As the Historical Society of Cecil County’s Winter Speakers Series continues, Historian Milt Diggins will present “Stealing Freedom Along the Mason Dixon Line” on March 2, 2013. The talk examines the story of Thomas McCreary, a kidnapper and slave catcher, making whatever profit he could from the institution of slavery. Working out of Elkton, he was active around the time the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed.
The program by the author and retired educator is presented for the first time in Cecil County. It offers a scholarly, thoroughly researched examination of slave hunting and dealing in the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware areas and its political ramifications. This case study tells of McCreary’s most famous kidnapping, that of the Parker sisters in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the mention of McCreary in the treason trial of Castner Hanway, a Pennsylvanian who refused to help a posse search for a runaway slave. The free program takes place at the Cecil County History and Genealogy Library at 135 E. Main Street Elkton at 2 p.m.
An independent researcher, Milt served as the editor of the Journal of Cecil County History and is the author of “Images of America:
Cecil County. ” He has also lectured at the subject at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference.