Taylor, Bayard

The most famous American travel writer of his day, Taylor strongly supported the Union with poetry and lectures in 1861. He served Lincoln as a diplomat and wrote Ballad of Abraham Lincoln, a poem for children, in 1869. He is said also to have written America's first gay novel, Joseph and His Friend, in 1870.
Life Span
to
Full name
Bayard Taylor
Place of Birth
Burial Place
Birth Date Certainty
Exact
Death Date Certainty
Exact
Gender
Male
Race
White
Sectional choice
North
Origins
Free State
No. of Spouses
2
No. of Children
1
Family
Joseph Taylor (father), Rebecca Way (mother), May Agnew (first wife), Maria Hansen (second wife)
Occupation
Diplomat
Educator
Journalist
Writer or Artist
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
Political Parties
Republican
Government
Lincoln Administration (1861-65)
Hayes Administration (1877-81)
Diplomat

Bayard Taylor (American National Biography)

Scholarship
During the Civil War Taylor served as Washington correspondent for the Tribune until, in May 1862, he was appointed secretary of legation under the U.S. minister to Russia at St. Petersburg--a post he resigned in 1863, after serving with some distinction. He was influential in persuading Russia to extend support and friendship to the Union but not specific aid. He returned home to publish Hannah Thurston (1863), the first of four competent but unremarkable novels. In 1867 the Taylors were off for Europe once again, and Bayard nearly died there from a bout of Roman fever. From 1868 to 1870 he dedicated himself to finishing the task for which he is now most famous: a translation in original meters of Goethe's Faust (2 vols., 1870-1871), which was for years regarded as the finest. From 1870 to 1877 Taylor was a nonresident professor of German literature at Cornell University, and as his fame in Germany grew he planned to write biographies of both Goethe and Schiller. In 1876 he delivered the prestigious Centennial Ode and published what many critics today regard as his most interesting work, the satirical volume of poems entitled The Echo Club and Other Literary Diversions.
Cary Wolfe, "Taylor, Bayard," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-01608.html.
How to Cite This Page: "Taylor, Bayard," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/23103.