So my second episode of History Is Stranger Than Fiction, “The Emperor’s Greatest Fear,” was due out today, but due to life happening, it won’t be out until tomorrow. Sorry about that! But here is a nice little tidbit to tide you over until then.
On May 25, 1738, a treaty was signed between two rivals who were warring over contested land. The treaty involved a recognition of an agreed upon boundary and an exchange of prisoners – all normal treaty stuff, right? It is, until you realize that the conflict was between Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1730, a man named Thomas Cresap sailed up the Susquehanna River from his homestead in northern Maryland into what is now southern York County, Pennsylvania. Cresap and his gang of men began to seize homesteads from residents already on the land, much to the chagrin of the government of the northern colony. In response, the sheriff on Donegal, in neighboring Lancaster County, raided Cresap-controlled territory and arrested the “invader,” killing one of Cresap’s men in the process. This was the only casualty of the so-called “Cresap’s War,” also known as the “Conojocular War.” The conflict served as the impetus for the surveying of the Mason-Dixon Line that marks the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland to this day.