From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Taylor, Bartlett

(born: 1815) 

Bartlett 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. After the sale, 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 a 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.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henderson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Oldham County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Warren County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Shelby County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about La Grange, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bowling Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Shelbyville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Shelby County, KY
NKAA Source: Afro-American encyclopedia
NKAA Source: History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, a Negro order organized August 1, 1861 in the city of Louisville, Ky
NKAA Source: Men of mark: eminent, progressive and rising. By Rev. William J. Simmons. With an introductory sketch of the author by Rev. Henry M. Turner

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Caterers, Butchers, Confectioners, Ice Cream (Louisville, KY)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Taylor, Bartlett,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 23, 2020,

Last modified: 2019-10-03 15:50:48