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Allegany County
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Hannah Cresap, 1705-1774?

Hannah Cresap Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Hannah Cresap was a real “frontier woman” of the mid-18th century. She accompanied her husband, Thomas, from their home near Havre de Grace, Harford county, Maryland, to the untracked frontier of Western Maryland. In 1741, they settled, built a home and stockade fort in what is now Oldtown, thereby making this the oldest town in present-day Allegany County (established in 1789). A sixteen year old George Washington stayed at Hannah’s home for several days in 1748 while doing survey work on his first trip to Maryland.

While residing in eastern Maryland, Hannah fought alongside her husband in the 1730s in a major boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland. In the aftermath of one particular attack upon their cabin by a group of Pennsylvanians, Hannah Cresap denied the request of a candle to the raiders to examine the leg wound of a member of their party, and instead cried out that she was not only glad he had been wounded but would have preferred the wound had been to his heart. The man later died.

She was also known during this period to mount a horse and accompany the militia with a sword at her side and in battle array. Known to be fearless and proficient in the use of a musket, she once sounded the bugle (an early Flugelhorn) and led the militia on horseback to confront a group of armed men she noticed crossing the river in preparation for an attack.

Hannah was born in 1705 and died sometime prior to 1774. She had married Thomas Cresap [ca.1694-1787] in 1727 and they had seven children. (from Rootsweb.com and The Cresap Society)

According to the Cresap Society the site of Hannah and Thomas Cresap’s frontier cabin has been built over several times, but it is believed that a corner is still visible as part of the foundation of the National Park Service building which sits between the Potomac River and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Oldtown, Maryland.


Text - Albert Feldstein, from Rootsweb and Cresap Society, Photograph - Irwin Allen

State Roads Commission historical marker photo at Oldtown. From Historic Oldtown, Maryland by Irvin G. Allen, published 1983 by McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia. Used with permission of Mr Irwin's daughter


Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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