20 October 2009
I come from the youngest of their 11 children, James William Cresap, who went south to New Orleans and married a beautiful creole woman, Martha Bauduc.
Sheriff George Swearingen, Susannah's nephew, said he and his family were on their way to visit Aunt Susannah on 8 Sept 1828 when his wife's horse stumbled and she was killed. But their toddler, Mary, said daddy hurt mommy and officials who exhumed Mary Catherine (Scott) Swearingen's body agreed. George fled with his mistress Rachel Cunningham who he had scandalously kept in Hagerstown, but he was recognized and apprehended on a flatboat entering New Orleans and was returned to Maryland. After an 8 day trial he was convicted. On 2 Oct 1829 over 6,000 came to see George on the gallows on the west side of Will's Creek. He had been one of the most popular men in (then) Washington County, Maryland. I'm betting our James William Cresap, 15, came to watch his 1st cousin, George, 29, hang.
*George Swearingen's confession is printed in full in Chris H. Bailey's The Stulls of Millsborough--a Genealogical History of John Stull "The Miller" - Pioneer of Western Maryland. Publisher Chris H. Bailey, 31 Prospect St, New Hartford, CT, 06057 (Mar 6, 2000).
**On 15 June 2005 I read the original transcript of his trial dated 25 Sept 1829 at the Washington County Historical Society, 135 W. Washington St. Hagertown, Maryland 21740