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Mary Ellen Pleasant Burial Site

The gravesite of Mary Ellen Pleasant, called "Mother of Civil Rights in California," is nominated. Born a freed slavae, Pleasant was indentured (after being freed) to abolitionist Quakers and later worked with William Lloyd Garrison and William Still. She became an Underground Railroad slave rescuer in New Bedford, OH, and New Orleans. Escaping capture as a rescuer, she moved to San Francisco (1852) and worked covertly to rescue fugitive slaves, becoming known as "the Western Terminus of the Underground Railroad." Pleasant worked with the Franchise League of Miflin Gibbs, the Fugitive-slave trials of Archy Lee, and support abolitionist John Brown by purchasing land for a slave refuge in Chatham Ontarion (West), giving him money for arms, and alerting VA slaves of his plan. She also actively worked on the Chatham Vigilance Committee on the Demerest fugitive slave case. Later in San Francisco, she became a philanthropist and employed blacks, backed them in business, and opened doors of employment for them and women in homes and hotels and on coastal steamers and trains. She led tests of 1863 Civil Rights Laws, wasing a precedent-setting Trolley case used in 1982 to gain monies for pain and suffering in a civil-rights case.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 411 Coombsville, Napa, 94559

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Peter Manasse

Location Type: Site

UGRR Operatives: John Brown,Mary Ellen Pleasant,William Lloyd Garrison,William Still