Sophie Savard


Sophie  Elodie Savard is the daughter of Simon Savard,  born in Paradise to Ben and Hannah Savard. As a young man Simon relocated to New Orleans to study medicine, where he met and married Selah Freeman, the daughter of a New Orleans apothecary and  great granddaughter of Curiosity Freeman.

Selah’s father Galileo  was born on the New York frontier and raised in Albany and Johnstown. He apprenticed as a cooper, but had aspirations to study medicine, an opportunity not available to black men at that time. Through his connections to the Savard family in Paradise he was offered the opportunity to move to New Orleans, where he took up the study of pharmacology. There he met and married Danae Anne Martin, a Free Woman of Color. Of their three children only Selah survived into adulthood.

Selah and Simon Savard met soon after he arrived in the city. They married within a year. Simon was a staff physician at the Savard clinic Dispensaire de Bienfaisance on the rue Dauphine; his wife, trained by her father as an apothecary, was also employed by the clinic. Both died in the last year of the Civil War.

Galileo & Curiosity Freeman >

Almanzo Freeman & Selah Voyager >

Galileo (Leo) Freeman & Danae Anne Martin >

Selah Freeman & Simon Savard >

Sophie Elodie Savard


Sophie, born 8 July 1855 in New Orleans, was orphaned at age ten. At that time she was taken in by her Aunt Quinlan  and moved to New York to be raised in her home on Waverly Place. Also in the household is her half cousin Anna Savard. The two girls grow up together with a strong bond.

Sophie and Anna attend first grammar school and then enroll at the Rutgers Women’s College. Finally they go to the Woman’s Medical College. Sophie specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. As a woman of mixed race many professional and social avenues are shut to her, but she is a talented practitioner and is often called on by her male colleagues. She works primarily among the poor women and children of the city.




8 Responses to Sophie Savard

  1. E T K says:

    When can we expect the next book. I cannot wait. When did Hannah and Ben die?

  2. Judy D White-Wunder says:

    The Series Into the Wilderness is undoubtedly the best historical book I have ever read. I now have my husband reading it and he too is so fascinated by your writing. Thank you for giving us an insight into our part of the country (we live in Upstate New York) and also into the race relations and women’s issues of that time. This is a deeply moving drama experience. So thankful for your efforts and total submersion into this endeavor. Looking forward to reading The Gilded Hour.

    • You have certainly made my day, Judy. Your support and enthusiasm are what keep me going. Best wishes to you and your husband. And I have to say, you have a very dramatic last name. I first read it as White-Thunder.

  3. Lynn Cornish says:

    What does Sophie look like? I feel like we get great descriptions of everyone else, but don’t know the skin color or hair texture of this amazing woman.

  4. Eve says:

    Thank you is a small word to say in appreciation of your stories. There is not one that I have not read 2 and 3 times. I’m so grateful for the detail, the quality and the reality you bring to them. It is so possible to see the undercurrents that exist in modern America from the wealth of information you provide within series 1 and now series 2; I’m very much anticipating book3. All strength to your imagination and those arms that bring it to the printed page.

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