Mrs. Boggs was the main cook in the Bishop's house. She and one or two other servants lived directly above the kitchen. Cooks were extremely important because if your food wasn't cooked properly, you could become very ill. She was likely a woman of some standing as she was referred to as "Mrs" Boggs. She was in charge of doing all the laundry and keeping the house clean.
John was the coachman (like a chauffeur today). He lived behind the Bishop's house and stayed on the second floor of the building in which he kept the horse. He was a free African American who took the Bishop around the city and on other longer trips with his horse and carriage. The Bishop's next door neighbor was the most famous doctor in the city, Benjamin Rush. Dr. Rush wrote the following letter to his wife and included word of a knock on the door.
"...the bed my kind sister provided for me in the back room lies unoccupied all day. Adieu. Love to all. 'Brethren, pray for us.' Hark! A knock at the door! Alas, it is called Mrs. Boggs at Bishop White's. Again adieu. The delay of a minute seems a year to a patient after a physician is sent for.
From yours sincerely,
The patient Dr. Rush refers to is John the coachman who had contracted yellow fever and would later die of the disease. John's death greatly affected Bishop White, for he was not only a workman, but a friend and companion to the Bishop.