A prominent citizen of the West Fields, Captain Samuel Meeker, father of the sitter Samuel Meeker in the Stuart portrait, was a timber trader and cabinetmaker; the family resided at Short Hills on the edge of Springfield, NJ. Captain Samuel was married in the Westfield Presbyterian Church on December 14th, 1760 to Mary Clark. At least one of his sons, William was baptized in the Westfield Presbyterian Church in 1762.
The “New York Gazette” on July 5, 1779, reported: "Last Tuesday night a detachment from his Majesty's 37th Regiment with a party of Col. Barton's and some refugees, went over from Staten-Island to a place called Woodbridge Raway, where they surprised a party of rebels in a tavern, killed their commanding officer Captain Skinner of a Troop of Light Horse, and another man and took the following prisoners, viz: Capt. Samuel Meeker...” …… “but by the timely exertions of a few militia, who collected immediately, they were released...”
May 12, 1763 ---"Run away from Samuel Meeker, a Negro Man, Sampson, about 6 feet 4 inches, aged 24 Years, speaks good English: Had on when he went away two dark colour’d homespun Jackets, Leather Breeches, brown Stockings. Whoever takes up and secures said Negro so that his Master may have him again, shall receive Twenty Shillings Reward and all reasonable charges paid by Samuel Meeker."
"Pretends to be free": runaway slave advertisements from colonial and revolutionary New York and New Jersey By Graham Russell Hodges, Alan Edward Brown 1994
History of Union County, New Jersey, Volumes 1-2 By Frederick William Ricord East Jersey History Co. Newark, NJ 1897 p.523