Volume 1893
Georges Dodds'
The Ape-Man: his Kith and Kin
A collection of texts which prepared the advent of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs


"Baboo's Good Tiger"

Rounsevelle Wildman.


Rounsevelle Wildman (3/19/1864 - 2/22/1901): An American, Wildman was Special Commissioner of the United States for the Straits Settlements and Siam; later, as American Consul General in Hong Kong, he also spent much time traveling through the Indonesian archipelago and the Philippines, all this in the late 19th, early 20th century. He wrote extensively of South East Asia. Wildman, his wife and two children perished together when the steamer City of Rio de Janiero sank in San Francisco Bay after striking rocks in a dense fog. He wrote for the juvenile market and was the author of China's Open Door: a Sketch of Chinese Life and History (1900), Tales of the Malayan Coast: From Penang to the Philippines (c. 1899)

Additional Biographic and Bibliographic Information
Courtesy E. Charles Ash
Rounsevelle Wildman, the son of Rev. Edwin Wildman and Helen P. Rounsevelle, was born on March 19, 1864, in Batavia, New York. After graduating from Syracuse University he travelled west and, from 1885-90, worked at the Idaho Statesman of Boise as reporter and editor. From 1889-90 he served as a member of the Idaho delegation to Congress; and it was largely owing to his efforts that Idaho was admitted as a state. On June 2, 1890, he was appointed United States Consul at Singapore. On January 23, 1893 he was appointed Consul at Barmen, Germany, and was en route to his post when President Cleveland took office and appointed another to the position. As a result, Wildman retired from the service in April of 1893 and returned to New York. Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor, a Malayan potentate that Wildman had befriended, asked him to go to Chicago and take charge of the Johor bungalow at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Upon the conclusion of the Exposition, Wildman travelled to San Francisco where, from 1894-97, he owned, edited and regularly contributed to the Overland Monthly. His work often appeared in the magazine in serial form and was later compiled into books for publication. Following the election of President McKinley he was, on July 3, 1897, appointed Consul at Hong Kong. On May 25, 1898, he was appointed to that post as Consul General.

In 1901 Wildman was travelling from Hong Kong to the United States with his wife and two children for a long-deferred leave. Their vessel, the steamer City of Rio de Janeiro, struck rocks in a dense fog and sank in San Francisco Bay on February 22, 1901. Accounts of the number of number of persons who died in the disaster vary due to the fact that the ship's manifest, along with the ship's purser, were both lost -- and the survivors were not systematically identified and enumerated. However, more than 120 of approximately 200 passengers and crew perished, including the four members of the Wildman family.

Rounsevelle Wildman was survived by his brother, Edwin Wildman (1867-1932), a journalist and author who also served in Hong Kong from 1898-99 as Vice Consul and as Deputy Consul General (under his brother). The similarities of their names and vocations has given rise to some confusion and misattributions.


Link to Tarzan of the Apes

A four year-old child follows a tiger into the Indian jungle, hanging onto its tail. He flees when the tiger is trampled by wild cattle. While Baboo is not feral, he is fearless and highly competent in the jungle.

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Georges Dodds
William Hillman

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