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Guide to the James Monroe Taylor Papers, 1865-1916

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Taylor, James Monroe, 1848-1916
Title: James Monroe Taylor Papers
Dates: 1865-1916
Quantity: 4.2 cubic ft (20 boxes and 1 metal tube)
Abstract: Personal and professional papers relating to Taylor's tenure as President of Vassar College as well as his larger interests in education and religion. Includes Correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, articles, and certificates.
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Biographical Note

James Monroe Taylor (1848-1916), fourth president of Vassar College, was born in Brooklyn, NY, and pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Rochester. In 1871 he was graduated from Rochester Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Baptist ministry. After a year of travel in Europe he assumed pastorates in South Norwalk CT, and later in Providence, RI. He was married in 1873 to Kate Huntington.

In 1886 the trustees of Vassar elected James Monroe Taylor president of the college. One of his first actions upon arriving at Vassar was to abolish the preparatory division, a step that did much to raise academic standards. Taylor also worked for the endowment of professorships and broadened the curriculum to include history, economics, psychology, religion, art, and music, as well as more laboratory-based science courses. During his twenty-eight-year administration the student body more than tripled in size, and Taylor inspired in Vassar graduates an intense loyalty to the college. He turned down an offer to the presidency of Brown University in 1899. As president, Taylor conducted daily chapel, regularly taught classes, administered most of the details of the college's academic operations, and found time to write several books. He set a high standard at Vassar for academic excellence. He also toured and spoke frequently, enhancing both Vassar's reputation and his own standing as an educator. When Taylor retired in 1914, he had been in poor health; and he died from pneumonia two years later.

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Scope and Content Note

The Taylor Papers primarily concern Vassar College and the education of women and include his manuscript addresses, articles, and sermons, 1868-1913; records of faculty appointments at Vassar, ca. 1887-ca. 1913; correspondence, including his letters to Cornelia M. Raymond, 1886-1916, concerning offer of the Presidency at Brown University, lecture at Vassar by Charles Zueblin, student issues, woman's suffrage, founding date of Mount Holyoke College, religious questions, protection of Vassar students, Vassar students and the New York shirtwaist workers strike of 1910, faculty matters including a conflict between Abby Leach and Grace H. Macurdy, and other issues related to women's education; copies of his publications; notes, research materials, and manuscript of his book Before Vassar Opened ; and clippings, photographs, passport, certificates, and other miscellaneous items.

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Access

This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

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Subject Headings

Names:

  • Leach, Abby, 1855-1918.
  • Macurdy, Grace Harriet, 1866-1946.
  • Raymond, Cornelia Morse, 1861-1952.
  • Zueblin, Charles, 1866-1924.

Organizations:

  • Brown University.
  • Mount Holyoke College.
  • Vassar College--Faculty.
  • Vassar College--Presidents.
  • Vassar College--Students.

Subjects:

  • Baptists--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie.
  • Clergy.
  • College presidents.
  • Strikes and lockouts--Clothing trade.
  • Women college students--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie.
  • Women's colleges--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie.
  • Women--Education.
  • Women--Suffrage

Places:

  • Poughkeepsie (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.

Document Types:

  • Photoprints.
  • Sermons.
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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, April 2007.

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Preferred Citation

James Monroe Taylor Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown. Description of materials in box 19 added March 2007 by Laura Finkel. Items from Mary Taylor Gunman (A2007-038) added July 2007 by Laura Finkel.

Acquisition Information

Gifts of James Monroe Taylor, Margaret E. Taylor, Cornelia Raymond, and Mary Taylor Gunman.

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Container List

  • Folder 1.1 Addresses and articles, n.d. (mainly mss)
  • Folder 1.2 Addresses and articles, 1868-1874 (mainly mss)
  • Folder 1.3 Addresses and articles, 1881-1886 (mainly mss)
  • Folder 1.4 Addresses and articles, 1895-1901 (mainly mss)
  • Folder 2.5 Addresses and articles, 1903-1904 (mainly mss)
  • Folder 2.6 Addresses and articles, 1905-1908 (mainly mss)
  • Folder 2.7 Addresses and articles, 1909-1913 (mainly mss)
  • Folder 2.8 Address at dedication of Taylor Hall, May 1915
  • Folder 2.9 Clippings about addresses (photocopies)
  • Folder 3.10 Miscellaneous sermons, 1878, 1880
  • Folder 3.11 Baccalaureate sermons, 1887-1894
  • Folder 3.12 Baccalaureate sermons, 1895-1905
  • Folder 3.13 Baccalaureate sermons, 1906-1909
  • Folder 3.14 Baccalaureate sermons, 1910-1913
  • Folders 4.15-4.16 National Education Association materials
  • Folder 5.17 Faculty appointments A - B
  • Folder 5.18 Faculty appointments C - H
  • Folder 5.19 Faculty appointments J - P
  • Folder 5.20 Faculty appointments R
  • Folder 5.21 Faculty appointments S - Z
  • Folder 6.22 Miscellaneous biographical materials
  • Folder 6.22 Miscellaneous biographical and family materials, ca. 1890-1917
  • Folder 6.23 Miscellaneous Taylor and Vassar materials
  • Folder 6.24 Letters written by Taylor, 1886-1898, n.d.
  • Folder 6.25 Letters written by Taylor, 1899-1915
  • Folder 6.26 Letters written by Taylor to Cornelia M. Raymond, 1887-1916
  • Folder 7.26a Letters to Taylor, 1886-1913
  • Folder 7.27 Taylor - Brown University correspondence, including invitation to become president of Brown University, 1898-1899
  • Folder 7.28 Letter of refusal to Brown University (printed copies)
  • Folder 7.29 Alumnae correspondence re: Brown University
  • Folder 7.30 Faculty correspondence re: Brown University
  • Folder 7.31 Miscellaneous correspondence re: Brown University
  • Folder 7.32 Clippings re: Brown University's invitation, (photocopies)
  • Folders 8.33-8.36 Abby Leach - Grace H. Macurdy conflict, May 1897 - Oct 1910
  • Folder 9.37 Correspondence relating to controversial lecture at Vassar by Charles Zueblin, 1910
  • Folder 9.38 Letter to Vassar's "Reconstruction Committee," 23 April 1887
  • Folder 9.39 List of books in James Monroe Taylor's library
  • Folder 9.40 James Monroe Taylor's reading lists and notes
  • Folder 9.41 James Monroe Taylor's "reviews" of books read (bound ledger)
  • Folder 10.42 Obituaries, eulogies and memorials (including photocopies of many clippings)
  • Folder 10.42a Publication: James Monroe Taylor; a Memorial
  • Folder 10.43 Taylor family
  • Folders 11.44-11.46 James Monroe Taylor's publications
  • Folders 12.47-12.48 Before Vassar Opened — notes and data
  • Folder 12.49 Before Vassar Opened — Materials used, including catalogues of Brown, Harvard and Yale, 1865-1866
  • Folder 13.50 Before Vassar Opened — Materials used, including Cornell catalogue, 1876-1877
  • Folder 13.51 Before Vassar Opened — Manuscript
  • Folder 13.52 Vassar [by Taylor and Haight] — notes and mss. on Samuel L. Caldwell for Chapter VI
  • Folders 14.53-14.54 Photographs — early and miscellaneous information concerning photos
  • Folder 14.55 Photographs — mid-years
  • Folder 14.56 Photographs — later
  • Folder 15.57 Passports and travel accounts, 1871, 1895
  • Folder 15.58 Presidency of Vassar, Election, etc., 1886
  • Folder 15.59 Clippings — arrival at Vassar and Vassar career (mostly photocopies)
  • Folder 15.60 Clippings — Vassar
  • Folder 15.61 Expulsion of Elizabeth Rector, special student, 1888 - February 1890
  • Folder 15.62 Assignment of space in Rockefeller Hall, 1897
  • Folder 16.62a Suffrage at Vassar — Class of 1912 petition, and miscellaneous correspondence through 1907
  • Folder 16.63 Suffrage at Vassar — Correspondence, 1908
  • Folder 16.64 Suffrage at Vassar — Faculty meeting, 19 March 1909 and related matters
  • Folder 16.65 Suffrage at Vassar — Correspondence, 1909-1913
  • Folder 16.66 Suffrage at Vassar — Clippings, (photocopies)
  • Folder 16.67 Suffrage at Vassar — Letters relating to "The 'Conservatism' of Vassar," an address to Vassar alumnae, 1909
  • Folder 17.68 Correspondence concerning founding date of Mount Holyoke, 1909-1911
  • Folder 17.69 Religious questions raised by Bolce article in Cosmopolitan, 1910
  • Folder 17.70 Correspondence concerning protection of Vassar girls, 1910
  • Folder 17.71 Correspondence concerning Vassar students and the labor movement, including the New York shirtwaist strike, 1910
  • Folder 17.72 Whitehead thesis controversy, 1910
  • Folder 17.73 Correspondence concerning creation of assistant professorships at Vassar, 1913
  • Folder 17.74 "Petition of the 13," related to faculty-trustee communication, 1913
  • Folder 17.75 James Monroe Taylor's resignation from Vassar, 1913
  • Folder 17.76 Pictures found with the Taylor Papers, (5 items)
  • Box 18 A collection of mss and papers used in preparing Before Vassar Opened
  • Folder 19.1 Biographical notes collected by Taylor re: Charles A. Raymond
  • Folder 19.2 Correspondence — Mary W. Whitney to Taylor, 25, 27 Jan 1913, n.d.
  • Folder 19.3 Correspondence — Paul Monroe to Taylor, 9 Dec 1913
  • Folder 19.4 Correspondence — Edward Lathrop to Taylor, 7 June 1905
  • Folder 19.5 Correspondence — F.C. French — to and from Taylor, 8 June 1900 - 14 May 1902
  • Folder 19.6 Correspondence — Minna Hinkel re: resignation of her father, Charles Hinkle, 22 April 1890
  • Folder 19.7 Correspondence — re: resignation and death of Abby F. Goodsell, 1891, 1893
  • Folder 19.8 Correspondence — LeRoy C. Cooley to Taylor, 30 Oct 1906 and July 1915
  • Folder 19.9 Miscellaneous items collected by Taylor re: V.C. history and humor
  • Box 20 Letterbook, 1889-1894 (1 item)
  • Tube Diplomas, (3 items)
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