Jefferson County Courthouse - Charles Town, WV
N 39° 17.359 W 077° 51.587
18S E 253357 N 4352782
Quick Description: The Jefferson County Courthouse, a contributing building within the Downtown Charles Town Historic District, is located in Charles Town, West Virginia. It was the site of the 1859 trial of the abolutionist John Brown.
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 9:14:52 AM
Waymark Code: WM4G5Y
From the National Park Services's Aboard the Underground Railroad
The Jefferson County Courthouse in Charles Town, West Virginia (formerly Virginia), was the site of the 1859 trial of John Brown after his raid and subsequent capture at Harpers Ferry. Brown had attempted to lead a slave rebellion and establish a free black stonghold in the Appalachians. The trial drew great attention, especially from northern sympathizers who campaigned for his acquittal. Attempting to evade trial by claiming illness, Brown was pronounced competent to stand trial by a physician, but was allowed to lie on a cot to deliver his testimony. Brown's illness, however, did nothing to sway the court and he was found guilty of conspiring with slaves to rebel, of murder and of treason against Virginia. Sentenced to death, Brown was hanged near the courthouse and his body was removed by train to his farm in upstate New York. John Brown's violent protest against slavery set the stage for the bloody national conflict that would erupt three years later.
The Jefferson County Courthouse is located at N. George and E. Washington Sts. in Charles Town, West Virginia. Guided tours are given weekends, April-November. For more information and special tours call 304/728-7713.