For 53 years, Thomas Titus and his descendants farmed this plot of land. Once an enslaved person, his remains lie here in an unmarked grave, as if keeping watch over the old farmstead.
Gerardus Beekman, the slave holder, was a member of the prominent Beekman family of New York and New Jersey. In 1814, Beekman penned his final wishes, "I will that my negro man Thomas shall have freedom after serving my heirs, or any man he shall choose, so long as a time to make fifteen years from the first day of March Eighteen Hundred and Two."
Although not yet a free man, Thomas and his wife, Sarah Tenbroeck, purchased a small farm for $50 from Ferdinand Van Dyke, in August 1817. On August 3rd, 1818, the official manumission was written and filed at the county clerk's office in New Brunswick.
Thomas farmed this land for the next 32 years. Oats, wheat, potatoes and corn were cultivated near an orchard of peach trees.
Thomas and his wife Sarah also raised twelve children, six of whom were born after the family's manumission. On July 21st 1849, Thomas Titus died of the Plaque at 64 years of age.