Thomas Taylor (1743-1833) owned the plantation at the top of a hill next to the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers in Richland County that became the site of the city of Columbia in 1786 (see Map Of Taylor's Farm). Born in Amelia County, Virginia, he was brought to the Midlands of South Carolina by his parents. A member of the provincial Congresses, and a colonel in General Thomas Sumter's militia, Taylor represented Richland County in both the state House of Representatives and Senate, and was a justice of the peace and a county court judge. Although, like many political leaders of the Midlands, he voted against ratification of the Constitution of 1788, by 1791 he was reconciled enough to the new system to be one of those who escorted George Washington to Columbia during his tour of South Carolina.
Courtesy of the Collection of the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina. Anonymous, American, 19th Century. "Portrait of Colonel Thomas Taylor," oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. Thomas Taylor, CMA 1983.69.2.