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Born a slave in Georgia in 1818, Bridget "Biddy" Mason learned to survive in a harsh world. Taken from her parents as a young child, Biddy grew up to be self-reliant and hard working. When she and her children finally found freedom in California in 1855, she turned her nursing skills into a successful career as a midwife. Even after she became a wealthy landowner in Los Angeles, Biddy never forgot her basic philosophy of sharing with others: "The open hand is blessed," she always said, "for it gives in abundance, even as it receives."
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