Orme Wilson Jr.

Marshall Orme Wilson Jr. (November 13, 1885 – February 13, 1966)[1] was an American diplomat and member of the Astor family.[2]

Orme Wilson Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to Haiti
In office
June 2, 1944 – August 22, 1946
PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byJohn Campbell White
Succeeded byHarold H. Tittmann, Jr.
Personal details
Marshall Orme Wilson Jr.

(1885-11-13)November 13, 1885
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedFebruary 13, 1966(1966-02-13) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery
Alice Elsie Borland
(m. 1910)
RelationsSee Astor family
Parent(s)Marshall Orme Wilson
Caroline Schermerhorn Astor
Alma materHarvard University

Early lifeEdit

Wilson was born in New York City on November 13, 1885 to Marshall Orme Wilson[3] and Caroline Schermerhorn "Carrie" Astor.[4][5][6][7] He had one younger brother, Richard Thornton Wilson III, who married Florence Magee Ellsworth.[8][9]

His maternal grandparents were William Backhouse Astor Jr. and Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, leader of the "Four Hundred". His paternal grandparents were Richard Thornton Wilson Sr., a banker who invested in railways following the end of the U.S. Civil War,[10] and Melissa Clementine Johnston.[11]

Wilson prepared at the Browning School in New York.[12] He graduated from Harvard University in 1907.[1][13]


Through both sides of his family, he was related to many prominent people. On his paternal side, his aunt Grace Wilson was married to Cornelius Vanderbilt III;[14] his uncle was Richard Thornton Wilson Jr.;[15] another aunt Belle Wilson, was married to the Sir Michael Henry Herbert, the British Ambassador to the United States;[16][17][18] and another aunt, Mary Wilson, was married to New York real estate heir, Ogden Goelet.[19] Through the latter, he was a first cousin of Mary Goelet, who married the Henry Innes-Ker, 8th Duke of Roxburghe and became the Duchess of Roxburghe.[15][20]

On his maternal side, his aunts were Emily Astor,[21] who married James John Van Alen;[22] Helen Schermerhorn Astor,[23] who married diplomat James Roosevelt Roosevelt,[24] half-brother of Franklin D. Roosevelt;[24] and Charlotte Augusta Astor,[25] who married James Coleman Drayton[26] and George Ogilvy Haig.[27] His only maternal uncle was John Jacob Astor IV, who married socialite Ava Lowle Willing[28] and later, Madeleine Talmage Force.[29] He died aboard the RMS Titanic in 1912.[30]


After graduating from Harvard, Wilson traveled abroad considerably and then became a "banker and manufacturer" with an office at 14 Wall Street in New York City.[12] In 1913, he joined the firm R. T. Wilson & Co., which was started by his grandfather and run by his uncle, Richard Thornton Wilson Jr., where the young Wilson became the New York Stock Exchange board member for the firm.[31]

Following his service in the U.S. Army during World War I,[32] Wilson began a long career as a diplomat with the United States Department of State. He first served in Brussels, then Berne, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he was second secretary and first secretary,[33] before serving as the assistant chief of the division of Latin American affairs at the State Department.[32]

In 1933, Wilson was made first secretary to the Embassy in Berlin.[32] The following year, he was transferred to Prague as Consul General.[34]

U.S. Ambassador to HaitiEdit

On March 21, 1944, Wilson was appointed the United States Ambassador to Haiti by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[2] He presented his credentials on June 2, 1944 and terminated his mission by leaving his post on August 22, 1946.[2]

While in Haiti, Wilson was a frequent writer to Cordell Hull, the U.S. Secretary of State regarding the escalation of tensions in Haiti.[35] Wilson recommended that unless "the Department of State views with disfavor a policy which might tend to keep President Lescot in office, there would appear to be no objection to supplying the small amount of equipment contemplated by the War Department."[36]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1910, Wilson was married to Alice Elsie "Ella" Borland, a Brearley School graduate.[37] She was the daughter of John Nelson Borland and the granddaughter of George Griswold Haven.[38][39] Together, they had a son Orme Wilson in 1920. He served as a Foreign Service officer who served as Consul General in Zagreb, Yugoslavia; as adviser to the United States Mission to the United Nations and as political counselor to the United States Representative to NATO, and president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association.[40] He married Mrs. Julie Brown Colt in 1945.[38]

Wilson was a member of the Union Club of the City of New York, the Harvard Club of New York, the Knickerbocker Club, the University Club of New York, the Automobile Club of America and the Tuxedo Club.[31]

Wilson died in Washington, D.C. on February 13, 1966.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Orme Wilson Dead; Ex-Envoy to Haiti". The New York Times. 14 February 1966. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Orme Wilson Jr. - Department History". history.state.gov. Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs United States Department of State. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ "M. ORME WILSON DIES IN CITY HOME; A Leader in New York Society, Brother of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt. MARRIED CAROLINE ASTOR Eldest Son of Late Richard T. Wilson Was a Columbia Graduate and a Retired Banker". The New York Times. 2 April 1926. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. ^ Moffat, R. Burnham (1904). The Barclays of New York: Who They Are And Who They Are Not, and Some Other Barclays. R. G. Cooke. p. 207. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  5. ^ "MRS. WILSON DEAD; LEADER IN SOCIETY | Great-Granddaughter of John J. Astor, Founder of Noted Family, Widow of Banker | KNOWN FOR LARGE PARTIES | Last of William's Children Aided Welfare Groups in City--Her Mother 'The' Mrs. Astor". The New York Times. 14 September 1948. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Mrs. Wilson Rites at Trinity Church". The New York Times. 16 September 1948. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  7. ^ Shine, Jacqui (January 23, 2017). "The Announcements Were Once Déclassé. Then Came the Astors". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  8. ^ "DIED. WILSON". The New York Times. 4 April 1926. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  9. ^ Armstrong, Zella; French, Janie Preston Collup (1922). Notable Southern Families. Lookout Publishing Company. p. 210. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  10. ^ Joslin, Katherine (2009). Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion. p. 53. ISBN 9781584657798. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  11. ^ "RICHARD T. WILSON DEAD.; Aged Head of Banking House Had Long Suffered from Heart Disease". The New York Times. 26 November 1910. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b Harvard College (1780-) Class of 1907 (1913). Third Report. Press of Styles and Cash. p. 337. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  13. ^ Harvard Alumni Bulletin. Harvard University. 1922. p. 238. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Mrs. C. Vanderbilt Dies At Home Here. Leader of New York, Newport Society for Many Years Was Hostess to Royal Figures". New York Times. January 8, 1953. Retrieved 2011-05-28. Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, still recognized as the leader of New York and Newport society although inactive in recent years, died of pneumonia last night at her home, 1048 Fifth Avenue. She was believed to have been in her eighty-third year.....
  15. ^ a b "RICHARD T. WILSON, TURF LEADER, DEAD; Brother of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Succumbs to Pneumonia in 63d Year. HAD HEADED BANKING FIRM President of Association to Improve Breed of Horses--Won Many Victories on Track. Son of New York Banker. His Greatest Turf Victory". The New York Times. 30 December 1929. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  16. ^ "SIR MICHAEL'S FUNERAL; Body of Late Ambassador Interred Ambassador Choate Present at Ceremony -- Simultaneous Services at St. James's Palace -- Exercises in Washington". The New York Times. 7 October 1903. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Betrothed to an Earl's Brother". The New York Times. 29 June 1888. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Engaged to an Earl's Brother". The New York Times. 30 June 1888. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  19. ^ "MRS. OGDEN GOELET DIES OF PNEUMONIA; Duchess of Roxburghe's Mother Long Noted for Her Lavish Entertaining. WAS HOSTESS TO ROYALTY Edward VII, as Prince of Wales, Among Guests--Sister of Mrs. Cornellus Vanderbilt and R.T. Wilson. Her Hospitality. Duchess of Roxburghe Daughter". The New York Times. 24 February 1929. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  20. ^ "WILSON DEATH PUTS MANY IN MOURNING; Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt and Mrs. Ogden Goelet Among Those Out of Social Activities". The New York Times. 27 November 1910. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  21. ^ "James J. Van Alen". University of Virginia. Retrieved 2009-08-04. James J. Van Alen (1846-1923) was a sportsman, politician, and member of an old-monied New York railroad family. Van Alen solidified his status as a member of upper-class society by marrying Emily Astor, daughter of society matron Caroline Schermerhorn Astor and William Backhouse Astor Jr.
  22. ^ "JAMES J. VAN ALEN DEAD IN LONDON; | New York Society Leader Was Sometimes Called "American Prince of Wales." | A LAVISH NEWPORT HOST | He Had Lived Abroad Since Prohibition, Which He Disapproved as "Our Lack of Liberty."". The New York Times. 14 July 1923. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  23. ^ "MRS. ROOSEVELT DEAD. And Her Mother, Mrs. William Astor, Has Just Sailed for England". The New York Times. 13 November 1893. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  24. ^ a b "J. R. ROOSEVELT, 73, DIES AT HYDE PARK; Philanthropist and Trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. VICTIM OF BRONCHITIS Brother-in-Law of Late Col. J. J. Astor and Half Brother of Franklin D. Roosevelt". The New York Times. 8 May 1927. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  25. ^ "MRS. GEORGE O. HAIG DIES AT NEUILLY; Former Charlotte Astor Expires, with Her Sister, Mrs. M. Orme Wilson, at Bedside. ONCE MRS. J.C. DRAYTON Disinherited by Her Father, William Astor, Her Brother, Colonel J.J. Astor, Gave Her $1,000,000". The New York Times. 31 July 1920. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  26. ^ "J. C. DRAYTON DEAD; RETIRED BANKER, 82; Newport Resident for Several Years Was. Son-in-Law of the Late William Astors. AN EXPERT PIGEON SHOT Issued Challenge to Hallett A. Borrows to Duel, Which Never Took Place". The New York Times. 12 November 1934. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  27. ^ "DIED. HAIG". The New York Times. 28 December 1905. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Lady Ribblesdale Dead. First Wife of John Jacob Astor IV. Mother of Vincent Astor". The New York Times. June 11, 1958. Retrieved 2008-08-11. Ava Willing Ribblesdale, she took up residence here. She continued to be listed in the telephone directory as Lady Ribblesdale.....
  29. ^ "MRS. FIERMONTE DEAD IN FLORIDA; Former Madeleine Force Was Married to Col. Astor, W.K. Dick and Italian Boxer SURVIVOR OF THE TITANIC Gave Up Fortune to Marry Again, Then Got Divorce to Wed Pugilist". The New York Times. 28 March 1940. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Noted Men On The Lost Titanic. Col. Jacob Astor, with His Wife. Isidor Straus and Wife, and Benj. Guggenheim Aboard". The New York Times. April 16, 1912. Retrieved 2013-12-10. Following are sketches of a few of the well-known persons among the 1,300 passengers on the lost Titanic. The fate of most of them at this time is, of course, not known. Col. John Jacob Astor and Mrs. Astor, Isidor Straus and Mrs. Straus, J. Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of the White Star Line: Benjamin Guggenheim, and Frank D. Millet, the artist, are perhaps the most widely known of the passengers.....
  31. ^ a b Harvard College (1780-) Class of 1907 (1917). Secretary's Fourth Report. Plimpton Press. p. 418. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  32. ^ a b c "ORME WILSON MADE EMBASSY SECRETARY; New Yorker Ordered to Berlin -- Other Foreign Service Changes Announced". The New York Times. 20 August 1933. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  33. ^ "PROMOTIONS MADE IN FOREIGN SERVICE; State Department Announces Many Recent Changes in Offices Abroad. PRICE RESIGNS AT NANKING New yorker Will Be Succeeded as Consul There by W.A. Adams of South Carolina". The New York Times. 23 June 1929. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  34. ^ "WILSON TRANSFERRED TO PRAGUE CONSULATE; New Yorker Is Shifted From Berlin Embassy -- Other Changes in Service". The New York Times. 11 November 1934. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  35. ^ Smith, Matthew J. (2009). Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 215. ISBN 9780807894156. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  36. ^ United States Department of State (1969). Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 1090. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  37. ^ "Engagements.; WILSON-BORLAND". The New York Times. 1 April 1910. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  38. ^ a b "MRS. COLT IS WED TO ORME WILSON JR.; Former Julie Brown Bride of Naval Lieutenant, Son of Ambassador to Haiti". The New York Times. 18 February 1945. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  39. ^ "JOHN NELSON BORLAND DIES IN HIS 71ST YEAR; Former Member of New York Stock Exchange for 25 Years-- In Union and Tuxedo Clubs". The New York Times. 14 December 1929. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  40. ^ "ORME WILSON JR. DIES". Washington Post. 31 March 1991. Retrieved 15 March 2018.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by U.S. Ambassador to Haiti
Succeeded by