Thirty-five-year-old Sarah Golden died this date, April 30th, in 1853 of Tuberculosis and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. She worked as a laundress earning $50 a year, according to the 1847 Philadelphia African American Census. Fifty dollars in the year 1847 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1,506.80 in 2018.
Ms. Golden was married to Samuel Golden who was employed as a waiter and, at one point, worked part-time in a stove store. The death of Ms. Golden left three children motherless – Joseph (16 y/o), Emeline (8) and Isabella (5), according to the 1850 Federal Census. The family moved a good deal. They lived in Atkinson Court, Smith’s Court and Hurst Street – all locations where the residents lived in extreme poverty and perfect environments for Tuberculosis to spread. The entire family likely would have lived in a 9’x9′ room for which they paid approximately $5 a month.
Mr. and Ms. Golden sent their children to local schools that were established by private institutions to educate Black children and, according to the 1847 Census, three members of the family regularly attended church services. A surviving Philadelphia Board of Health death certificate reports that Sarah’s son Joseph died at 25 years of age of a stroke while employed as a “mariner.”