One-year-old Levi Palmer died this date, September 28th, in 1849 from “inward weakness of the lungs” and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. Doctor Stikes, an herbalist, misspelled the last name. He has it as ‘Pamer.’ Census records have it as ‘Palmer.’
The child’s father also was named ‘Levi,’ according to the death certificate. Mr. Palmer was born in Delaware and was in his early 30s at the time of his son’s death, according to the 1860 U.S. Census. There is no record of Mr. Levi participating in the 1850 U.S. Census, so we do not have the name of the child’s mother. In the 1860 Census, Mr. Levi is single. I could find no death certificate for the child’s mother.
In 1847, the Palmer family lived in a small room at 162 Lombard Street for which they paid $3.33 a month. Mr. Palmer was employed as a hog (brick) carrier for which he may have earned $4-$5 a week. Ms. Palmer worked as a domestic and may have made $1-$2 a week at the most. Little Levi was their only child.
The Second Street Market was a vital part of the community. The street-wide two-block long structure ran from Pine Street to South Street. The structure contained designated stalls for everything from fresh produce, meats, bread, cakes, and seafood to household items such as brooms and soaps. However, when the sun went down and the vendors closed up shop, the giant shed turned into a clubhouse for violent criminals and savage white gangs determined to eradicate Blacks from the city. This was occurring at their front door. Law enforcement was irrelevant. The Black community was on its own.
One-year-old Levi Palmer died on a late day in September where the weather was “fair” with a “drying wind.” The temperature rose to 77 degrees in the afternoon from a low of 57 degrees at sunrise.