Clark: King Taylor’s Legacy

Susan Baker King Taylor was born in Liberty County by mother Hagar Ann and father Raymond Baker, but was raised in Savannah Ga by her grandmother. She was a rising star student who was masterful in reading and writing. Back then education didn’t come easy for African Americans. She was taught secretly by a freed black woman named Mrs. Woodhouse. In order not to get attention from police officers and whites, her and other students would keep their school books covered in paper and enter individually. Soon after she was taught another black woman named Mary Beasly. Katie O’ Connor, the final woman to bless Susan with education lasted for a few months until she moved into the convent. Susan never saw her again.


African Americans who either free or slave were guaranteed to have a pass just to walk around the city; otherwise they would be arrested by watchman. Intending to help her people Susan wrote passes everyone including her grandmother. In 1862 Yankees from St. Simons Island discovered Susan’s education they wanted her to teach the children who were living on the island. She became the first black woman as a teacher to African American students. Georgia Edward King, Susan’s husband was just as educated as she was. It was love at first sight.

By August Susan was offered to be a laundress for the troops by Captain Trowbridge. Despite she was in charge of the troop’s laundry but she also had other titles under her belt such as a nurse when the camp was diagn osed with smallpox and a teacher by teaching the men to read and write.

In 1866 Susan and her husband Georgia King returned to Savannah and opened a school for free slaves. Unfortunately King died a few months after their first was born. Years have passed and by now Susan began working as a laundress for wealthy families. This granted her plenty opportunities of traveling the world like Rye Beach where she was acknowledged for her excellent cooking, Europe, and Boston where she met her second husband Russell L Taylor. After having much experience nursing people to life, she then improved Corps 67 Women Relief Corps. Working her way to the top she was secretary/treasurer and soon after president.

Susan Baker King Tylor died at the age of 64 buried next to her second husband. Before she died she wrote her memories that were published as a book called Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd US Colored Troops.


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