Timeline

Chronology of the Life and Ministry of James Brainerd Taylor
& Post-Death Activity

[1747]
October 9–Maternal cousin, four times removed, David Brainerd (1718–1747), dies from tuberculosis in the home of Jonathan Edwards in Northampton, Massachusetts.

1801
April 15–Born in Middle Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut.

1813
Almost dies of typhus fever.

1814
Attends common school, most likely Union Academy, in Wallingford, Connecticut.

1815
Begins working in a store of a hardware merchant in New York City; does so until 1819.

1816
September 15–Makes a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ at Cedar Street Presbyterian Church, New York City.

1817
Fall–As its assistant superintendent, begins teaching a class for African-Americans for the New York Sunday School Union Society No. 34, attached to St. George's Episcopal Church, New York City.

1819
May 24–Watches Dr. John Scudder, America's first-ever medical missionary, depart for India from a wharf in New York City; soon after the event, receives a call to the gospel ministry and commences on a projected eight-year course of preparatory studies.

1820
January 13–Begins his studies at a Presbyterian academy five miles south of Princeton, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

February–Within a month of arriving at the academy in Lawrenceville, establishes a weekly prayer meeting in the midst of "huts and smoky cabins" three miles from town, and among a people who seldom or never attend church.

1821
July–Establishes a Sunday school for African-Americans in a village near Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Fall–While riding on a steamboat in New Jersey, meets and befriends Cherokee Indian chief Major Ridge; takes him to visit his son, John Ridge, at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut.

1822
Spring–Parents and some siblings "become hopefully pious" during a revival in Middle Haddam, Connecticut.

April 20–In the form of a letter, writes to one of his several "fathers" in the ministry, itinerant evangelist Asahel Nettleton, about a revival in Middle Haddam, Connecticut; requests Nettleton's ministerial assistance.

April 23–In Haddam, Connecticut, experiences a "second conversion" whereby he attains, after six long years, "full assurance of faith/salvation" (Heb. 10:22) and the entire consecration he felt was necessary for a minister of the gospel to possess. Considers leaving school to enter the ministry full-time, but decides against it.

1823
September 22–Graduates from the academy in Lawrenceville, New Jersey; delivers the Valedictory address and the Honorary Oration on Science at the commencement ceremony.

October–While active in a revival in East Haddam, Connecticut, meets and befriends itinerant evangelist Noah C. Saxton, one of his future ministerial mentors.

November 6–Begins his undergraduate studies at the College of New Jersey (Princeton University); enters with a sophomore standing.

1824
January 27–Signs a bond with the trustees of Princeton regarding his agreement with the school's stipulations for his receiving financial aid for the purpose of becoming a Presbyterian minister.

Spring–Is active in a revival in and near Colchester, Connecticut.

Fall–Is active in a revival in New York City.

1825
February 4–Initiates the founding of a secret student Christian Society at Princeton called the Philadelphian Society of Nassau Hall in his room with three of his classmates. The Society functions until 1930, when it becomes the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship (1931– ).

April/May–Is active in a revival in Rahway, New Jersey.

1826
June 21–Makes a written resolution to put more effort into evangelizing his fellow students at Princeton.

August–Develops health problems while visiting his family in Middle Haddam, Connecticut.

September 27–Receives his undergraduate degree from Princeton with honors; is unable to deliver an honorary oration because of illness.

December–Begins his studies at the Theological Seminary of Yale College (i.e., Yale Divinity School) in New Haven, Connecticut.

1827
Spring–Is active in revivals in the south central Connecticut towns of Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford, and Trumbull; through his instrumentality, the revival also hits Yale and town of New Haven.

Fall–Health rapidly worsens; begins to cough up blood.

1828
January/February–Suspends his studies at Yale due to his failing health; resides in New York City with his brothers.

March 15–Arrives by boat in Charleston, South Carolina; in an effort to regain his health, visits the warm climate states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Summer to Early Fall–Resides in Middle Haddam, Connecticut; is a major instrument in the conversion of George Champion, a future foreign missionary to the Zulus of South Africa.

October 8–Licensed as an evangelist in East Haddam, Connecticut, by the Middlesex Consociation of the Congregational Church.

October 9–With a tearful farewell to family and friends, departs Middle Haddam, Connecticut, for the last time.

October 19–At a medical examination in New York City, learned that his health problems are due to a spinal infection (later learned a lung infection/tuberculosis that had spread to the spine).

November 1–His portrait is completed in New York City by Samuel Waldo and William Jewett; an engraving of the portrait later appears in the frontispiece to various editions of the Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor.

November 4–Sets sail from New York City for his second and final trip to the South; arrives in Petersburg, Virginia, then visits Powhatan and Richmond before settling in Prince Edward County.

December 7–Arrives at the home of Dr. and Mrs. John Holt Rice of Union Theological Seminary, Hampden-Sydney College, Prince Edward County, Virginia.

1829
March 1–Writes his last will and testimony, the last writing with his own hand; hereafter has to use an amanuensis (secretary), Mrs. Anne Rice.

March 9–Brother Fitch Taylor arrives to minister to James alongside Mrs. Anne Rice during James's last days.

Sunday, March 29, 6:30 p.m.–Dies from tuberculosis seventeen days shy of his twenty-eighth birthday.




Post-Death Activity

1833
Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor by John Holt Rice (d. September 3, 1831) and his surviving brother Benjamin Holt Rice is published.

1838
A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainerd Taylor by Fitch W. Taylor is published.

1855
On the thirtieth anniversary of the American Tract Society, Taylor's second edition memoir is the Society's fifth most printed memoir with 50,787 copies printed since its appearance in 1833.

1998
Monday, July 6–The Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor, Second Edition (NY: American Tract Society, 1833) is purchased for $10 at a used bookstore in Manchester, Connecticut, by Francis Kyle.

2001
Easter/Resurrection Sunday, April 15–The bicentennial anniversary of Taylor's birth.

2005
October–Master of Theology thesis for Toronto Baptist Seminary (Canada), An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist in America's Second Great Awakening by I. Francis Kyle III, is approved.

2006
Spring–Article "'One face . . . of intense brightness to behold': The life and spirituality of James Brainerd Taylor" by I. Francis Kyle III appears in Eusebeia: The Bulletin of The Jonathan Edwards Center for Reformed Spirituality, issue 6, pages 61–76. (Journal name since changed to Eusebeia: The Bulletin of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. Michael Haykin, editor. Published by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.)

2007
May 9–Google Book Search digitalizes Harvard University's copy of A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainerd Taylor; makes the 1838 memoir available online at no cost.

July 10–Google Book Search digitalizes New York Public Library's second edition copy of the Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor (1833).

NovemberBlog for Uncommon Christian Ministries is launched by UCM founder Francis Kyle.

December 11–Google Book Search digitalizes Harvard University's copy of Sketches of the Religious Experience and Labors of a Layman: With an Appendix (1860) by one of J. B. Taylor's older brothers, Jeremiah Humphre Taylor.

2008
JanuaryAn Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist in America's Second Great Awakening by I. Francis Kyle III is published (University Press of America). Foreword by John F. Thornbury.

January 15–Web site for the evangelism- and discipleship-themed Uncommon Christian Ministries is launched online by founder Francis Kyle.

February 22–Google Book Search digitalizes Harvard University's second edition copy of the Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor (1833).

March 15–Paper on James Brainerd Taylor is presented by Francis Kyle at the Pacific Northwest regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society at Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon.

JuneOf Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd by I. Francis Kyle III (editor and introductory essay author) is published (University Press of America). Foreword by James M. Houston. Epilogue by Peter Adam.

October 3 and 14–National press releases about An Uncommon Christian, Of Intense Brightness and Uncommon Christian Ministries are sent to over 1,200 U.S. media outlets via Christian Newswire and Religion News Service.

November 2An Uncommon Christian and Of Intense Brightness are announced in the books section of The Seattle Times.

November 20–Under the category of "Historical Theology," Francis Kyle presents a paper on James Brainerd Taylor at the 60th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, R.I.

2009
January 17–Editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky mentions An Uncommon Christian in his book section of World magazine ("Title tell-alls," page 20), the Christian-based national and bi-weekly newsmagazine.

JanuaryAn Uncommon Christian and Of Intense Brightness are reviewed in the Winter 2009 issue (vol. 8, no. 1) of The Ivy League Christian Observer (pages 35-36), a print ministry of Christian Union: Advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Ivy League.

March 7–Paper on James Brainerd Taylor is presented by Francis Kyle at the Pacific Northwest regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society at George Fox Theological Seminary, Portland, Oregon.

April 25–Francis Kyle graduates with Doctor of Ministry degree from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Dissertation, and hopeful later third book on Taylor, is titled, "God's Co-Worker: 21st-Century Evangelism with Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor."

May 20–The article "Author plans 10-book series on 19th-century Evangelist" appears in the Sequim Gazette (Sequim, Wash.).

2010
February 11–Google Book Search digitalizes Columbia University's copy of A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainerd Taylor (1838); digitalized copy includes the memoir's frontispiece sketch of J. B. Taylor's boyhood home.

2011
SpringAn Uncommon Christian reviewed by Leslie Fairfield in New England Historical Association News (Vol. 37, No. 1, page 16).

 

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