Bridget “Biddy” Mason

Sunrise, a slave on 8/15/1818 somewhere in Georgia, one name, Bridget, sunset, 1/15/1891 Los Angeles, California.

Given to Robert Smith and family.

Petitioned the Los Angeles court for freedom and won. California law didn’t allow black people to testify against white people at that time.

Named herself Bridget Biddy Mason after her emancipation.

She worked as a nurse and midwife.

One of the first African-Americans to purchase land in Los Angeles.

She founded a Traveler’s Aid Center and an elementary school for black children.

She spoke fluent Spanish.

She was called Auntie Mason or Grandma Mason.

She was the founder of the First African American Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, the city’s first black church.


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