The Entailed Hat Or, Patty Cannons Times

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The ferry was founded and operated by the Cannon family Not known if there is a familial connection to Patty Cannon or not. Does anyone have a reference pointing to the Johnson's Ferry name, or should it be changed to Cannon's Ferry? Carnifex , 28 November UTC. This is why I love Wikipedia -- I had never heard of this person and stumbled on this article while fixing a link on another page. Now I want to find out more about her.


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  4. Martha "Patty" Cannon!

Wiki is great fertilizer for the mind. Ed Okonowitz, a local Delaware author and storyteller, tells the story of Patty Cannon with much more detail. He described in detail more of the rumors of her cruelty. For example, she once threw a baby into the fireplace because its mother could not calm it down. There are also more rumors about her suicide in Georgetown - Okonowitz says that she may have hidden cyanide in the hem of her dress, in a cake delivered by her children, or she may have bribed a guard to sneak it to her. Mrhodes8 , 4 April UTC. Three short paragraphs from TEH are now included in the article.

Although this is a longer quote that I'd usually include, I put it in for two reasons. The TEH, sensationalized as it may be, is the major source of info on Cannon and her times. While I hesitate to include any of its specifics about her origins, acts, or final end without alerting the reader in the text, rather than a footnote, that the info is from TEH, the book can be relied on for general facts such as the effect of the War on the slave-stealing business.

Sources on Patty Cannon are going to be rare and hard to find; I think the article has room for this one, so long as the material used carefully, with proper caveats and introductions. I've deleted Shields as a source, as this book appears to be self published. When that land became a parking lot in the 20th century, her skeleton, along with those of two other women, was exhumed and reburied in a potter's field near the new prison.

However, her skull was separated from the rest of her remains and put on display in various venues, and loaned to the Dover Public Library in Popular culture. According to folklore, Cannon was a large, unruly woman with enormous strength and a ruthless streak. Cannon has had mythic prominence since her death, beginning with the publication of a "female fiend" pamphlet in and followed by numerous works which combine fact and fiction, sometimes carefully distinguished and sometimes loosely mixed.

It is difficult to extract the facts except in those cases where authors were meticulous about noting their sources or flagging their departures from fact into thriller. Cannon was the subject of a "female fiend" pamphlet in titled Narrative and Confessions of Lucretia P. Cannon, published anonymously in New York. This pamphlet inspired many others, changing the main character's name and altering the litany of her crimes. These pamphlets were a subgenre of sensational literature which resembled a combination of modern pulp magazines and true crime books, and were contemporary with the British penny dreadfuls.

Significant factual liberties were taken even with pamphlets purporting to be true. In this case, Cannon was apparently renamed to taint her by association with Lucretia Borgia, a notorious poisoner. Hardback editions were published in at least , , and A paperback was issued in March Various modern collections of ghost stories include information on Patty Cannon. In Monica S. Baker's middle grade novel, Freestyle , Patty Cannon stalks 21st century Mitchell Burke in his dreams Other media. There is an historical marker placed at the "Patty Cannon House.

Her house, built sometime in the 18th century, was torn down in Cannon was the basis of the slave-stealing Patty Ridenour character in a sixth-season episode of Homicide: Life on the Street titled "Sins of the Father," which originally aired in January, A novel by Clive Cussler entitled Spartan Gold is based in part upon Martha 'Patty' Cannon and a modern day search for valuable stolen artifacts which she may have left behind Wikipedia. Narrative and confessions of Lucretia P. Cannon, who was tried, convicted, and sentenced to be hung at Georgetown, Del.

The Murders of Lucretia Cannon is a sensationalist and unreliable account. Widowed, she set up a tavern in Maryland, and headed up a gang which captured free blacks and fugitive slaves and sold them into slavery. She was alleged to have beaten a crying infant and then burned it alive; murdered tavern patrons for their money one man was stabbed and stuffed into a trunk which her accomplices disposed of ; killed a slaver by crushing his head in order to steal his two slaves. Cannon's career came to an end when neighbors used a search warrant to enter her house and discovered twenty-one black captives and many skeletons in the backyard.

At trial, Cannon was sentenced to death. To avoid hanging, she took poison which killed her, but first led her to break down and confess to killing eleven people, acting as an accessory to twelve other deaths, poisoning her husband, and killing her three-day-old.

The Entailed Hat

Dover, Del. She never was charged for these crimes but instead was arrested in for the murder of four people, including a slave trader. She died in a Georgetown prison, supposedly a suicide, at age 70 while awaiting trial, and was buried in the adjoining graveyard. For years what is thought to be her skull lay in a red hatbox in the Dover Public Library, most recently in the office of Library Director Margery Cyr. In a journey Cannon herself probably never would have made, the relic was taken to Washington, D.

Douglas Owsley, chief of the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian, plans to examine and preserve the skull as part of a larger study of life in the Chesapeake from colonial times to the 19th century. James Marsh, then a Sussex deputy sheriff, obtained it and gave it to a relative, Charles Joseph, who hung it in his barn and later stored it in his home.

Descriptions of Cannon, all written many years after her death, paint her as a rather fearsome person. Cannon apparently got away with many of her alleged kidnappings because her farm and tavern were on the Delaware-Maryland border, allowing her to slip across the frontier if the local sheriff got too curious. At the time, little concern was shown if blacks disappeared from the community, and although rumors were rife about her activities, little was done. The lower jaw is missing and some of the facial bones have separated from the cranium, which itself is starting to split along natural growth lines.

Forensic examination of the skull will include CT scans, bone density measurements, a dental examination of the remaining teeth and tests to determine concentrations of elements such as arsenic, lead and mercury. As Patty Cannon came out of the tavern the cross-roads were full of people, taking their last look at the spot where she had triumphed for nearly twenty years.

None thought to look at Van Dorn, nor ask what had become of him, and his friend Sorden removed his body, unseen, to a spot in the pine woods, where his unmarked grave was dug, and standing round it were three mourners only, and Sorden said the final words with homely tears:. The Maryland constable marched Patty Cannon down to the little bridge of planks where ran the ditch nearly on the State line, and tradition still believes the figment that Joe Johnson at that moment was hiding beneath it.

There, driven across the boundary like some borderer's cow, the queen of the kidnappers was seized by the Delaware constable, and placed in a small country gig-wagon, and, followed by a large mounted posse, the road was taken to the little hamlet of Seaford, five miles distant. She watched the small funereal cedars and monumental poplar-trees rise strangled from the underbrush, the dark-brown streams flowing into inky mill-ponds, the close, small pines, scarcely large enough to moan, but trying to do so in a baby tone, and her eyes turned to the sand, where she was soon to be.

Not agony nor repentance nor any hope of escape fluttered her cold heart, but only a feeling of being ungratefully deserted by her friends, and ill-treated by her equals and neighbors, who had so seldom warned or avoided her; no preacher had come to tell her the naked gospel, and some had bowed to her respectfully, and even begged her oats, and made subscriptions from her ill-gotten silver.

Seaford was a sandy place upon a bluff of the Nanticoke, and, as the procession came in, a party of surveyors, working for Meshach Milburn's railroad, paused to jeer the old kidnapper. She had grown suddenly old, and never raised her voice, that had always been so forward, to make a reply. The magistrate, Dr. John Gibbons, had been an educated young Irishman who landed from a ship at Lewes, and, marrying a lady in Maryland, near Patty Cannon's, became the legal spirit of the little town.

His office, a mere cabin, on a corner by his house, being too small for the purpose, the examination was adjourned to the tavern, at the foot of the hill, near where a mill-pond brook dug its way to the Nanticoke. Around the tavern some box-bush walks were made in the sand, and willow-trees bordered the cold river-side, and, at pauses in the hearing, wild-fowl were heard to play and pipe in the falling tide. The evidence of Cy James and other cowardly companions in her sins was quickly given, and the procession started through the woods and sands to Georgetown, twelve miles to the eastward, where Patty Cannon was received by all the town, waiting up for her, and the jail immediately closed her in.

Yer, Whatcoat," addressing his male fellow-prisoner, "take this knife the same feller slipped me, an' cut these cords. Now, for a little hokey-pokey; I think I'll git in thar myself, an' let Joe sell t'other feller fur a nigger.


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  • With a good start, and a fair wind and slack tide, Johnson was off Vienna at eight o'clock. I'm boozy fur sleep. Thar's two in this crew I don't know, and I must be helmsman. I'll make my nigger work his passage. I'll sink that dab an' stiffy. He called two deck hands, and lifted the body out of the hold.

    Some ropes being put around the bed, and drag-irons attached to them, the whole weight was unceremoniously thrown overboard at the point of Hungry Neck, and the dealer remarked, apologetically:. I reckon he'll be 'conservative' enough after this. And now I'll snooze. Steer her for Ragged Point, yonder, Whatcoat, an' when you git thar wake me.

    It's clear broad inlet all the way; an' remember, nigger, I sleep and shoot, on hair triggers! With his pistols in his hand, Johnson lay down in the cabin a few feet from the helmsman, and tried to see and sleep at once. He had been without rest for many nights, and sleep soon bound him in its own clevis and manacles. When he awoke, so deep had been his slumber that he could not recall for a moment where he was. The tiller was unmanned, the stars shone in the cabin hatchway, a cold bilge-water draft blew through the old hulk, and, as he dragged himself up the steps, he saw tall woods near by, and heard the voice of solemn pines.

    The vessel was aground; wild geese were making jubilant shrieks as they cut the water with their fleecy wings, like cameo engraving; the outlaw gazed and gazed, and finally muttered:. I run from it the last time I was yer, an' my blood runs cold to be yer agin; my daddy got his curse from this camp-meetin'. The kidnapper shook his captive, but he did not awaken. He turned the man over, and there met his eyes the cold blue stare and Roman nose and bleeding lips of Allan McLane, apparently returned from the bottom of the river.

    With a shriek, the outlaw bounded upon the deck and ran to the bow of the pungy. The man had just been able to articulate.

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    He crawled through the stays to the cabin, and got your pistols, first; leastways, we found him an' the yaller feller at the helm on top of us, coming up the fo'castle, and next t'other two men jined 'em. They said ole Samson had give 'em the wink. We two was tied and throwed in yer, an' ef you had awaked, thar was a man to stab you to the heart, sot over you. They sowed you up a feather an' oyster-shell man on a plank to heave overboard; that's what they said.

    They steered for Deil's Island, an' sot the Island Parson yer to watch that you don't git the pungy off, an' I reckon they're half-way to Princess Anne.

    The Entailed Hat; Or, Patty Cannon's Times by George Alfred Townsend - Free Ebook

    Joe Johnson heard no more. He released his creatures from their bonds, took the dead body in the pungy's canoe, and gave the command:. We'll strike St. Mary's County or Virginny. Never agin will I put foot on this Eastern Shore.

    Crush a Diamond with a Hammer? - Dude Perfect

    It looks a little bad, but the slave-trade sounds better than kidnappin'. He'll meet his heathens at the Judgment Seat. Good ole Meshach Milburn, that everybody's down on, pitied that pore woman, an' made me set things she needed in her window. He said if I ever told it he'd discharge me. But, come, my son, I've buried at Broad Creek your wife's family relics. We'll hire a wagon, and drive to ole Broad Creek 'piscopal church on the way, and there I'll have you married to Huldy.

    The sword-hilt and coins were disinterred, and in that ancient edifice of hard pine, where the worship of her English race had long been celebrated, the naval officer's daughter became the wife of the son of his voluptuous and perverted friend. Illinois has become a free state, after a hard fight, and I reckon that'll suit us.

    The Entailed Hat, or Patty Cannon's Times: Or Patty Cannon's Times, a Romance (Classic Reprint)

    For a while Patty Cannon, by her affability and sorrow, had easy times in jail, and was allowed to eat with the jailer's family; but, as the examination proceeded before the grand jury, and her menials hastened to throw their responsibility in so many crimes upon her alone, an outer opinion demanded that she be treated more harshly, and some of the irons she had manacled upon her captives were riveted upon her own ankles. Very soon dropsy began to appear in her legs and feet, and, after it became evident to her that neither money nor friends were forthcoming in her defence, she fell into a passive despair.

    This result was hastened by Patty Cannon's death, which happened, to the great relief of many respectably considered people in that region, who had feared from the first that she would make a minute confession, implicating everybody who had dealt with her band. Among these was Judge Custis, who opened his skeleton-in-the-closet to John M.

    Clayton one spring-like day. Clayton had quietly prodded on the conviction of Patty Cannon, but the jealousy of the slaveholding interest made him wary of any open appearance against her. They were sitting in the little parlor of the Methodist parsonage, a small frame house with a conical-roofed portico and big end-chimney, a little off from the public square, whither they had gone to send the pastor to wait on the aged Chancellor, who had been taken ill in the court-room, and lay in the hotel.

    In this I humiliate myself before you, as I must do, if I am to become your client. When I was a collegian at Yale, returning home one holiday, I fell in love with a beautiful quadroon, the property of my uncle, in Northampton County. She was an elegant woman, with a good education, and had been my playmate.

    I was ardent and good-looking, and easily found lodgment in her heart; but the conquest of her charms was long, and agonizing with sincere esteem. You must believe me when I declare that I fell dangerously ill because I was refused by her, and, making a confidant of my doctor, he told the girl that she must choose between my death and her surrender. Pity, then, prevailed, even over religion. I was happy in every point but oneā€”the injury concealment worked upon her self-respect; for, Clayton, my mistress was my own cousin.

    I possessed some negroes, the legacy of my mother. To sell them publicly would be a stigma both upon my humanity and my credit. I adopted the cowardly device of letting a kidnapper slip them away, and take a large commission for his trouble. I saved my lady, but at the expense of a secret. Judge Custis broke into a long fit of sobbing, and Clay ] ton, who had noticed his dejected mien since their separation, passed an arm around him, saying:.

    Never mind, old friend! Johnson is fled; McLane, they whisper, has never been seen since he entered Johnson's tavern. His will was found there, and your daughter gets her mother's property and servants back. Pinkney termed 'the contaminating curse of reluctant bondsmen,' we, also, became poor. To save others, it was necessary that I must marry, and get money by my own prostitution. My God, how we are repaid! A bride was found for me in Baltimore, the sister of Allan McLane, and a beauty.

    She told me so with her heart breaking. In heaven, where she dwells with my poor child, she hears me now, and knows I speak the truth! Judge Custis broke down again, and leaned his convulsed head on Clayton's tender breast, whose own widower's grief gushed forth responsively.

    I was forced to have her bought, to protect her, and to bring her to my care again, and thus our passion was revived, and, giving birth to Virgie, she died. Reared together, and unconscious of their kindred, those daughters loved each other as dearly as when, in heaven, they shall hide in the radiance of each other, and cover my sins with their angelic wings.

    Hear the birds all around us loving and condoning, and filling the air with praise. Come out! These and many others were pressing towards the whipping-post and pillory, in the rear of the court-house, where stood, exposed by the sheriff, the cleanly mulatto woman who had entertained Virgie in Snow Hill the first night of her flight. Thirty lashes she was sentenced to, the Governor has graciously taken off. She is to be sold, out of the state, at the end of one hour, for the term of her natural life, to the highest bidder.

    The poor woman stood there, bare armed and bare almost to the bosom, delicate and lovely to see, and the mother of free children, her clothing having been partly removed before the pardon of the stripes was announced to her. Her head and arms were thrust through the holes in one leaf of the pillory, and thus, thrown forward, her modesty was exposed to the wanton gaze of the crowd, while, on the other side of the same elevated platform, pilloried in like manner, was a female chicken-thief, impudent, indifferent, and chewing tobacco, and spitting it out upon the pillory floor. As Clayton and Custis saw this scene on their way to the tavern, an egg, thrown from a window of the debtor's jail, whether meant for Mrs.