Patriots

About This Book

While researching my book, many I interviewed believed all Blacks were slaves and that they were treated with brutality and disdain. This was obvious and typical of the American Confederacy. Because not all ships carrying West Africans were docked in deep Southern Territory, hundreds of thousands of Africans landed in Delaware and Maryland. New Jersey is located close to both states. New Jersey was inhabited by American Indian Tribal peoples for 10,000-years before the first Europeans arrived there in the 1400’s.

My dear mother knew little of her proud history. My passion for telling this story comes from the look in my mother’s eyes when she learned about her family tree. This discovery has changed my mind about genealogy. The facts as told by my family history are a different, joyful narrative and true African American history that rewrites more of what we now know about Black contributions to American society.

2023 Patriots Book Cover

The Journey into My Past

When my 94 year-old mother asked me to try an Ancestry DNA kit, I had no idea of the journey I would be taking. I discovered nearly 300 years of freedom in my African American family: from 1750, until today, my Black family – on both my mother and father’s sides – were free, educated, employed, farmers, teamsters and veterans. Both pre- and post-Civil War, my ancestors had estates of value, farms with crops, and lived in multi-generational homes on integrated streets, in peaceful, multi-ethnic communities founded on the simple idea that everyone is a friend.

Historic Timeline

1760 – 1812

Delaware Bay Region Map
1760-1812

1813 – 1817

Delaware Bay
1813-1817

1865

Shenandoah Iron
Works Map

1879

New Jersey Rail
Road Map

1923

Margaret Adele Truitt
circa 1924

Timeline

There were Quaker Anti-Slavery movements found throughout my family’s peaceful Union communities. Some of my ancestors lived in the French and later, Spanish, International Territories in 1830. Using U.S. Census data, oral history, maps, newspapers, publications, family photographs and artifacts, I traced documents leading to 287 years of my forefather’s freedom.

The Quakers – The Religious Society of Friends – are an important fact in my family history in New Jersey, Ohio, and Kansas. Quakers founded many of the towns where my ancestors lived.

Photo of great grandma