The death certificate is in error. The deceased was not William Valentine. I believe it was Surry Valentine. William was Surry’s father and Sophia Valentine was Surry’s mother. The image below is from the 1853 Philadelphia City Directory. It states that William Valentine is the head of a household at #10 Little Pine Street. The same address that is on the death certificate.
Consequently, I believe the actual deceased family member was four-month-old Surry Valentine, a girl, who died of an illness that had as a symptom uncontrolled diarrhea. She was buried at Bethel Burying Ground.
At the time of the death of their daughter, William Valentine was thirty-years-old and Sophia Valentine was eighteen-years-old, according to the 1850 U.S. Census. Both parents were born in Virginia. Ms. Valentine worked taking in laundry and ironing, while Mr. Valentine was employed as a waiter earning $3 a week. The family lived in a room at #10 Little Pine, paying $3 a month in rent, according to the 1847 Philadelphia African American Census.
All the residents of the crowded Philadelphia streets, courts, and alleys lived in fear of fire. The thousands of old wood-frame buildings were all possible sources of fuel for a configuration. On a cold day in late January in 1848, the Valentine family and the rest of the residents of Little Pine Street heard the cry of FIRE!
The Valentines’ home escaped the blaze this time but the fear must have always remained.
Four-month-old Surry Valentine died on a late November day in 1853 and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground.