The stillborn male child of Stephen Parker was delivered this date, August 13th, and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. I have not been able to find the name of the child’s mother as of yet. There is compelling evidence that the Parkers were driven from their home in the 600 block of St. Mary’s Street (now Rodman) by a vicious, violent white mob that went on a rampage in Southwark from August 1 – 3. What is commonly known as “The Locust Street Riot” was a war on Black families. White men looted numerous blocks of homes destroying doors, shutters and breaking windows. Buildings were sacked, furniture was broken up and the pieces were thrown out onto the street. A church and meeting hall were burned to the ground. Black men were lynched and women and children assaulted. African Americans fled the city carrying what they could. Many escaping to Camden. There is no doubt that the Parker family were victims of this violence and in all likelihood led to the stillborn death of their son.
According to the 1847 African American Census Mr. Parker was employed as a cesspool cleaner making $7 a week. It was a filthy and dangerous job with ever-present exposure to disease. Ms. Parker took in washing and ironing to supplement the family’s income. They had two other children, one of which was severely handicapped. After the riot, the Parkers moved to the neighborhood around the intersection of 7th and Dickerson Streets in south Philadelphia. There Ms. Parker gave birth to another child.