Courtesy Holdredge Collection, San Francisco Library History Center, San Francisco Public Library


The Early Years

San Francisco


Mary Pleasant went on to become celebrated as a philanthropist and business woman and to amass a $30,000,000 fortune with her secret partner, Scotsman, Thomas Bell. In 1883 she even helped challenge the powerful Senator William Sharon in a scandalous case in the cause of Human Rights - She backed the plaintiff financially. Despite the fact that the plaintiff eventually lost this case, and Pleasant eventually lost most of her wealth, and even her good name through twists of fate, treachery, and the press, her legacy of love and courage lives on. In fact, her 1868 Trolley case set precedent in the California Supreme Court and was used to win a case in that same court in 1983. Pleasant was a winner!

M.E. Pleasant Memorial Plaque

Bibbs, 1998, All rights reserved. Quotes or use of this article is prohibited without the consent of the author; references are available to scholars through MEP Productions

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