Sixty-year-old Alice Ricker died this date, September 7th, in 1849 of Fungus Haematodes* and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. As the matriarch of the family, she was employed at the time of her death as a laundress. She lived at #4 Barley Alley above 10th Street in the City with someone who appears to be a married son or daughter (waiter/laundress) and his or her young daughter. They paid a very high $8 a month rent for their home. A typical Black waiter at this time would bring home $4-$5 a week. None of the Ricker family members were native to the state of Pennsylvania, according to the 1847 Philadelphia African American Census.

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Barley Street was considered a cartway at only 6’10” wide. The 1847 Census reports that, in addition to the Ricker family, there were 56 other African American families living along Barley with a total of 245 individuals. The 1847 Census lists their occupations:

Cake Baker

Cake Seller

Clothes Dealer

Wood Sawyer

Silversmith

Nurse

Bottler

White Washer

Hog Carrier

Bootmaker

Shoemaker

Waiter

Dressmaker

Laundress

Laborer

Janitor

Coal Hauler

Cook

Seaman

Barber

Shirtmaker

Porter

Coachman

Seamstress

Man’s greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.                                                                                                                                                              – Frederick Douglass