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John Taylor

Member From: 1779 - 1785

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  • Birth Date: 1953 Birth Place:
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian, English
  • Spouse:
  • Children:
  • Religion:
  • Education: Student at William & Mary, 1771-1772 studied law,
  • Military Service: At the onset of the Revolutionary War he joined the Continental army, becoming a colonel of cavalry. Joined the Virginia Militia serving under Patrick Henry and later William Woodford. On December 9, 1775 he participated in the Battle of Great Bridge. Elected major by the Continental Congress in the Continental Army serving in campaigns near New York and Philadelphia. He resigned his commission in 1779. In 1780 he returned to the army as a Lt. Colonel having formed a regiment of volunteers from Caroline County
  • Occupation/Profession: Lawyer, began his practice in Caroline County in 1777
  • Memberships/Affiliations: First president of the Virginia Agricultural Society
  • Additional Info: He was the son of James Taylor and Ann Pollard. She was a sister of Sarah Pollard, wife of House Speaker Edmund Pendleton, making John Taylor Pendleton’s nephew. Taylor was of the same line as General Zachary Taylor, who became the President of the United States.

    He wrote several books on politics and agriculture. He was a Jeffersonian Republican and his works provided inspiration to the later states' rights and libertarian movements. Sheldon and Hill (2008) locate Taylor at the intersection of republicanism and classical liberalism. They see his position as a "combination of a concern with Lockean natural rights, freedom, and limited government along with a classical interest in strong citizen participation in rule to prevent concentrated power and wealth, political corruption, and financial manipulation"; Charles Beard, the author of Economic Origins of Jefferson Democracy, called Taylor “the philosopher and statesman of agrarianism and the most systematic thinker” of the Jeffersonian Republican Party
    Taylor was a prolific political writer, and was the author of "An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States," 1814; "Construction Construed and the Constitution Vindicated." 1820; "Tyranny Unmasked. 1822; "New Views of the Constitution of the United States." 1823.
    He was also a scientific agriculturist. His little books. "Arator," being a series of agricultural essays, practical and political. 1818, was one of the first American books on agriculture.

  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: In 1792 he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Richard Henry Lee in the United States Senate, and was elected to the term that began March 4, 1793, but resigned, May 11, 1794. Returned to the United States Senate (1803, 1822–24). He appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Stevens Thomson Mason, and served from June 4, 1803, until December 7, 1803, when he resigned. In 1822, he was appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of James Pleasants, and was elected later to serve the regular term for six years beginning December 18, 1822, but died at his estate in Caroline county, August 20, 1824.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1779 Caroline Jeffersonian-Republican Courts of Justice
Propositions and Grievances
1780-1781 Caroline Jeffersonian-Republican Courts of Justice
Privileges and Elections
Propositions and Grievances
1781-1782 Caroline Jeffersonian-Republican Courts of Justice
Privileges and Elections
1783 Caroline Jeffersonian-Republican Courts of Justice
Propositions and Grievances
1784-1785 Caroline Jeffersonian-Republican Claims
Courts of Justice
Privileges and Elections
Propositions and Grievances

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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