Titus Kent was an enslaved individual who lived in Suffield, Connecticut from 1733-18xx. His Owner was Elihu Kent who was also an officer in the town’s militia. Titus served in the American Revolution for the Connecticut militia. We do not have any documents describing the relationship that Titus had with Elihu. Nevertheless, we do have documents showing Titus’ first enlistment in the Connecticut State Militia and other regiments throughout the entire Revolutionary War.
Titus appeared in Samuel Kent’s 1772 probate record when Samuel Kent, father of Elihu, bequeathed Titus and Cato to his son Elihu. Elihu was a captain at the start of the Revolutionary War and led Suffield’s large contingency to the Lexington alarm in 1775. He later became a major.
Suffield’s nineteenth century town historian, Hezikiah Spencer Sheldon, interviewed older residents in the late 19th century who recalled Old Ti, Titus Kent’s son, and learned that Titus married Rose, who was a slave for the minister, Reverend Ebenezer Gay. Titus Kent and Rose had three children who were manumitted in 1814 by Reverend Ebenezer Gay’s two sons, Reverend Ebenezer Gay jr. and William Gay.
Titus Kent fought throughout the American Revolution, and our preliminary research discovered him serving in the Third Regiment and was notably getting paid for his service. This is an interesting fact because we do not have any documented evidence of his freedom. Did he keep this money for himself or was he obliged to give some or all of the money to the Kent family?
George Washington, a significant leader during this colonial time period, captures most of the attention and light written in history books throughout the years. He was the symbol for our country, and at this time Titus Kent was enslaved by the Kent family in Suffield. When George Washington passes through Suffield in 1775 on his way to become General of the Continental Army in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Titus Kent likely attended this parade through town. Titus Kent must have been impressed with Washington’s height, manner, and presence as many of his fellow colonists were at the second Continental Congress in Philadelphia when the appointed Washington to lead the army. Was this encounter a factor that motivated Titus Kent to join the fight on the Patriot side? What inspired Titus Kent to fight along side of other African American in his units for the Patriot cause? Or was he fighting for his freedom?
Here are more documents that the class curated from Fold3.