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Winter Lecture – Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: The Oyster Wars

February 9, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Annapolis Maritime Museum holds its annual Winter Lecture Series over eight consecutive Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. from mid-January through early March. You will be challenged to question and to learn by engaging speakers on diverse topics including maritime history, local history, science, and maritime art.

The 2023 series will be held in person at the Museum Campus (723 Second Street Annapolis, MD 21403). Pre-registration is strongly suggested as space is limited. Registration fee of $10 per person at the door – first come, first served. Free admission for First Mate ($150) and above.

February 9 – Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: The Oyster Wars

It has been over 150 years since the establishment of Maryland’s “Oyster Navy,” a forerunner of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police. It was a necessary establishment for dealing with a lucrative, competitive, and sometimes deadly industry.

In the early-19th century, Maryland and Virginia began passing a series of laws to regulate and limit oyster catching. Anyone who violated these oyster laws became known in the press and by the public as “oyster pirates.” Many dared to thwart the government’s attempts, like the women of the Dancing Molly, the crew of the Palo Alto, and the notorious Cannon Family led by patriarch H.P. “Pirate Chief” Cannon.

The Oyster Wars took a final deadly turn in April 1959 with the murder of Berkeley Muse, a well-respected community leader in Colonial Beach, Virginia (located on the border of Southern Maryland).





Annapolis Maritime Museum
723 Second Street
Annapolis, MD United States
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