Slightly over 200 years ago, Philadelphia was devastated by recurring waves of yellow fever. The epidemic of 1793 wiped out a tenth of the population of the city and adjacent areas, and thousands more died from outbreaks of the disease throughout the next decade.
Three-year-old Ellen Sprigg* died this date, September 17th, in 1845 of Hydrocephalus and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. Osborne (~35) and Rebecca Sprigg (~24) lived at 201 Lombard Street in the rear of the building. It appears that Rebecca was Osborne’s second spouse. On April 30, 1833, Mr. Sprigg married Sarah Matthews at St. James Read More
The four-month-old child of Clayton and Rossa Medkiff Chapman died this date September 14th in 1822 of Tuberculosis and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. The Chapmans were married on October 29, 1818, at Old St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Old City Philadelphia. This was the same church where Richard Allen and Absalom Jones staged Read More
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 Read More
The thirteen-month-old daughter of Ann and Emanuel Scott died this date, September 2nd, in 1846 of Pneumonia and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. Ann (20 y/o) worked making door mats and Emanuel (22 y/o) worked as a laborer on the Delaware River wharfs. According to the 1847 Philadelphia African American Census, it appears that, at the time Read More
The fifteen-month-old son of African Methodist Episcopal preacher Jarena Lee died this date, August 24th, in 1818 of Cholera and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. The child’s father, Rev. Joseph Lee, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, also died in 1818. Existing records do not indicate if his death occurred before or after the child mentioned above. Read More
Fifty-eight-year-old Sarah Bagwell died this date, August 22nd, in 1847 of an Ulcerated Bronchid and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. She developed an abscess that eventually became a complete hole in her trachea.The medical literature of the era lists Tuberculosis and Cancer as the main causes. Ms. Bagwell worked as a laundress and lived with Read More
The six-month-old son of Rebecca and Isaac Connor died this date, August 6th, in 1849 of Tabes Mesenterica* and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. His first name was not recorded. Isaac (25y/o) worked as a drayman or longshoreman on the Delaware River docks. Rebecca (22 y/o) worked as a day worker. At the time of Read More