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Bridget "Biddy" Mason: From Slave To Businesswoman

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A biography profiling the life of Bridget "Biddy" Mason, a former slave who won her freedom in California, and later worked as a nurse and helped others. Includes source notes and timeline. A biography profiling the life of Bridget "Biddy" Mason, a former slave who won her freedom in California, and later worked as a nurse and helped others. Includes source notes and timeline.


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A biography profiling the life of Bridget "Biddy" Mason, a former slave who won her freedom in California, and later worked as a nurse and helped others. Includes source notes and timeline. A biography profiling the life of Bridget "Biddy" Mason, a former slave who won her freedom in California, and later worked as a nurse and helped others. Includes source notes and timeline.

30 review for Bridget "Biddy" Mason: From Slave To Businesswoman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I came across this book and was intrigued by Biddy Mason’s face on the cover—such determination and wisdom shone out. I’d never heard of her, so I read the book. It turns out that in 1818 Bridget was born a slave in Georgia and given no surname. Everyone called her Biddy. Biddy was sold to another slave owner before she could know her parents. She was not allowed to learn to read or write. About 25 years later, she became the property of a plantation owner, Robert Smith. Smith kept moving his fam I came across this book and was intrigued by Biddy Mason’s face on the cover—such determination and wisdom shone out. I’d never heard of her, so I read the book. It turns out that in 1818 Bridget was born a slave in Georgia and given no surname. Everyone called her Biddy. Biddy was sold to another slave owner before she could know her parents. She was not allowed to learn to read or write. About 25 years later, she became the property of a plantation owner, Robert Smith. Smith kept moving his family and slaves west over many years, with Biddy always following behind the last wagon to keep any herd in line. Eventually, she had walked across the continent to California. Biddy’s owner and his family, his other slaves, and Biddy and her children settled in the tiny town of Los Angeles, which had a population of about 1,600. But Biddy’s owner made a serious mistake. California was a free state. When he tried to take Biddy and his other slaves back to Texas (a slave state), two unknown persons petitioned a judge to protect the slaves. The judge, against popular opinion, stated that Biddy and her fellow slaves were free. From that moment on, with only her will to start with, Biddy worked unceasingly as a nurse and a midwife to accumulate property. It took her ten years of hard work and frugality to earn and save the money for her first property. After that, combined with her continued constant labor and Los Angeles’s rapid growth, she was able to earn large profit on properties. Biddy became a respected businesswoman and real estate entrepreneur. She wasn’t interested in material goods and became a philanthropist to any and all who suffered, including jail inmates and those in the slums. She continued her good works until her death in 1891 at age 72. Because Biddy was illiterate, she wrote no letters and kept no journals. Her quote that her descendants and admirers kept in their minds is with us today: If you hold your hand closed, nothing good can come in. The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance, even as it receives.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Noelle Facio

    The book was about a very interesting person. I would of liked the book a little bit more if it wasn't so boring. The book was good overall but there were some parts of the book where it could of been better written. My favorite part of the book was when Biddy won her court case and is a free slave. I think the theme is that no matter how many people tell you you aren't good enough you keep going and don't give up on your dreams. The book was about a very interesting person. I would of liked the book a little bit more if it wasn't so boring. The book was good overall but there were some parts of the book where it could of been better written. My favorite part of the book was when Biddy won her court case and is a free slave. I think the theme is that no matter how many people tell you you aren't good enough you keep going and don't give up on your dreams.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christina Causey

  4. 5 out of 5

    sadie i

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erick

  6. 4 out of 5

    Arleen

  7. 5 out of 5

    MCDS

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chugiak High

  11. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Selena Mosley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andi

  14. 4 out of 5

    South Country Library Children's Department

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elyssa

  17. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Pyke

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tyrionna Baker

  19. 5 out of 5

    Craig Bolton

  20. 4 out of 5

    Keisha Colson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Armella Gaines

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

  23. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hancock

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna Suttle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Danette Martin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Petersen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jean

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danny Lamastra

  30. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Williams

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