In addition to the members of the Staats family, the household comprised many other people who lived in the house or on the property at various times, for various reasons. Of course, the most famous of these, for a short time, was the American general Baron von Steuben, who actually rented a portion of the home for use as a military headquarters during the Middlebrook cantonment. Von Steuben stayed at the Staats from March 26 to June 19, 1779. While there, he hosted a military “maneuver with eight regiments of infantry and sixteen guns,” and featuring his newly trained troops in honor of M. Girard, a visiting French dignitary. The exercise, attended by Gen. George Washington and some 60 other American military personnel and guests, was followed by a meal on the property.
The Staats household also included, during the 18th and 19th centuries, people, both enslaved and free, who provided labor and specific skills required to run the farm. It also came to include spouses of some of the Margaret and Abraham Staats’ adult children and assorted others who were connected to the household.
Snapshots of the household through the 19th century can be found in the US Census and in wills, inventories and other Staats family documents. For example, the 1821 inventory of Abraham Staats’ estate, produced after his death, reveals that the household included five slaves: Harry, Jack, Deyon, Hannah and Frank. In 1830 and 1840 Federal Census accountings, the household is shown being split between Isaac Staats and his sister, Phebe. In addition to the family members living in the house, the census shows free colored males, free colored females, male slaves, female slaves, and free white males and females and persons employed in agriculture.