Robert Howard, 63 years old, died this date, July 21st, in 1849 of Cholera and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. From the records of the 1847 African American Census, it appears that Mr. Howard lived with his spouse, several children and possibly his or her’s parents and/or grandparents. There was one female in the family over 100 years old. The Howard family lived in Acorn Alley (now Schell St.) which ran between 8th and 9th streets and Bainbridge and Fitzwater streets in south Philadelphia. He worked as a cook and Ms. Howard took in washing to add to their income. The Howards were neighbors of the Reverend John Boggs an AME minister of some prominence. Rev. Boggs died a little over a year before Mr. Howard.
Tragically the city was being ravished by Cholera in the summer of 1849. Mr. Howard was one of 196 individuals that died in the city and county of Philadelphia the same week as he did. Twenty-eight people a day were dying from the disease. (Public Ledger, 25 July 1849, p. 2.)