The Reverend John Boggs, 66, died this date, May 11th, in 1848 and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. This pioneering missionary and former pastor of Bethel Church had a funeral procession of an estimated 1,000 individuals including 200 clergymen. However, according to Black journalist and historian William Carl Bolivar this number was less than the numbers for the funerals of Black band leader, composer and musician Frank Johnson (1842), James Forten (1842), Rev. Walter Proctor (1861) and slain civil rights leader Octavius V. Catto (1871). According to Bolivar, ” . . . this last in number [Catto] ranking next to Lincoln’s and General Meade’s.”*
Rev. Boggs’ wife, Sarah “Mother Boggs”, died on September 3, 1873 at 81 years of age. She was born in Maryland, worked as a cook and lived her final years at the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons located at 340 South Front Street. (See below)
*Philadelphia Tribune, October 10, 1914, p. 4.