From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Taylor, Sallie Ann

(born: 1822  -  died: 1909) 

Sallie Ann Taylor has been considered the first African American teacher in Harrodsburg, KY. She was the slave of Major James Taylor. The following information comes from an email received from the Harrodsburg Historical Society (Marilyn B. Allen) dated August 3, 2012: "We know that [James] Taylor owned Sallie Ann prior to Emancipation and that she was the personal maid to his two older daughters. Sarah Taylor, the oldest daughter, was born in 1830 and our records state that Sallie Ann was older than her; however, we do not have her exact birth date." An approximate birth date of 1822 is given in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Sallie Ann Taylor. "We also know that Sallie Ann was educated along with the daughters and by them when they went outside of the home to school." Sallie Ann Taylor would become a teacher and taught other slaves prior to their freedom. "She started a school for free blacks in the cottage that James Taylor provided for her and her mother to live in on the Taylor property." Her mother's name was Lettitia Easton [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census], and according to the information received from the Harrodsburg Historical Society, Lettitia Easton was born March 25, 1800, and died April 13, 1884. "James [Taylor] later built and furnished her [Sally Ann Taylor] a school on said property." The schoolhouse was near Pioneer Memorial State Park. Sallie Ann Taylor is listed in the 1880 and the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as a school teacher in Mercer County. "Sallie Ann remained with the Taylor Family after Emancipation and assisted Sarah [Taylor] in rearing 7 children in this home [Old Fort Harrod State Park's Mansion Museum]. She [Sallie Ann Taylor] died in 1909." Another source, also recommended by the Harrodsburg Historical Society, is the title The History of Harrodsburg and "the Great Settlement Area" of KY, 1774-1900 by G. M. Chinn, which gives the following additional information on p.142: "Later, when a negro school district was organized in Harrodsburg, two small cottages were rented from Sally Taylor for school buildings." Another early African American teacher in Harrodsburg was Susan Mary Craig. For more see "The First Negro School Teacher" within the article "Mercer County slaves who have contributed to community life," Olde Towne Ledger, no. 73 (August 2001); and visit the Old Fort Harrod State Park and the Harrodsburg Historical Society

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Mercer County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Harrodsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The History of Harrodsburg and "the great settlement area" of Kentucky, 1774-1900
NKAA Source: Olde towne ledger (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Schools in Mercer County, KY
NKAA Entry:  Craig, Susan Mary

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Taylor, Sallie Ann,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed December 4, 2020,

Last modified: 2020-06-10 00:28:15