Born a slave in Virginia in 1816, Kitty Payne was freed by owner Mary Maddox in 1843. Mrs. Maddox settled Kitty's family in Adams County and filed manumission papers in the local court. Mrs. Maddox later deeded her property to a nephew, Samuel. But, as residuary heir, he had used his aunt's slaves for collateral for his debts. He hired kidnapper Thomas Finnegan and his gang to help him return Kitty's family to slavery in Virginia.
After almost a year in "protective custody" in jail, while the case wound its way through court, Kitty and her family were finally freed with the help of the Menallen Friends (local Quakers)---notably Cyrus Griest, who paid for her attorney---and neighbors who testified on her behalf.
Thomas Finnegan, later found guilty of assault, battery, and kidnapping, was sentenced to five years at hard labor; he served less than two. Samuel Maddox received no punishment. Although Kitty later sued him for assault, battery, and kidnapping, she was never compensated.
Kitty Payne died in 1850 at age 34. She is buried in Gettysburg's Lincoln Cemetery.
Erected 2010 by For the Cause Productions, Inc.
Location. 39° 58.959′ N, 77° 14.961′ W. Marker is in Bendersville, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on South Main Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Wayside exhibit marker is on the front porch of the Elkhorn Inn in the heart of Bendersville. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 South Main Street, Bendersville PA 17306, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Biglerville (approx. 4 miles away); Pine Grove Furnace POW Interrogation Camp (approx. 5 miles away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 5.9 miles away); a different marker also named Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 5.9 miles away); Rock Chapel (approx. 6 miles away); Camp Michaux (approx. 6.1 miles away); October 24, 1794 (approx. 6.3 miles away); Russell Tavern (approx. 6.3 miles away).
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Kitty Payne marker in Washington, VA.
Also see . . . For the Cause: Gettysburg Histories - Website. This is the website of the organization that helped to erect this "Kidnapped" Wayside Exhibit Marker. (Submitted on December 13, 2010, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 13, 2010, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,454 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 13, 2010, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.