Eight-year-old James Furrow died this date, December 3rd, in 1853 of Tuberculosis and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. James and his parents, Arnold and Pleasant, lived at 8 Lombard Row near the intersection of 7th and South Streets in center city Philadelphia. Lombard Row no longer exists.
Arnold was a “huxter” or peddler according to the 1847 African American Census and Pleasant was a domestic day worker. She had given birth to James in Wilmington, Delaware. One of them was born into enslavement and paid $375 to end their captivity. The other adult was not born to enslaved parents. It appears that Arnold’s father, Joseph, lived with them for a period of time. He died in September of 1853 at 60 years old from an ulcer and was also buried at Bethel Burying Ground.
Arnold Furrow was one of the many African American peddlers that sold their goods walking the streets of the city. One of the more common items they sold was oysters. According to historian Gary Nash, “Black Philadelphians had a virtual monopoly on oyster and clam selling.(Forging Freedom, p. 215)