'Biddy Mason. Great story. Born a slave in 1818, her owners got converted to Mormonism and headed west. The other Mormons pressured her owner to free her, but he wouldn't. So she fought for her OWN freedom in California court, and won. They she became a nurse and midwife, one of the first black land owners in LA, amassed 300k which she gave liberally to charities, and founded churches, schools, and aid societies."