Lyman Beecher and the 1837 Presbyterian schism

Ulysses S. Grant new book update 2009-07-20

Rev. William Taylor was said to be the superintendent of the school Grant attended in Ripley, Ohio. I questioned if this Taylor could be the famous Rev. Nathaniel William Taylor of New Haven who was close friends with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s father, Rev. Lyman Beecher, then living in Cincinnati.

I read “Nathaniel Taylor, New Haven Theology, and the Legacy of Jonathan Edwards” by Douglas A. Sweeney and wrote to Dr. Sweeney to find out if Rev Taylor could have superintended Ulysses S. Grant’s Presbyterian academy in 1838-1839 — even though Rev Taylor was thought to be in New Haven at the time. Nathaniel William Taylor and Lyman Beecher were best friends — both had graduated from Yale Divinity School, and their friendship continued until death–they are even buried in the same family plot! They were both main characters in the Presbyterian schism in 1837–particularly N. W. Taylor. (See www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org) Reverend Taylor and Beecher helped create the ‘New School Presbyterians’ at the time Grant was attending Ripley’s Presbyterian Academy.

My research so far proves that Rev. William Taylor, superintendent of Grant’s school, was probably NOT the same person as Rev. N. William Taylor, Lyman Beecher’s friend.

An aside: Lyman Beecher’s friend Rev. Nathaniel William Taylor was the next-door neighbor to Lewis Tappan of the Mercantile Agency [precursor to Dun and Bradstreet] who employed U. S. Grant as a credit correspondent before the Civil War. The Tappan brothers financially helped William Lloyd Garrison in his abolitionist activities, and in turn William Lloyd Garrison supported John Rankin, owner of Grant’s school, in his abolitionist activities.

The Tappan’s used their connections in the anti-slavery movement to find credit reporters for the Mercantile Agency. Along with Grant’s father, Jesse, being a radical voice for the anti-slavery movement, Ulysses may have received reference to work for the Tappan brothers from the family of John Rankin, or other anti-slavery connections through his father.

What we want to know is the exact years between 1849-1850s Ulysses Grant was employed with the Tappans. …waiting for an email reply from Dun & Bradstreet.

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Speaking of Cincinnati I just found “The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center”‎ on the google map at 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH‎. Worth a trip!

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