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Bridget Biddy Mason was a...

former slave, nurse/midwife, successful entrepreneur, humanitarian and founder of Los Angeles's first African-American congregation. She was born a slave in August of 1818 on a Mississippi plantation owned by Robert Marion Smith and his wife Rebecca (Crosby) Smith. Mason had three daughters, Ellen, Ann and Harriet, whose father was reputedly Smith himself.

In 1847, Smith became a Mormon convert and decided to move to the Utah Territory with his household and slaves. In the strenuous two-thousand miles cross-country, Mason was responsible for herding the cattle, preparing the meals and acting as midwife along with taking care of her own children. It is said that Mason walked behind her master's 300-wagon caravan from Mississippi to Southern California. Learn more about this exceptional African-American woman as we celebrate Black History Month by reading the biography on her recently purchased for the Childern's Biography Collection.