BLACK PAST PHOTO OF THE DAY: Add this person to the list of people you probably didn’t learn about in school. Born into slavery in Mississippi in 1818, Bridget “Biddy” Mason died in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1891 a very wealthy and influential woman. Originally owned by a Mississippian whose conversion to Mormonism required her to walk 2,000 miles in 1848 with her three young daughters behind a caravan that made its way to San Bernardino, California, Biddy and her children were eventually wrestled away from her owner 1856 on account of California being a free state. (There’s a LOT more to that part of Biddy’s story, and we’ve got it all on her profile on BlackPast.org!) Fast-forward to 1866, and after working 10 years or so in Los Angeles for $2.50/day as a nurse and midwife, Biddy had saved enough money to purchase two pieces of land in East Los Angeles for $250, which she eventually parlayed into additional real estate holdings. By the time of her death at the age of 73, Biddy had amassed a net worth of over $300k (adjusting for inflation, that’s around $8,847,000.00 in present day dollars). A stalwart of her community, Biddy organized and funded the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church, which to this day is the oldest and one of the largest congregations in Los Angeles. Learn more about the life and times of Bridget “Biddy” Mason on her entry on our website — BlackPast (link: http://bit.ly/Biddy-Mason) — and please Like & Share if you do!
Add this person to the list of unknown history facts: Bridget “Biddy” Mason