An important early African American settler in San Francisco was Mary Ellen Pleasant, who arrived in 1849.
She had inherited about $45,000 from her first husband, and she used this money to help the abolitionists and runaways from slavery.
Eventually she started her own laundry and restaurant businesses, and one of her places was the top meeting spot for city leaders. Pleasant helped many African Americans in San Francisco to find jobs.
She was also active politically, backing a law letting blacks testify in court and suing when she was told she could not ride a streetcar because she was black.