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Birth Year : 1815
Taylor, a slave born in Henderson County, KY, was the son of a slave woman and her owner, Jonathan Taylor. Both of Bartlett Taylor's parents had come to Kentucky from Virginia. When he was a small child, the sheriff withdrew a portion of the slaves as payment toward Jonathan Taylor's financial debts. Included in the roundup were Bartlett Taylor's mother, her baby, and her four oldest sons. Jonathan Taylor left Henderson County and settled in LaGrange, KY. He had brought with him his remaining slaves, which included Bartlett and his sisters, all of whom were eventually sold as payment for more of Jonathan Taylor's debts. Bartlett hired himself out in Louisville, KY, with the intention of purchasing his freedom. He was sold, but he managed to get his emancipation papers with the promise of payment; Bartlett finalized the payment in 1840. He learned to read and write and also became a butcher. Bartlett owned a retail and wholesale business that packaged and shipped meat and traded and shipped livestock. He became a fairly wealthy man who owned several homes and lots on East Market Street in Louisville. He was also an African Methodist Episcopal [AME] Church minister who contributed financially toward the founding and building of churches. Bartlett Taylor was considered the church builder of the Kentucky AME Conference. In 1872, he built the largest AME Church in the state in Bowling Green, KY. In 1881, while a pastor in Shelbyville, KY, he negotiated with the city for a permit, then paid for a school building for African American children and the employment of teachers. Bartlett Taylor also served as treasurer of Wilberforce University beginning in 1864 and was a trustee for sixteen years. Bartlett Taylor and his wife, Marian [Mary] Taylor (b. 1826 in Indiana) are listed as living in Louisville in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Bartlett Taylor entry in the following sources: Afro-American Encyclopedia; History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson; and Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky