Biddy Mason (1818 - 1891) Profile

Biddy Mason

Birth Date
On 1818 August 15 (Born)
Death Date
On 1891 January 15 (Died)

Biddy was the mother of Ellen (b. 1838), Ann (b. 1844), and Harriet (b. 1847). She was an African American woman enslaved by Robert M. Smith.

According to some secondary sources, she "selected" the surname "Mason" only after she became a free woman at Los Angeles, California (1856). Here she became a noted nurse, midwife, entrepreneur and civic minded personality. 

Some secondary sources also suggest that her name was "Bridget." This has been determined inaccurate. Her name was actually "Biddy," not "Bridget."

The 1850 Census was actually taken in 1851. 

Delilah Beasley's book, The Negro Trail Blazers of California, cites a family bible which states Biddy's birth date (15 August 1818). However, indirect sources including censuses, and Biddy's death record, infer a wide variety of different birth years.  


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Biddy Mason (1818 - 1891) Profile
Biddy Mason (1818 - 1891) Profile