Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
James Taylor Papers, 1809-1812

David P. Harris Collection

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: James Taylor papers
Creator: Harris, David P.
Inclusive dates: 1809-1812
Extent: 7 items
The James Taylor papers contain 7 letters and documents related to Taylor's tenure as paymaster at the United States Army barracks in Newport, Kentucky.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2009. M-4726.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

James Taylor papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is housed in a binder along with David P. Harris's transcriptions and notations.

History and Biography

James Taylor was born in Midway, Virginia, in 1769, the son of a wealthy plantation owner and a first cousin of Zachary Taylor. In 1791, his brother Hubbard founded the town of Newport, Kentucky, where James joined him the following year. James Taylor received a commission as a major in the Kentucky militia in 1800 and three years later persuaded the federal government to establish a fort near Newport. He became the superintendent of local construction and when the barracks were completed, they became a vital recruiting center and staging area for military actions along the western Ohio River. Taylor served with William Hull during the surrender of Detroit and later testified at Hull's court martial. He was promoted to colonel and general and became a wealthy and influential landowner. He and his wife, Keturah Moss Leitch, had 11 children, of whom 4 survived to maturity. James Taylor died in 1854. The Newport barracks continued to be a prominent military installation throughout the 19th century, and today the General James Taylor Park lies on the grounds of the old fort.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The James Taylor papers contain 5 letters and 2 documents related to Taylor's tenure as paymaster at the United States Army barracks in Newport, Kentucky.

The James Taylor papers consist of the following items:

  • January 3, 1809: James Taylor to Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, recommending Captain John Weaver, Kentucky Militia, for a commission in the United States Army
  • February 25, 1809: James Taylor to Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, describing the loss of a supply ship carrying grain and corn on the turbulent Ohio River
  • November 8, 1809: United States Army Paymaster Robert Brent to James Taylor, regarding the official status of Ensign Gilham and authorizing Taylor to pay army troops traveling past Newport on the Ohio River
  • November 11, 1809: James Taylor to Secretary of War William Eustis, reporting the progress of repairs and construction at Newport barracks and discussing reimbursement for related expenses
  • September 9, 1810: Captain Joseph Cross, Commanding Officer at Newport, ordering the garrison to refer to the post as Fort Eustis
  • August 15, 1811: Colonel John P. Boyd, Commanding Officer at Newport, return for wood, straw, lime, and brick used in construction at Newport barracks
  • [Mid-1812]: United States War Department, reconciling expenses incurred by James Taylor and presenting a summary of his expenses for 1811.

The donor has collected, arranged, transcribed, and annotated each document and has written a well-researched collection description.

Subject Terms

    • Newport (Ky.)
    • United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 4th.
    • United States. Army--Supplies and stores.
    • Taylor, James, 1769-1848.
    Genre Terms:
    • Accounts.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    James Taylor papers [series]:
    Volume   1 Pages   i-v
    Description of the collection and biography of James Taylor by David P. Harris
    Volume   1 Pages   1-3
     1809 January 3
    Volume   1 Pages   4-7
     1809 February 25
    Volume   1 Pages   8-9
     1809 November 8
    Volume   1 Pages   10-11
     1809 November 11
    Volume   1 Page   12
     1810 September 9
    Volume   1 Pages   13-14
     1811 August 15
    Volume   1 Pages   15-17
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Filson Historical Society, Indiana Historical Society, and Kentucky Historical Society hold collections of James Taylor papers.


    This finding aid draws heavily on original research done by the collection's donor, David P. Harris.