One-year-old Lafillia Harrison died this date, April 28th, in 1840 of Convulsions and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. Her parents, James and Lafillia Harrison, lived on Carpenter Street between 8th and 9th Streets in South Philadelphia. The 1847 Philadelphia African American Census reports Ms. Harrison’s occupation as “nurse” and Mr. Harrison as “in service,” most likely as a butler or a coach driver. There also is another female in the household who is reported to be between 15 and 50 years of age and employed as a seamstress.
The Harrisons’ Carpenter Street address is currently only a block away from what is now known as the “Italian Market.” The name for the market was coined in the early 1970s for an area of south Philadelphia featuring numerous grocery shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, and butcher shops. In 1840, the Harrisons would have shopped for food and dry goods at the Eleventh Street Market at 11th Street and Moyamensing Avenue, about a mile away to the west. The other close market would have been at 2nd and Pine Street, again about a mile away. The Harrisons would not have been able to use public transportation to go to the markets because of the color of their skin.
Above are two views of the South Street Market where the Harrisons may have frequented. The Moyamensing Market would have been very similar.