Contributed by Harrison
Description: Ellendale Swamp - Black Camp Insurrection
The Nanticoke Swamp, as Ellendale Swamp was then known, was said to be a place where criminals hid from the law in the 1750's thereabouts. One cause being that this area was in a border dispute between Maryland and Delaware, and neither claimed jurisdiction. In 1780's the Nanticoke Swamp became a refuge to British Loyalists and known as the Black Camp Insurrection. Harold Hancock in his "History of Sussex County" says "With the removal of the British from Philadelphia in the spring of 1778, British vessels in the Delaware Bay decreased and activities of Sussex County Tory's diminished except for the 1780 Black Camp Rebellion in which insurrectionists, mainly from Sussex Counties Cedar Creek and Slaughter Neck, who had headquarters in this Swamp about six miles north of Georgetown where 'leaders' Bartholomew Banynum and William Dutton had near 400 men under arms formed into militia units. These people, it was said' were ignorant, opposing all laws, favored the Kings Law, the payment of tax and thought that the south of Chesapeake Bay had laid down arms and taken Kings Law and thought Sussex should do the same." A Continental Militia from upper Delaware dispersed these insurrectionists, some were place in the Continental Army, some faced treason charges and some were to be "hung by the neck until most dead, then cut their bowels out and be burnt before your face, then the head be severed and the body quartered". By good fortune, this order common for treason, was never carried out and all were pardoned in 1780 session of the General Assembly on November 4th. In 1780 there were two villages, Fleatown, aka Federalsburg, to the North and New Market to the south. Ellendale had not yet been formed.