The Patty Wagan

The Patty Wagon is also known as Black Maria. Blacks in Charleston referred to it as Black Lucy. It was said that back in the 1930’s when it was heard coming down the streets, blacks would immediately hide because if the police couldn’t find who they looking for, they would take the first black person they could catch.
The Patty Wagon was first used by the British when they would transport Irish prisoners in the wagons and they would refer to them as “patties”, short for St Patricks. The term was very derogatory to them. The Wagon was particularly busy after July of 1822. Following Denmark Vesey’s insurrection, free black sailors were not allowed to roam the streets of Charleston like they once did. They were transported from their ships to the Whipping House by Black Maria until their ships were ready to leave port.