The Clara Barton Museum Blog

Women’s History Wednesday: Susie King Taylor

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Susie King TaylorSusie King Taylor was incredible. There’s no other way to put it. Born a slave, she didn’t let the law get in the way of her education. She attended secret schools and sought out young white people that would teach her. She in turn set up a school to teach freed African American students, young and old, during the Civil War.

If that’s all she did, that would still be incredible, but there’s more. She married an black Union officer, Edward King, and traveled with his unit. Officially, she was their laundress, but Taylor admitted she did very little laundry. Instead she acted as the unit’s nurse and a resident teacher.

After the war, Taylor didn’t rest. She worked. She published her memoir. She helped found Corps 67 of the Women’s Relief Corps, continuing to care for soldiers long after the battles had ended.

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