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Tue Sep 17, 2019, 10:43 PM

Patty Cannon- Johnson Gang In Del.-Md. Kidnapped Blacks, Sold Them Back To Slavery Early 19th c.

- A Sussex County serial killer. Patty Cannon & her gang's deeds are almost too gruesome to believe.- Cape-Gazette, Nov. 30, 2018. Able to elude capture for years, this notorious criminal was one of the nation's first female serial killers. Patty Cannon, who lived on the Delaware-Maryland line near Seaford, confessed to killing more than two dozen people – including her husband and one of her children. It's even reported she threw one child in a fire to stop her from crying.
Her gang of 50 to 60 people operated for 30 years, committing as many as 30 murders and more than 3,000 kidnappings, countless thefts and other crimes.

Patty, aka Lucretia or Martha, Cannon and her Cannon-Johnson gang kidnapped free African-Americans and runaway slaves in the early 19th century and sold them back into slavery in the South. Cannon was indicted for murder in 1829 when the remains of three children were found by a tenant farmer on a property she owned in Sussex County. Adding to the legend, she did not hang for her deeds but died mysteriously in jail, probably from poison. Incredibly, local historians may have found a living southern connection in her family tree.

The gang operated from a house in Reliance, Md., about five miles west of Seaford. Because the house was located near the convergence of Sussex County in Delaware and Caroline and Dorchester counties in Maryland, she moved from county to county and state to state to escape the law. Her gang was so infamous they became known as the Reverse Underground Railroad. The gang was tied to murders and kidnappings in big cities and small towns including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Dover, Georgetown, Laurel and Woodland in Delaware and Easton, Cambridge, Elkton and Princess Anne in Maryland. For unknown reasons, her gang was never tied to any crimes in nearby Seaford.

Cannon married Jesse Cannon and had two children. After her husband died, she and her son-in-law, Joe Johnson, built a tavern on the Delaware-Maryland state line, which became the base for the gang's operations..Author Mike Morgan, who wrote “Delmarva's Patty Cannon: Devil on the Nanticoke,” said while the gang kidnapped runaway slaves, they preyed on free African-Americans living in Philadelphia and Baltimore. “They would lure them by offering money to help unload a boat. Once they got them on the boat, they would put them in chains and sail back to the Seaford area on the Nanticoke River where they would unload them. When slave traders would come by, they were sold and shipped south,” Morgan said. So why? “Who knows why someone turns to a life of crime,” Morgan said. “But this was a lot of money, and for the most part easy money.” He said slaves could be sold for $200 to $300, which would be thousands in today's money.

Morgan said, although he was at first skeptical that he could confirm facts about her life, he was able to discover contemporary documents verifying many of her notorious deeds. “After research, I could document most of her life. Whatever you have had heard about her is probably true, and even more so,” he said...More...


Wiki, Patty Cannon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Cannon

- The words “nearby stood” have been added to this historical marker at what had previously been called the Patty Cannon House on the Maryland-Delaware line in Reliance, west of Seaford. The original house, located about a quarter-mile to the north, was torn down.

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Reply Patty Cannon- Johnson Gang In Del.-Md. Kidnapped Blacks, Sold Them Back To Slavery Early 19th c. (Original post)
appalachiablue Sep 17 OP
bobbieinok Sep 17 #1
appalachiablue Sep 17 #2
dalton99a Sep 18 #3
appalachiablue Sep 18 #4

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Sep 17, 2019, 11:09 PM

1. We need to know our history

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Response to bobbieinok (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 17, 2019, 11:25 PM

2. In many years studying history including the Chesapeake Bay area

I never heard of this vile criminal gang consisting of 50-60 people that operated for a decade. So glad to see this coming out, better late than never, and more. 'Reverse Underground Railroad.'

- (Wiki) Patty" Cannon, whose birth name may have been Lucretia Patricia Hanly (c. 1760 or 1759 or 1769 – May 11, 1829), was an illegal slave trader and the co-leader of the Cannon–Johnson Gang of Maryland–Delaware. The group operated for about a decade in the early 19th century kidnapping free blacks and fugitive slaves, along the Delmarva Peninsula to sell into slavery in the South. The activity became known as the Reverse Underground Railroad.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 09:36 AM

3. 20 to 30 murders; 3,000 to 10,000 kidnappings

The skull of notorious kidnapper and killer Patty Cannon, shown in a 1977 News Journal photo, for many years was put on public display at Halloween. -- Delaware Backstory

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 04:09 PM

4. This horror story has remained unearthed for almost 200 years. Time

for some exposure of their criminal inhumanity, via a play or movie. 1821-1829 is when the gang operated, so a 'bicentennial' is in order for the monstrous Cannon-Johnson group.

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