Born:a slave on August 19, 1814 in Georgia
Parents: an enslaved Voodoo Priestess and John Pleasant, a Virginia Governor’s son
Spouse(s): James Smith (m. 1841 til his death in 1844), a contractor and merchant and John James “J.J.” Pleasant (m. 1848 til his death in 1877)
Occupation: Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Activist, and Philanthropist
Accomplishments, Achievements, and Contributions: She took her inheritance of $45,000 from her lst husband’s death to help advance civil rights for Blacks. She had amassed a total fortune of $30,000,000! Mary became known as the “Mother” of the Early California Civil Rights Struggle. She worked as an conductor on the underground railroad across the country and help expand it to Cali during the gold rush era. She was a friend and financial supporter to abolitionist John Brown. She helped ex-slaves avoid extradition, start businesses, find employment in hotels, homes and on the steamships and railroads across California. She led the Franchise League Movement in San Francisco which earned Black citizens the right to testify in court and ride the city’s trolleys.
Awards and/or Honors:
Mary Ellen Pleasant Memorial Park, San Francisco, California
Quotes About Or By Mary:
Death: January 4, 1904, San Francisco, California
I salute this AMAZING HER-story making sista!