Sixteen-year-old Ann Eliza Oliver died this date, December 29th in 1850 of Typhoid Fever and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. She was born in Philadelphia. Three years before her death, she was a student at the 6th and Lombard School. The following is a combination of information from the 1847 Philadelphia African American Census and the 1850 U.S. Census on Ann Eliza’s family.
Mr. Oliver, on occasion, also would be listed as an oyster seller. In 1847, he reported his yearly income as a whitewasher as $350. This would be approximately $11,984 in modern currency.
The Oliver family lived on Eutaw Street near Franklin Square. Originally named North East Publick Square by William Penn, it was renamed in 1812 to honor Benjamin Franklin. It currently is located in the Center City area, between North 6th and 7th Streets, and between Race Street and the Vine Street Expressway. Eutaw Street no longer exists.
The 1847 Census reports that the Oliver family paid the sum of $8.00 a month in rent or approximately $240 in modern currency. This is double the price that would be paid for a couple of rooms or even an entire two-story house. The Olivers likely took in boarders. Mr. Oliver reported $350 in personal property or approximately $11,984 in modern currency. It also was reported that the family owned property in Wilmington, Delaware, valued at $400 or approximately $13,735.
Living on Eutaw Street, in addition to the Oliver family, were thirteen other Black families with a total of sixty-four men, women, and children. The men worked as coachmen, teachers, seamen, and porters. The women were employed as cake bakers, domestics, and laundresses.
Ms. Oliver’s fatal illness, Typhoid, was caused by a Salmonella bacteria she consumed in contaminated food or water. She would have suffered a high fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. After approximately a month of suffering, the intestines perforate and septicemia take the victim’s life. Ann Eliza was one of 107 Philadelphians to die of Typhoid in 1850, according to Board of Health records.
Ann Eliza Oliver died on a cold clear day in late December where the temperature only rose to 34 degrees. She was buried at Bethel Burying Ground, with dignity, by her family.