Communication artifacts; Documentary artifact
Major Taylor
Unknown Place Made
African American; Crossroads of America; Sports; Women
overall: 7 in x 10 1/2 in

This letter from Major Taylor to "Daisy My Dear Wife," is written in ink with a center fold. It is dated May 14, 1909. It appears to have been written at various times. Taylor explains that his training is going well and that Alcyon Bicycle Co. is providing his bicycles and the use of a motorcar and motorcycles plus drivers. On pages 5-8, Major Taylor tells Daisy of his plans to race Sunday although he is not yet in shape. He feels that his rivals are hiding from him but that there is fairer play in Europe than New York. He will send money soon. On pages 9-12, Taylor shares his great anxiety about his conditioning and ability. He is considering asking Daisy to join him for support. Major Taylor reports of a workout behind a motorcycle, his menu, and being homesick. Indiana, Marion County, Indianapolis. Marshall “Major” Taylor (November 26, 1878 - June 21, 1932) was born in Indianapolis. In 1896, he became a professional cyclist and in August 1899, he became the World Champion, capturing the One Mile Championship in Montreal. Daisy Victoria Morris became his wife in 1902 and their daughter, Rita Sydney, was born May 11, 1904. He raced in the United States, Europe and Australia. Taylor retired in 1910 after years of hardship and triumph. He published his autobiography, "The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World,” in 1928.

The Major Taylor donation is very significant to the story of Indiana and national African American history. It is the museum's most complete collection of African American related material and is used by researchers all over the country.

Donated by Sydney Taylor Brown

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