Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
 

Nathaniel W. Taylor papers, circa 1822

Summary Information

Abstract

Nathaniel William Taylor (1786-1858); Protestant theologian, professor, and founder of the Yale College Theological Department (later Yale Divinity School). The collection contains handwritten lecture notes taken by a student (possibly Joshua Leavitt) in Taylor's courses, as well as one bound manuscript volume of Taylor's "Mental Philosophy."

At a Glance

Bib ID 4492501 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Taylor, Nathaniel W (Nathaniel William), 1786-1858 ; Leavitt, Joshua, 1794-1873
Title Nathaniel W. Taylor papers, circa 1822
Physical Description 1 box (1 box; 0.5 linear feet)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is open for research.

Onsite storage.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in one series in original order.

Description

Scope and Contents

This collection contains handwritten lecture notes taken by a student (possibly Joshua Leavitt) in Professor Taylor's courses in 1822; file titles were taken from headings provided in the notes. This series also contains one bound manuscript volume of Taylor's "Mental Philosophy."

  • Nathaniel W. Taylor papers, circa 1822

    This series contains handwritten lecture notes taken by a student (possibly Joshua Leavitt) in Professor Taylor's courses in 1822; file titles were taken from headings provided in the notes. This series also contains one bound manuscript volume of Taylor's "Mental Philosophy."

Burke Library record group:

Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students

Using the Collection

Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Onsite storage.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.

Collection materials are brittle and may necessitate restriction in handling and copying. Please consult staff for assistance with use.

Preferred Citation

Item Description, UTS1: Nathaniel W. Taylor papers, [1822], box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Custodial History

Legacy documentation suggests that notes were taken by a student named Joshua Leavitt in 1822, though this is unconfirmed. The transcriptionist of "Mental Philosophy" is unknown, but this volume is impressed with an Auburn Theological Seminary bookplate, suggesting it came from that seminary's special collections.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Processing Information

Manuscript and lecture notes were cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-14. The Taylor papers were among a large group of unprocessed material that was organized in 2016-2017 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; materials were placed in new acid-free envelopes and an archival document box. The finding aid was created by Rebecca Nieto in 2017 and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Lecture notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Taylor, Nathaniel W (Nathaniel William), 1786-1858 -- : Archives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Yale College (1718-1887). Theological Department Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Nathaniel William Taylor was a prominent Protestant theologian, professor, and founder of Yale Divinity School. Born on June 23, 1786 in New Milford, Connecticut, Taylor occupied an influential place in Protestant history in New England, as well as in the history of religious studies at Yale University. After graduating from Yale College in 1807 (he had entered when he was only fourteen years old), Taylor became a pastor at the First Church of New Haven in 1812. Taylor eventually returned to Yale and, under the mentorship of college president Timothy Dwight, founded a Theological Department at the university, which would later become Yale Divinity School. Upon the school's creation in 1822, Taylor became the seminary's first Dwight Professor of Didactic Theology. Taylor was admired in his role both as a teacher and leader within the new seminary, blending rhetorical skills with philosophical ideas.Taylor also presided over the School's rhetorical society, which brought together students for evening debates that he moderated and judged. Many of these debates centered on the "peculiar institution" of slavery and its maintenance in American society at that time, with Taylor often judging in favor of the institution, a stance he would later recant.

Taylor was an early supporter of revivalist theology during the Second Great Awarkening, and played a major role in repudiating Calvinistic leanings across several denominations, particularly the concept of determinism in "Old Calvinist" camps. Taylor and Dwight's concomitant embrace of this aspect of revivalism (which prioritized human freedom over omnipotence) led to the formation of New Haven Theology, also called Taylorism. Taylor and Dwight's leanings were complimented by the theology of significant figures in the Awakening such as Charles Finney, and animated the trend of theological liberalism across New England congregations during his lifetime. Nathaniel W. Taylor was the author of a number of lectures, books, and practical sermons, all published posthumously. He died on March 10, 1858 at the age of 71.