Forty-six-year-old Sarah Howard died this date, August 15th, in 1851 of heart disease and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. A year before her death, the 1850 U.S. Census captured the family’s information. Ms. Howard was married to George Howard, a fifty-six-year-old porter who was born in Maryland. She was not employed outside the home. They had three children: John (14 y/o), Thomas (8 y/o) and Mary T. (6 y/o). All were born in Pennsylvania. Also living with the family was sixty-year-old Hester Hammer and nine-year-old Elizabeth Purver. Both females were born in Pennsylvania as was Sarah Howard.
According to the 1849 Philadelphia City Directory, the Howard family lived across Queen Street from the Bethel Burying Ground (red pin above). The following year, they were living on Morris Street (eventually Montcalm Street). It was located between Christian Street and Fitzwater Street and between 9th and 10th Street. See black arrow above. On Morris Street, the Howards would have paid $3 – $5 a month in rent. That would have been equivalent to a week’s pay for Mr. Howard.
Morris Street was a small neighborhood of Black artisans. The 1847 Census shows a remarkable number of Black dressmakers, seamstresses, tailors, confectionery bakers, Mantua makers*, and Drapers **.
Ms. Sarah Howard died on a warm day in August 1851 when the temperature at dawn was 65° and rose to 84° by 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Her family eventually buried her at Bethel Burying Ground.
*Mantua: a fashionable woman’s loose gown.
**Draper: a retailer or wholesaler of cloth for clothing.