Daily Bulletin: Biddy Mason: 5 years a slave in San Bernardino, she became wealthy in DTLA

In downtown Los Angeles, Biddy Mason Memorial Park's timeline wall sketches the remarkable life of a 19th century slave who was brought to San Bernardino, won her freedom in court and became revered in L.A. as a nurse, midwife, property owner and philanthropist. (Photo by David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Her name was Bridget, but she was known as Biddy. Biddy Mason is one of the most consequential people ever to live in San Bernardino, a slave who became free, and, improbably, wealthy.

Do you know her story? Not enough do. Here’s an abbreviated version.

Born into slavery in 1818 in Georgia, Mason was acquired by a Mississippi farmer who, with a caravan of other Mormon converts, traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1848.

Three years later, some 450 Mormons volunteered to start a colony in San Bernardino, including Mason’s owner, Robert M. Smith. They trekked across the Mojave Desert, with Mason again walking most of the way, driving the animals and cooking…

Read the full article on the Daily Bulletin website.

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