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Former slave was education pioneer
Liberty's history
Susie King taylor
Susie King Taylor
In 1848, Susie King Taylor was born into a life of slavery on the Grest farm on the Isle of Wight in Liberty County.
Her possessor, (also known as an owner or master) Mr. Grest, allowed her to relocate to Savannah to live with her grandmother who was granted freedom by Mr. Grest years prior.
When she was just a young girl, about 6 or 7 years old, Susie moved to Savannah. During her time as a slave in Liberty County, the law prohibited black children from obtaining any type of education. But Susie’s grandmother had a neighbor who decided to begin an underground school for slaves. This compatriot promised to teach Susie to read and write.
Susie also befriended many white school children who helped teach her what they had learned at the local schoolhouse.
Every day Susie and her brother went to school, they had to wrap their books so the white people and the police would not see they were being tutored.
Other children helped Susie read and write but without the consent of their parents because they feared punishment or being beaten.
At age 14, Susie was sent back to Liberty County where she was given her freedom and began teaching the other children on the plantation what she learned in secret.
Susie made many accomplishments throughout her life while in Liberty County, Savannah and Port Royal, S.C. Some of these accomplishments included:
• Being the first black woman to become a school teacher, especially to the black Union soldiers who she taught how to read and write during their off-duty hours.
• She was also the first to become an Army nurse in the Civil War where she assisted camp doctors in the care for injured soldiers
• She was the only black woman to publish a recorded chronicle of her wartime experiences.
Susie became an idol and hero for many women as she expanded the cause of women’s rights and quickly became known as a pioneer for women’s rights.
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