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
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
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

Researchers are encouraged to request collections at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Questions? Contact us at https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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Researchers are encouraged to request collections at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Questions? Contact us at https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.