Susie King Taylor, Iconic Heroine, A Nation's Midwife

Aug 14, 2018
Barre, Vermont

I believe this to be a later photograph of Susie King Taylor? Thoughts on this please !
It comes from a large 8" x 10" glass negative taken by photographer Samuel W. Bridgham, who was a very, very wealthy man whom had residences in New York and New England
She is pictured here in 1888 at the age of 40 dressed in a military bodice. This would be befitting a WRC volunteer.
There does exist one other albumin 8" x 10" 1880's print of this photograph in a private collection with a blind stamp for Samuel W. Bridgham.
"During the civil war, in the fall of 1861, Mr. Bridgham became a member of Company K, Seventh Regiment, New York Sate Militia, and served his time as an active member of this regiment. He also served on the board as a member of United States Sanitary Commission Supplies for the Wounded.
After the close of the war he rose to the rank of captain, where he joined the ordnance office staff of General William G. Ward, commander of the First Brigade. Captain Bridgham served at this post for a number of years.
He held various officer positions in the New York Camera Club, including president, and was on a number of the club's exhibition committees, as well as exhibiting his own photographs there. The New York Camera Club is the oldest such camera club in the U.S. Alfred Steiglitz was a member and the editor of the organization's publication, Camera Notes.
As a memorial to the memory of his honored father and mother, Mr. Bridgham, in 1903, gave to the town of East Providence its first free public library, which is located at East Providence Centre, and is known as the "Bridgham Memorial."
In the census of 1900 he lists a servant residing with his family named Elizabeth Taylor, who was born in 1848. Perhaps she was related to Susie Taylor, or her husbands side of the family ?
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JPK Huson 1863

Forum Host
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
I hope it is Susie. She's so elegant, whomever she is, if not Taylor. Thank you for posting!

' Servant ' on a census could be a lot of things, too. Had a baffling time with this when a grgrgrandmother showed up as ' servant ' in a household where we knew she wasn't one. She was staying with her brother's family while tracking down a husband mysteriously vanished in the Gold Rush and we know from letters and her daughter ( my great grandmother, who I knew ), her sea captain husband left her ' well provided for '. Point being, it doesn't pay to assume everyone listed this way wasn't part of a household as some guest the census taker had no category for- or whatever the reason.

Hope someone who knows more of her family can be helpful- love to hear more.
Mar 7, 2014
Bumping this great thread on Susie King Taylor for Black History Month!

Thanks for posting @JPK Huson 1863
Thank you. Laura, for bumping this thread because I missed it the first couple of times it came around. Thank you, Annie, for originating the thread. These photos are all fabulous and her story is inspirational. It proves that a determined person can accomplish a great deal. This is a nice tribute to Ms. Taylor and to everyone who rose through adversity.

matthew mckeon

Retired Moderator
Oct 3, 2005
One time Taylor and another women were walking and came across some skulls. They speculated whether the bones belonged to Union or Confederate soldiers, and how you would tell. Taylor writes that such a discussion may seem callous to her readers, but their sensibilities were blunted by the war.

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