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How We Met Because of Susie King Taylor

Robin Foster
by Robin Foster

I know I am very busy these days, but you can catch up with me if you know what you have to talk about happens to be important to you. This time, little did I know that what Rebecca Byrd had to discuss with me was just as important to me.

Rebecca Byrd met up with me at Richland Library, Columbia SC to interview me about the Susie King Taylor event I went to in Midway, Georgia last August. Photo taken by Robin Foster
Rebecca Byrd met up with me at Richland Library, Columbia SC to interview me about the Susie King Taylor event I went to in Midway, Georgia last August. Photo taken by Robin Foster.

First of all, I thought Rebecca was expecting me to be in Charleston, SC. I had received notice from Toni Carrier that someone wanted to interview me. I had no plans to be in Charleston. I knew I had plans to be in Columbia, SC on June 15 later in the evening. I e-mailed Rebecca and told her we could met earlier in the afternoon in Columbia.

I sent my phone number during our drive on the day we were supposed to meet. I decided we would meet in Richland Library’s Walker Local and Family History Center because that would give me a chance to check resources I am working on. I found out that Rebecca lives in Charlotte, NC and is attending UNC Charlotte. We were both driving to meet in Columbia. How amazing is that?

She interviewed me right there in the Walker Local and Family History Center, but what I learned from her is priceless. She grew up in Boston, MA on the same street that Susie Taylor King lived after she moved from the South. She has been to her grave in Mattapan, MA, and she has no marker. Rebecca is working on that!

I am proud of the fact we can make friends across age and geographical boundaries. I am proud I can support Rebecca. I am proud that I can learn from her. The device she used to record the interview is a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I am getting one.

What brought us together? Susie King Taylor did. Her story needs to be told. Why? We will be able to better tell the stories of our own ancestors by showing a appreciation for this woman who freed herself and fought for the 33rd Untied States Colored Troops and beyond.

Have you read Reminiscences of My Life in Camp?  Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S. C. Volunteers by Susie King Taylor.

Sharpen the Saw

Have you ever met anyone for the first time, and they were able to tell you something about ancestor or historical figure that you did not know? Have you formulated the questions that you want answered? Let us know in our Facebook Group.

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