by J Munro


John Taylor, male (last name unknown). Sometimes called "John." He was employed by Mr. Edwin Conway (P43888), hotelkeeper of Hotel A (PL8432) in the 1830's. As the Faculty Minutes of 1834 detail below, John was hired by Mr. Conway, but it is unknown whether he was leased or owned by him. It appears that after some complaints of insufficient service, John was taken on as additional help, paid for by some student boarders of Conway (who were recorded as paying money to the Proctor). Additionally, the students were noted to be paying the Proctor in order to have John buy his freedom; additional research is pending. 

From the Faculty Minutes, February 3, 1834:

"The Faculty determined to send for a number of students from each of the Hotels and take their evidence relative to the fare, servants attendance etc. etc. Messrs. J. B. Young (P38846) & F. E. Robertson (P28234)T. Leigh (P43509)J. B. Lightfoot (P35715), & T. P. Huger (P33926), boarders at Mr. Conway's Hotel, were accordingly sent for."

[. . .]

"[J. B. Young] is one of the twenty two of Mr. Conway's students who hire John (P43933) until May. They are to pay him forty five dollars for his services. The 22 students who hire John, he says, do so because, they had not before sufficient attendance. He does not consider Mr. Conway as having anything to do with John, inasmuch as he is in the employment of the 22 students, exclusively. Mr. Conway said in his presence, when the students first contracted for John, that it was contrary to the enactments for the students to hire servants; but if they hired John, he (Mr. Conway) would feed him. Messrs. RobertsonHuger & Lightfoot say they have no complaints to make relative to bedding, diet or servants attendance at meals. The tea & coffee are tolerably good and the bread & butter is always good. There is sufficient variety at meals. Their bedlinen has been changed about once in two weeks, and their counterpanes have always been in good order. Their dormitories were washed once before Christmas, and Mr. Conway had offered to have it done again not long since, but they objected on account of the inclemency of the weather. The Hotel Keeper has never visited their rooms for the purpose of inspection. Mr. Robertson says he is one of the 22 students who hire John. He considers John under Mr. Conway's controul, but he does not know whether Mr. Conway pays him anything for his services. He says the blacking, for the use of the students, is furnished by the servants, who are paid a dollar for it, by the student at the termination of the session."

At that same meeting of the Faculty, the hotelkeepers were sent for to answer to the students' reports:

"Mr. Conway was sent for. . .[he says] the students have never complained of bad washing, or of having lost any clothing. [Mr. Conway] hires John Taylor (P43933), but twenty-two of his boarders give him extra pay. John waits only on those students who hire him. When the students first proposed to hire John, he (Mr. Conway) told them it was not right to do so, and asked the Proctor, in the presence of several of them, if it was not contrary to the enactments. He says, he believes the students on whom John has heretofore waited, have given him more than they have other servants." [. . .] "Whereas twenty two of Mr. Conway's boarders have, in violation of the enactments employed a servant to attend upon them, Resolved that the servant thus employed be compelled to leave the University, or discontinue his attendance upon the students who have employed him." 

Complaints against Mr. Conway (apparently from the same students) are also reported at a later meeting of Faculty (April 22, 1834):

"The Chairman (P43623) then read a paper signed by twenty three students reporting Mr. Conway for bad fare at his Hotel, etc. The Chairman read a note he sent the Proctor and the Proctor's reply (See Letters No. 1 & 2 April 22nd., 1834, endorsed.)"

The Chairman's Journal from 1834 also provides details on John Taylor and his employment at Hotel A. From February 4, 1834:

Sent for Mr. Conway(P43888), and told him that I had received evidence that John Taylor, a colored man employed to wait on his Boarders, was paid by the latter; with his, Mr. Conway's knowledge: told Mr. Conway that as the students had entered into a formal agreement to pay this sum in addition to that allowed by the enactments, I must insist on John's being replaced by another servant maintained by the Hotel Keeper."


1. References to the Individual in the JUEL Digitized Transcripts

(Links below are to JUEL's full-text digital transcripts of primary sources that refer to the individual. If no links display, this indicates that either the JUEL digitized texts have not yet been tagged with the individual's ID/Key, or, that no reference is made to the individual in any JUEL digitized texts, or, that the primary source has not yet been digitized).  


Faculty Minutes, February 3, 1834; April 22, 1834 Session 10 

Chairman's Journals, Session 10


2. Library Call Numbers/Bibliographic Records

Minutes of the General Faculty, February 3, 1834, April 22, 1834, vol. 3. University of Virginia Library. Call Number: RG-19/1/1.461

Journals of the Chairman of the Faculty [Manuscript], 1827-1864. University of Virginia Library. Call Number: RG-19/1/2.041 


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