1848 Cumberland Maryland (MD) County John Hays JEWISH William O....

1848 Cumberland Maryland (MD) County John Hays JEWISH William O. Sprigg SLAVE CATCHER MURDERED Civil War
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Allegany County
John Hays Samuel Parton H.H. Ainsworth John W. Javboc William O Sprigg
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This is an original document from 1848 from Allegany County, Maryland. The document is unique and is likely signed by either a murdered slave catcher (or a Confederate secessionist) and a Jewish mayor. The document is signed by William O. Sprigg, Samuel Paxton, H.H. Ainsworth, John W. Javboc, and John Hays. The document appears to be an Maryland arrest statement with witness signatures.

In the 1840s and 50s there were two men named William O. Sprigg in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. One was a prominent young man who was engaged in a feud in 1852 with Robert Swan, and after Sprigg spit in Swan's face, Swan returned to the house, chased him, shot through a door with a shotgun and killed him. A book was published about the trial, which mentions on page 84 that Sprigg only carried a gun once before, when chasing a runaway slave from Virginia. The first judge, Judge Perry, was a relative of Swan, so he stepped down from overseeing the trial. There was also another William O. Sprigg from Cumberland, Maryland, likely a relative of the murder victim, who was accused by William Seward of being a secessionist during the Civil War, and Seward recommended imprisoning him at Fort McHenry for his Confederate connections. John Hays, the other person who signed the document, was likely Jewish, and the The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 6 states that the mayor of Cumberland in 1852-53 was John Hays and he was Jewish. Interesting document likely signed by several unique individuals from prominent Maryland families.