Nine-month-old Arthur Tate died this date, June 2oth, in 1848 of Cancrum Oris and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. The disease that caused the child’s life is a very devastating bacterial infection of the mouth that erodes away all the tissue. Massive ulcers caused by bacterial infections infected the baby. Predisposing factors for the disease included malnutrition, dehydration, and unsafe drinking water. There was no treatment available at that time that would have saved the baby’s life.
James lived at 229 Lombard Street with his father (Arthur) and his mother and two brothers and two sisters. His parents worked as a porter and a dayworker paying $11.75 a month for their room on Lombard Street. It appears Arthur was at one time enslaved and was liberated, according to the 1847 African American census.
There is little doubt that Arthur’s parents made their living from working in the nearby farmers market now known as Headhouse Square. The large open-air market was originally called New Market.