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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Reliance in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Cannon/Johnson Kidnapping Gang

 
 
The Cannon/Johnson Kidnapping Gang Marker image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, August 2, 2013
1. The Cannon/Johnson Kidnapping Gang Marker
Inscription. In the early 1800s the headquarters of the notorious Cannon/Johnson Kidnapping Gang was located close to this site. After the importation of African slaves was legally outlawed in 1808, demand for slave labor in the expanding states of the Deep South continued to grow. The Cannon/Johnson Gang specialized in the criminal kidnapping of free African-Americans for sale into slavery. Through their secret network that stretched as far south as Alabama and Mississippi, it is believed they abducted hundreds of persons of color and sold them into slavery. Establishing their headquarters in three different counties along this boundary of Delaware & Maryland, the gang managed to avoid arrest by local government officials. Authorities only took substantial action against the gang after they discovered evidence of the murder of a white slave trader and the bodies of several others, including a young child and a baby. Most of the gang escaped to the Deep South, except for Patty Cannon, who was captured and imprisoned in the Sussex County jail. Although controversy surrounds the way she died in May 1829, it is believed that Cannon committed suicide while awaiting trial for murder. This memorial is dedicated to the victims of this evil enterprise, and those who struggled against it.
 
Erected 2012 by Delaware
Behind this marker at the crossroads is another marker for the Patty Cannon House. image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, August 2, 2013
2. Behind this marker at the crossroads is another marker for the Patty Cannon House.
Public Archives. (Marker Number SC-228.)
 
Location. 38° 38.117′ N, 75° 42.433′ W. Marker is in Reliance, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on W. Stein Highway (Delaware Route 20). Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Seaford DE 19973, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Patty Cannon's House (within shouting distance of this marker in Maryland); Oak Grove Crownstone (approx. 2.9 miles away); Bethel Church (approx. 3.4 miles away); Cannon's Ferry (approx. 3.6 miles away); Woodland Ferry (approx. 3.7 miles away); Stein Highway (approx. 4.2 miles away); Seaford Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.4 miles away); Cannon-Maston House (approx. 4.8 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Marker on Del-MD Line Dedicated to Sordid History. (Video) "Delaware officials this week revealed a new historical marker at Reliance along the Delaware-Maryland line, dedicated to the victims of the reverse underground railroad", WBOC's Kayla Ayres reports. (May 17, 2012) (Submitted on February 26, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. African Americans
 
Mason Dixon Tangent Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 9, 2014
3. Mason Dixon Tangent Line Marker
next to the Cannon/Johnson Gang marker
Mason-Dixon Tangent Line Marker Mile 12 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 9, 2014
4. Mason-Dixon Tangent Line Marker Mile 12
This battered stone marks the 12th mile of the Tangent Line separating Delaware from Maryland. It was placed in 1766 by astronomer-surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.
Mason-Dxion Tangent Line Stone 12 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 9, 2014
5. Mason-Dxion Tangent Line Stone 12
The stone marks the boundary between Maryland and Delaware. Legendarily, Patty Cannon's house straddled the boundary enabling her to evade the jurisdiction of both Delaware and Maryland authorities by slipping across the boundary line without leaving her own house.
Mason-Dixon Tangent Stone 12 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 9, 2014
6. Mason-Dixon Tangent Stone 12
These boundary markers were made of oolitic limestone imported from England. They had the letters M and P carved into them to indicate Maryland and (the three lower counties of) Pennsylvania. Crownstones like the nearby Oak Grove Crownstone were placed every five miles.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. This page has been viewed 546 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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