Thirty-six-year-old Samuel Brown drowned in the Delaware River off the Market Street wharf on this date, July 9th, in 1852 and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. He was a native of Philadelphia and was occupied as a laborer likely on the city’s docks. He is reported to have lived on “Carpenter.” I am unable to find a specific address for Mr. Brown. Close by the Market Street waterfront was “Carpenter Alley” and “Carpenter Court.” It was not unusual for men to bath and/or go swimming in the Delaware River during this era. In addition, work accidents on the docks or aboard ships would knock men in the water who could not swim or were unconscious.
African American dock worker and son in New Orleans in the 1940s.