Seventeen-year-old Grace Ann Murray died this date, June 3rd, in 1850 of Tuberculosis and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. She was born in Philadephia and was unmarried at the time of her death. She resided in Coombe’s Alley, according to her death certificate. The 1847 Philadelphia African American Census shows a ‘James Murray’ as the head of a family in Coombe’s Alley. He was employed as a waiter earning $3 a week. His spouse, Margaret Murray, worked as a wash woman earning $3.50 a week. They paid $4 a month for the rent of rooms at #5 Coombe’s Alley.
James and Margaret Murray reported to the census taker the following information for the 1850 U.S. Census.
Name Age Born in
James Murray 33y PA
Margaret Murray 26y PA
Louisa Murray 9y PA
Thomas Murray 5y PA
Angeline Murray 3y PA
Robert Murray <1y PA
Racy Ann Murray 16y PA
In the 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia, Coombe’s Alley is known for the tragic loss of thirty-two citizens in the narrow alley over a very short period of time. In a lighter vein, the alley is also known for a colonial tavern, Enock Story’s, where one night Quaker William Penn, Jr. became inebriated and engaged in a brawl. It is recorded that he painfully lost the encounter.
Grace Ann Murray was one of the 896 Philadelphians that succumbed to Tuberculosis in 1850. She died on a cloudless windy day in early June and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground by her family.