Susie King Taylor was born a slave, the first of nine children at Grest Farm (35 miles south of Savannah) in Liberty County, Georgia on Aug. 6, 1848. Her mother was a domestic servant for the Grest family. At the age of about five she had mastered the skills of reading and writing. Taylor soon became a skilled reader and writer. Those abilities to read and write proved invaluable to the Union Army as they began to form regiments of African American soldiers.
Two days after Fort Pulaski was taken by Union forces, Taylor fled with family to St. Catherine Island, where they receive Union protection and a transfer to the Union-occupied St. Simons Island where she claimed her freedom.
Since most blacks were illiterate, it was soon discovered that Taylor could read and write. Five days after her arrival, Commodore Louis Goldsborough offered Taylor books and supplies if she would establish a school on the island. She accepted the offer and became the first black teacher to openly ins