William Sylvester Taylor papers

Abstract

The William Sylvester Taylor papers (dated 1899-1937; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 reel) consist of materials related to the Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899 and its aftermath.

Descriptive Summary

Title
William Sylvester Taylor papers
Date
1899-1937 (inclusive)
Extent
0.1 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Assassination -- Politics and government -- Kentucky.
Governors.
Speeches, addresses, etc.
Arrangement
Arranged somewhat chronologically.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff
Preferred Citation
M-553: [identification of item], William Sylvester Taylor papers, 1899-1937, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Governor of Kentucky, politician, lawyer. William S. Taylor (1853-1928) was, after serving a term as Kentucky's attorney general, chosen as the Republican Party nominee for the 1899 gubernatorial contest. His opponents, in what was probably the most tumultuous election in Kentucky history, included representatives of two Democratic factions: state senator William Goebel (1856-1900) and former Governor John Young Brown (1835-1904). After a heated campaign the two front runners, Taylor and Goebel, waited over a month for the election commission's announcement of the official results. Shortly before inauguration day Taylor was declared the winner by about two thousand votes.
While a complaint filed by Goebel's supporters was pending before the legislature, an assassin wounded Goebel outside the capitol building. Taylor, ensconced in the state house and surrounded by militia, barred the heavily Democratic legislature from the building. They met in a hotel instead and declared Goebel as governor. Following a hasty inauguration, Goebel died and was succeeded by his lieutenant governor, J. W. C. Beckham. While the election results were being considered in the courts, Taylor and his Secretary of State, Caleb Powers, were accused of being accessories in the assassination. After the courts decided in favor of the Goebel-Beckham ticket, Taylor fled to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he practiced law and resisted extradition until he was pardoned by Governor Augustus E. Willson in 1909.
Scope and Content
The William Sylvester Taylor papers (dated 1899-1937; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 reel) consist of materials related to the Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899 and its aftermath. The collection is comprised of clippings, typescripts of newspaper clippings, legal documents and articles from Kentucky newspapers. Also present are certificates from the secretary of state's office, from Governor William O. Bradley (1847-1914) declaring that Taylor had won the election, and Willson's pardon of Taylor. Typescripts of the Democratic and Republican Party's platforms from 1899 and of Taylor's inaugural address are also present as are materials relating to and typescripts from a few of Caleb Powers' hearings.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

William Sylvester Taylor papers, 1899-1937

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.