Guide to the Papers of John W. Taylor, Speaker of the House 1810-1854 MG 1179
TABLE OF CONTENTS
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Laura Ruttum as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
John W. Taylor (1784-1854) served as Representative from New York for ten consecutive Congresses-from 1813 to 1833-and as Speaker of the House for the sixteenth and nineteenth Congresses (1819-1821 and 1825-1827, respectively). Taylor was a noted anti-slavery leader, arguing against allowing the introduction of slavery in the new territories of Missouri and Arkansas, eventually pushing for the exclusion of slavery in all new territories.
Taylor was born to Judge John Taylor and Chloe Cox on March 26, 1784, in Charlton, New York. He was descended from Edward Taylor, an immigrant from England who settled on a property known as “Garret’s Hill” in Monmouth County, New Jersey in 1692.
Taylor received his early education at home. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1803, studied law for several years, and was admitted to the bar in 1807, at which time he established a private practice with Samuel Cook in Ballston Spa, New York. Over the course of his career, he served as Justice of the Peace, a member of the State assembly, Representative from New York, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and member of the State Senate from 1840 to 1841. In 1806 he was married to Jane Hodge, with whom he had eight children over the next 18 years: Sarah, James, Elizabeth, Malvina, John, Charles, Oscar and Edgar. His wife Jane passed away in 1838.
Over the course of his career, John W. Taylor distinguished himself in the House with his anti-slavery actions, including support of the amendment of James Tallmadge to the Missouri bill, submitting a similar amendment to the bill organizing the Arkansas Territory, and delivering some of the first anti-slavery speeches in Congress.
After failing in his bid for reelection in 1832-a failure he later credited to his anti-slavery efforts-Taylor returned home to private practice and the responsibility of serving as a member of the State Senate from 1840 to 1841. In that year he suffered a paralytic stroke, forcing his resignation. In 1843 he moved to live with his daughter in Cleveland, Ohio, where he died on September 18, 1854. He lies buried in the City Cemetery in Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, New York.
This collectionconsist of a manuscript genealogy and a bound volume that serves as docket and personal journal containing newspaper clippings, receipts and letters.
The bound volume began as a legal docket kept by John W. Taylor from 1809 to 1811, while he served as a justice of the Saratoga County, New York, Court of Common Pleas. It records court cases, receipts of payment, receipts of land grants, marriages, and his duties and transactions as executor of John Richards’s estate. A letter regarding a land grant, written by William A. Crawford, (1772-1834) Secretary of War, is also tipped into the ledger.
The back of the volume contains detailed family records brought from Charlton by Luisa Taylor in 1845, including: a copy of a letter from Edward Taylor-John’s cousin-discussing the family lineage and the possibility of a family fortune in England that was left to heirs of “Edward the emigrant,” their predecessor; a newspaper clipping concerning the death of Charles Edward Taylor, John W.’s son; and a biography on John W. Taylor, of unknown authorship.
Another entry within the journal contains the following quotation about a Taylor family member, “…kitchen full of colored servants, the posterity of [his] father’s slaves. M.L. Tindal says 13 in 1846.”
The family genealogical tree begins with Edward the emigrant-the ancestor who moved to the U.S. colonies from England-and continues forward five generations. The genealogy contains no dates.
Names represented in the docket and journal include: Clothier, Cook, Curtis, Richards and Seeley.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
For related materials in print on John W. Taylor, see:
Annals of Congress, 15 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 1170-93, 16 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 958-66.
Spann, Edward K. (1957) John W. Taylor, The Reluctant Partisan, 1784-1854 PhD dissertation, New York University.
For related collections on John W. Taylor at the New Jersey Historical Society, see:
Taylor Family Genealogy Files: Reunion of the family of Joseph Taylor, at Middletown, New Jersey, in 1861
For related collections on John W. Taylor at other institutions, see:
John W. Taylor Papers, New-York Historical Society
John W. Taylor Papers, New York Public Library
John W. Taylor Papers, New York State Library
Donated by Mrs. John C. Long of Princeton in 1973. This collection was included among a larger body of Taylor family genealogical material.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1179, John W. Taylor Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress: 1774-1989. (1989) Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.
Malone, Dumas, ed. (1936) Dictionary of American Biography. v. 18, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, pp. 335-336.