top of page

2024 Escape to Freedom Annual Celebation

On April 13, 2024, at 3:00 PM, Susie King Taylor's life and legacy was celebrated in her hometown on Isle of Wight (now Midway) in Liberty County, GA at Jones Creek Park located at 2059 Isle of Wight Rd, Midway, GA.

162 years ago on April 13th, a thirteen year old Gullah Geechee girl Susie Baker and some family members escaped the bondages of slavery from the Grest Plantation in Liberty County during the Civil War. In her memoir, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd United States Colored Troops, she wrote: "Two days after the taking of Fort Pulaski [April 11,1862], my uncle took his family of seven and myself to St. Catherines Island. We landed under the protection of the Union fleet..." This is the subtle description of what must have been a harrowing journey of escape.

Prior to the war, Susie learned how to read and write at secret schools in Savannah. Her education by stealth would prove quite beneficial during the war in which she served as a young teacher, healer and nurse, cook, laundress, and musket cleaner. She married a non-commissioned officer, Edward King, from Darien, GA. She had relatives in every coastal Georgia county. Also, during the war, she met another nurse Miss Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, at a Union hospital in Beaufort, SC. After the war she returned to Georgia where she opened not one, but three schools including one in her hometown of Midway for newly free children and their parents. Eventually, she moved to Boston, MA where she wrote her memoir, Reminiscences, in 1902. 

For the past seven years, the Susie King Taylor Women's Institute & Ecology Center in partnership with Liberty County Historical Society, has held a celebration for this American Heroine of Freedom. 

On Saturday, April 13th at at Jones Creek Park, there were speeches, music, and dance presentations. This event was free and open to the public. 

There is a saying, "Free your mind and your body will follow." Susie King Taylor is a shining example of human freedom. 

Let us always remember and celebrate her life and legacy.

bottom of page