The ten-month-old son of Elizabeth “Elisa” Clift* died this date, June 5th, in 1848 of Cholera and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. Ms. Clift resided at 13 St. Mary’s Street and reported her occupation as a washerwoman in the 1847 African American Census. However, the social worker that interviewed Ms. Cliff for the Census intimates that Clift is a prostitute in a “bawdy house” with four other women. See http://fm12.swarthmore.edu/1847/full.php?rid=648&trc=4308
St. Mary’s Street was the center of prostitution, gambling, and violence for many decades in the 7th Ward. For further reading on the history of Black prostitution in 19th century Philadelphia and its role in the larger narrative of the institutional oppression of Black women during that era see, Colored Amazons by Kali N. Gross.
*Dr. Ashton spelled the family name “Cifft.” The 1847 Census spells it “Clift,” which I have chosen to go with. In addition, the Census records the mother’s first name as “Elizabeth.”