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Lisa Small

Hi there! Patty Cannon was between sixty and seventy years old when she died in prison May 11, 1829. The "1803" date you picked up for her birth (possibly from the pamphlet?) probably came from folklore that she arrived in the area around 1802. I haven't seen the "about 1810" immigration date suggested before.

"Lucretia" was never a name she used; that was apparently added by the publisher of the pamphlet to tar her by association with Lucretia Borgia, also reputed to be a poisoner.

Patty Cannon's birth name may have been Martha Cannon; her surname at birth was Henley/Hanley/etc. She killed mostly by bludgeon, but is alleged to have poisoned herself (to avoid hanging). The "female fiend" pamphlet in question exaggerates her crimes, which really were so appalling that no exaggeration was needed. Still, it was the style of the times to embroider any tale that made it into the penny-dreadful press. I'm amazed at the price the seller put on this; thanks for posting!


Boy I am impressed with your depth of knowledge. Thanks for clarifying things. If there is a book of recent vintage that is accurate on Patty Cannon and you have a moment please share the title. Otherwise please tell me you're working on one. :)

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