Seventy-three-year-old Philip Nelson died this date, May 31st, in 1850 of Tuberculosis and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. He lived with his wife and several adult children on south 8th Street between Catharine and Queen Streets in the Southwark section of the city. The Nelson family residence was one room where four adults lived. The rent was $7.50 a month and was four blocks away from BBG.
In the 1847 African American Census, Mr. Nelson reported his occupation as “Gentlemen’s Nurse.” It is unknown if he was employed at the time of his death. His obituary in the June 3, 1850, edition of the Public Ledger stated that he bore his illness “towards the last with Christian patience and resignation.”
Interestingly, the obituary also stated that Mr. Nelson was a member of the Dr. Henry Claggett family of Leesburg, Virginia, a white man and enslaver according to Federal Census records. Mr. Nelson, his spouse, and children were all born in Virginia.