Appearing [this coming] fall, Milt Diggins’s compelling story of slave catcher Thomas McCreary examines the physical and legal battles that followed the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Was seizing escaped slaves the legal capture of fugitives-or an act of kidnapping? Residing in Cecil County, midway between Philadelphia and Baltimore, and conducting his “business” in an area inflamed by clashes like the violent Christiana riots, McCreary drew the ire of abolitionist. Frederick Douglass referred to him as “the notorious Elkton kidnapper.
Adding a note to clarify the overview, the controversies surrounding McCreary’s activities begin a few years before the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. As would be expected for a brief summation, some major points were left out. This website provides a fuller description of the themes and topics developed in the book.