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 Bartlett was a small child, the sheriff withdrew a portion of the Taylor 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, along with 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 yet managed to get his emancipation papers with a promise of payment; Bartlett finalized the payment in 1840.

Bartlett learned to read and write and also became a butcher. He owned a retail and wholesale business that packaged and shipped meat and also traded and shipped livestock. He became a fairly wealthy man who owned several homes and lots on East Market Street in Louisville.

Bartlett was also an African Methodist Episcopal [AME] Church minister who contributed financially toward the founding and building of churches; he 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 16 years. He 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 entries 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.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Taylor, Bartlett,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-09-29 17:43:46