 to 1813 as a result of holding the Richmond County position.

In 1814, Wilde was elected as a Democratic-Republican Representative to the 14th United States Congress and served one term from March 4, 1815 until March 3, 1817, as he lost his reelection campaign in 1816. Upon Thomas W. Cobb's resignation, Wilde successfully ran as a Crawford Republican to fill that seat in the 18th Congress and served only a month from February 7, 1825, to March 3, 1825. After several more unsuccessful Congressional campaigns in 1824 and 1826, Wilde ran again in 1827 as a Jacksonian to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Forsyth and won election to fill that term. He was reelected to three additional terms (21st, 22nd and 23rd Congresses) in that seat and served from November 17, 1827, to March 3, 1835.

Wilde lost his reelection campaign in 1834 and traveled in Europe from 1835 to 1840. In 1843, he moved to New Orleans, returned to the practice of law and served as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Louisiana at New Orleans (current-day Tulane University). Wilde died in New Orleans on September 10, 1847, and was interred in a vault in a cemetery in New Orleans. In 1854, he was reinterred at Sand Hill family burying ground near Augusta and then reinterred an additional time in 1886 in the Augusta's City Cemetery.

Writings[edit]

Wilde also wrote a well known poem Hesperia about the geography and topography of the United States.[1] He wrote several other works, prompting Rufus Wilmot Griswold to consider including him in one of his influential anthologies. Though he did provide several pieces for Griswold to include, Wilde responded, "As literature does no good for an advocate's reputation, I should be pleased if you will give my place... to somebody else."[2] The only complete book-length work published in his lifetime was Conjectures and Researches concerning the Love, Madness, and Imprisonment of Torquato Tasso (1842). Two works left incomplete were Life and Times of Dante and Specimens of the Italian Lyric Poets.[3] AL

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Old New Haven", Juliet Lapidos, The Advocate, March 17, 2005
  2. ^ Parks, Edd Winfield. Ante-Bellum Southern Literary Critics. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1962: 56.
  3. ^ Parks, Edd Winfield. Ante-Bellum Southern Literary Critics. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1962: 52.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Barnett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1815 - March 3, 1817
Succeeded by
Joel Abbot
Preceded by
Thomas Willis Cobb
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

February 7, 1825, to March 3, 1825.
Succeeded by
James Meriwether
Preceded by
John Forsyth
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 2nd congressional district

November 17, 1827 - March 3, 1829
Succeeded by
Redistricted to At Large Districts
Preceded by
Redistricted
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1829 - March 3, 1835
Succeeded by
John W. A. Sanford