A summary of the topic:
In the eyes of Pennsylvanians, and some Marylanders, and Delawareans, Thomas McCreary was a villainous kidnapper. To his supporters, including two Maryland governors, McCreary was a heroic slave catcher. The slave catching and kidnapping controversy was a contributing cause of the Civil War, and this is the first book to examine this issue through the framework of a slave catcher (and kidnapper) and his community.
This program is a variation on earlier programs based on the book, and was restructured for the DEAAHGS in order to emphasize the affect slave catching and kidnapping had on African Americans living along the Mason-Dixon line.
Fifteen African Americans, including an infant, had their freedom threatened by McCreary or by slaveholders from McCreary’s home county. Some were born free, some had been legally freed, and some had seized the freedom they had been denied. Their stories are told, along with the reactions of other African Americans in Pennsylvania and Delaware who felt threatened by McCreary and others like him. The reaction of blacks and whites in communities affected by the aggressions of McCreary and other slave catchers are also important to this story.
Several of the incidents are connected to New Castle County. In addition, Thomas Garrett and the editors of the Blue Hens Chicken were highly critical of McCreary, and the editors of the Cecil County did not hide their hostility to Garrett or the antislavery newspaper.
The book, Stealing Freedom Along the Mason-Dixon Line: Thomas McCreary, the Notorious Slave Catcher from Maryland, with be available for purchase.