Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Patty Cannon 1829

Today May 11th, 1829 - The notorious slave trader Patty Cannon of Reliance near Seaford died from her own hand in Georgetown jail by taking poison.

Her skull was put on public display in various venues, and donated to the Dover Public Library in 1961.

Now one of the stories of Patty Cannon and her gang was she had an island (Shackle island) in the Nanticoke River where she would shackle these free slaves she had stolen to trees on the island until she could sell them or move them elsewhere. This island is supposely Prickly Pear Island (just a little ways from Phillip's Landing). It is the site of an annual Dickerson Family Reunion, the family at one time owned the island. It is no longer an island however as close to two hundred years of changing environments have reshaped the outline and path of the river, this Island is now connected to the land thru marsh. The times I have been on the Island there is no sign to connect it to the slave trade.

There is speculation that Prickly Pear Island was created as a result of dredging activities in the downstream portion of the Nanticoke River in the early 1900's, but the Shackle Island of Patty Cannon fame is a much more interesting story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you know who owns the island now, or when the Dickersons sold it? I used to go camping there with my Boy Scout troop.