When the writing of Dark Legacy was coming to an end, I was struggling for an ending that would be both climatic and engaging. I wanted something that would make readers eager to read the final book in the series. As I searched libraries and the web, I came across a Huffington Post article about Archeology students from Temple University who were taking part in an excavation in Westampton Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. What Archeologist unearthed (June 2010) was an African American community founded by free African Americans, fugitive slaves, and Quaker abolitionists as early as 1820. The small village was named Timbuctoo. Some believe it was named after the Timbuktu in Africa. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Not only could I use this information to craft an amazing ending for my story, but just knowing that another piece of African American history was coming to light was exciting.
This was a few years ago and since that time, scientist have discovered many artifacts and fragments of the lives of the people that occupied that land more than 200 years ago. Some of their descendants are still living there today.
Timbuctoo is prominent in my third novel of the Legacy series because the main characters relocate to Timbuctoo at the end of Dark Legacy. Archeologist also believe that Timbuctoo was a station on the Underground Railroad, another fact that will fit nicely in the third novel, which is currently untitled.
Five parcels of land were sold to black meyn in 1826 and Timbuctoo first appeared in the national census in 1830. The Village of Timbuctoo lasted well into the twentieth century. Reports say that the town declined after the Great Depression as many residents moved away in the search for work. If you would like to learn more about Timbuctoo Village visit www.timbuctoonj.com.