TAYLOR, JAMES OLIVER JELKS, 1893-1952.
MANUSCRIPT NUMBER 032
REPRODUCTION: All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
COPYRIGHT: Information on copyright (literary rights) available from repository.
CITATION: James Oliver Jelks Taylor Papers, MSS 032, Archives and Manuscripts
Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
James Oliver Jelks Taylor was born in Hawkinsville, Georgia on April 15, 1893. He attended Hawkinsville High School and upon graduation entered Emory University. Taylor served first as assistant pastor of a Methodist Church in Fitzgerald, Georgia in 1915 and then as Pastor in Arabi, Georgia from 1916 through 1918. During this period, he married Emma Myers and in 1918 Taylor, his wife and two sons left for Korea as missionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In Korea, they settled in Choon Chun. It is not clear from the collection exactly how long they spent in Korea, but by 1922 he and his family had moved to Vladivostok in Siberia. In 1923, amid a worsening political situation, Taylor wrote that "all consular bodies have been ordered to leave Vladivostok unless their respective nations recognize Soviet Russia." His letters reveal a commitment to his mission work and his intention to remain in Russia. Yet by the end of 1923, he had returned to Georgia as Pastor of the Methodist Church in Waverly Hall. Taylor served several other churches in Georgia after his return including churches in Buena Vista, McRae, Dublin, Waycross, Savannah, Fitzgerald and Waynesboro. He died in 1952 at the age of 59. A short vita written in 1945, accompanies the collection.
Series one. Folder one contains letters from Taylor to his mother and sister Hattie in Georgia. In the letters he speaks intimately of his feelings about his work, its influence on him and about his wife and children. Folder two contains reports and newsletters to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia that sponsored him. The third folder contains the letters of Emma Myers Taylor to relatives in Georgia. The letters document the voyage to Korea, the arrival and contact of the family with native Koreans, Americans and other foreigners in Korea and Russia. Mention is also made of the Christian missions already established in these countries and of the volatile political situation. In the letters of both Taylor and his wife, the researcher will find evidence of the attitudes of Georgia Methodist missionaries to native people and the evolution of those attitudes as the contact lengthens. A transcript of each letter was made by the daughter of the missionaries and remains with the collection. Although the letters span the entire period of Taylor's stay overseas, a gap in his personal letters appears between 1920 and 1921. Many of his newsletters to the church are undated. Although the collection is small the researcher will find it a rich source of information, rarely available, on missionary work in Russia.
Series Two. Folder four contains English by the Sentence Method, written by Taylor and J.S. Ryang. The volume, written to help Koreans learn English, was published ca. 1921. Folder five contains JAP, The Growth of a Soul: The Letters, of Hatton Towson; Student, Soldier, and Missionary, edited by Taylor. Folder six contains the "Minutes of the Second Annual Meeting of the Russian Department of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Harbin, China, September 11, 1923." Folder seven contains A Practical Dictionary of the Russian and English and English and Russian Languages. The volume was presented to Taylor by Bishop William Russell Lambuth, Vladivostok, Siberia, August 4, 1921. Folder eight contains a copy of Strength for Service to God and Country, Daily Devotional Messages for Men in the Service , presented to Taylor by the Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, July 1942. Folder 9 contains a photograph of J.O.J. Taylor .
Series I: Correspondence
1/1 Personal letters of James Oliver Jelks Taylor, 1918-1922.
1/2 Newsletters and articles of James Oliver Jelks Taylor, ca. 1918-1923.
1/3 Personal letters of Emma Meyers Taylor, 1919-1922.
Series II: Published Works & Photographs
1/4 English by the Sentence Method, J.O.J. Taylor and J.S. Ryang, ca. 1921.
1/5 JAP, The Growth of a Soul: The Letters of Hatton Towson, Student, Soldier, Missionary. J.O.J. Taylor, Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Nashville, 1937.
1/6 "Minutes of the Second Annual Meeting of the Russian Department, Siberian Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Harbin, China, September 11, 1923.
1/7 A Practical Dictionary of the Russian and English and English and Russian Languages. J.H. Wisdom and Marr Murray, Andrew Melrose, London, n.d. Presented to Taylor by Bishop Lambuth, Vladivostok, Siberia, August 4, 1921.
1/8 Strength for Service to God and Country, Daily Devotional Messages for Men in the Service. Norman E. Nygaard, Abingdon-Cokesbury, New York, 1942. Presented to Taylor by Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, July 1942.
1/9 Photograph of James Oliver Jelks Taylor, ca. 1918-1920.