- Birth Date
- 15 August 1818
- Death Date
- 15 January 1891
Biddy was an African American slave and the mother of Ellen (b. 1838), Ann (b. 1844), and Harriet (b. 1847). She traveled to Utah with Robert M. Smith according to "John Brown's company of 10, report."
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.
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.
- Age at Departure: 29
- Robert Mays Smith (Age: 43)
- Rebecca Ruth Smith (Age: 38)
- Rande (Age: 26)
- John Dorn Smith (Age: 13)
- William D. Smith (Age: 11)
- Elijah B. Smith (Age: 9)
- Ellen Mason (Age: 9)
- James S. Smith (Age: 5)
- Ann Mason (Age: 4)
- Sarah F. Smith (Age: 3)
- Joseph Smith (Age: Infant)
- Jane (Age: Infant)
- Harriet Mason (Age: Infant)
- Hannah Smith (Age: Unknown)
- Nelson (Age: Unknown)
- Lawrence (Age: Unknown)
- Ann (Age: Unknown)
- African American Women: A Biographical Dictionary , Dorothy C. Salem, ed., New York: Garland Publishing, 1993, 351.
- Beasley, Delilah L. The Negro Trail Blazers of California (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1919), 109-110.
- Brown, John Zimmerman, comp. Autobiography of Pioneer John Brown, 1820-1896 (Salt Lake City, 1941), 88, 96, 100.
- California State Census, 1852.
- Carter, Kate B. The Story of the Negro Pioneer. (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1965), 33.
- “John Brown's company of 10, report, 1848 June.” In Camp of Israel schedules and reports 1845-1849.
- Los Angeles County Recorder, California. Register of deaths, v. 2, 1888-1892 Register of deaths v.3, 1892-1896 Register of deaths v. 4, 1897-1900 Register of deaths v. 5, 1896-1900, 1902, FHL microfilm: 1033297, digital image 100. In Register of deaths, 1877-1905 for Los Angeles County: and indexes of deaths, 1873-1920.
- “Mississippi company, report, 1848 May.” In Camp of Israel schedules and reports 1845-1849
- Mulford, Karen Surina. Trailblazers: Twenty Amazing Western Women (Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Publishing, 2001), 2, 24-31.
- "Slave Inhabitants in Utah County, Deseret," 1850 Utah Census, Utah County.
- Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. Notable Black American Women (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992), 732-734.
- Williams, Jean Kinney. Bridget "Biddy" Mason: From Slave to Businesswoman (Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 2006).