In 1775, when news of the Battle of Lexington reached Suffield, Elihu Kent Sr. (1733-1814) at the age of 42 took command of a local militia of 59 men the next day, along with his son Elihu Kent Jr., 18, and his slave Titus Kent, and marched to Springfield, before heading toward Boston. Initially, slaves were discouraged from enlisting in the Continental Army as the Continental Congress was trying to appease the southern states into fighting in the Revolution. England offered freedom to slaves who fought for their side. forcing the Continental Congress to do the same in order to keep a balance. The militia later ended up on Long Island and Kent Jr. was captured by British forces and confined for a long time as a prisoner of war in the old Rhinelander Sugar House in New York. After his return to Suffield, Elihu Kent Jr. had this Georgian home built for his family.