THE FIGHT FOR BLACK MOBILITY: TRAVELING TO MID-CENTURY CONVENTIONS

BAKERIES

Cake and Pie Peddlers: Devonshire and Grace Williams lived in Lisle St. for more than 40 years. Grace was born in Delaware around 1825; her husband is from West Indies and was born around 1813. As a young man, Devonshire worked as a waiter. The couple had a series of tragedies: in 1843, their 17-year-old passed away. Ten years later, their infant daughter died and another infant would follow in 1861. The Williams were left with a son and a daughter, both of whom were conceived later in the couple’s lives (Grace was in her early forties and Devonshire in his fifties). To make ends meet, Grace worked as a laundress and Devonshire sold cakes and pies around Philadelphia.

Asbury Denny’s Bakery: Asbury Denny is an African American baker originally from Delaware. He ran a bakery with his wife on Lombard St. In 1863, he also enlisted as a soldier, serving in the 3rd U.S. Colored Infantry.

Ellis Peer: Confectioner Ellis Peer ran his business on South St. with his wife Eliza Peer. In the same household lived a saddler named Moses Wheeler. An 1860 census values his estate at 900 dollars.