Gilliard after College and his untimely death
After Jacob left the college he married Helen Putnam on June 1st 1854. Jacob and Helen moved to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts; in order for them to be closer to her family. Jacob took up the trade of his in-laws, who were barbers. Helen Putnam was born in 1830 her parents being George and Jane Putnam. Both of whom were important abolitionists.
After Jacob had become a barber in his own right after studying under Helen's family, Jacob took a number of jobs on steamships working as a barber. On his trips he would be docked along all the country. In the time that he spent on shore in California he became involved in the 1855 California Colored Convention, which he was appointed to lead a committee to help elect the next chairman.
Following his time in California Jacob took a job on the steamship "The Central American" in 1857. The ship left Panama to return to the United States for New York City. Unfortuantly it was caught in a hurricane on the 9th of September and by the 11th the ship had fallen apart with 425 lives being lost, one of which was Jacob Gilliard. After his death all his belongings were left to his wife.