Susie <I>Baker</I> King Taylor


Susie Baker King Taylor Famous memorial

Liberty County, Georgia, USA
Death 6 Oct 1912 (aged 64)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Oak Grove, Plot 1970
Memorial ID 8255625 View Source

Author, Social Activist. She was considered to be the "Black Clara Barton" during the American Civil War, along with being a teacher, laundress, and domestic worker . She organized African American women, including Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, to care for sick and wounded Black soldiers during the Civil War. Susie King Taylor was born a slave, the first of nine children at Grest Farm, a sea-cotton plantation on the Isle of Wright, which was located 35 miles south of Savannah in rural Liberty County, Georgia. About 1854 Taylor and her brother were permitted by a Mr. Grest, their "owner," to come to Savannah to live with their grandmother Dolly Reed, who appears to have been freed by Grist and who became the children's guardian. Grest appears to have virtually freed Taylor and her brother without going through the complexities of Georgia law. She lived in Savannah and gained her freedom at age 14 in April of 1862. When educating slaves was against the law, she learned to read and write by attending school in secret. That same year she married a Black United States Army officer, Edward King, who died in 1866, leaving a young widow expecting her first child. Later she married Russell Taylor in 1879 who preceded her in death. She along with many other slaves escaped behind Union lines on the South Carolina Sea Islands. She soon attached herself to the First South Carolina Volunteers, the first Black regiment in the United States Army. She contributed to Civil War efforts by serving as a nurse in the Union Army to the Black soldiers and by teaching them to read and write. After the war, she attempted to start a school in Savannah for former slaves, which failed. A single mother, she became a domestic worker. After going North, she helped to organize a branch of the Women's Relief Corps. She was buried next to her second husband in an unmarked grave in Mount Hope Cemetery in Roslindale, Massachusetts. The only female Black author who wrote about experiences in the American Civil War, she published "Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers" in 1902. In 2008 she was the recipient of the Georgia Women of Achievement Award. In 2019 the Georgia Historical Society erected a historical marker honoring King Taylor near the Midway First Presbyterian Church in Midway, Georgia. In 2020 the Boston Parks and Recreation Department marked her grave with an upright granite marker with her story inscribed on the front along with her portrait, wearing her nursing uniform.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
  • Added: 10 Jan 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 8255625
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Susie Baker King Taylor (6 Aug 1848–6 Oct 1912), Find a Grave Memorial ID 8255625, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .