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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Halifax in Halifax County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Halifax Colonial Jails

 
 
Halifax Colonial Jails Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 27, 2012
1. Halifax Colonial Jails Marker
Inscription. The citizens of Halifax constructed three jails between 1759 and 1838. The first two stood near this spot. The North Carolina General Assembly ordered the construction of the first jail, along with the stocks and a pillory, for the “detention and punishment of offenders” in the newly created Halifax district. In 1762, five inmates set fire to the jail, burned it to the ground, and escaped.

In 1764, the assembly passed as act to replace the first jail.

Whereas, the gaol formerly erected for the District of Halifax was lately burned down and there being no place of sufficient strength to secure the many felons and other misdoers in that district by which means numbers of loose and disorderly person are daily committing the most atrocious crimes and impunity…

By the end of the year, a new jail had been completed which remained until 1836. It held not only common criminals, but also prisoners of war during the Amercan Revolution, including Tories captured at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776 and other Loyalists during the war. Despite, or perhaps because of, its heavy use during the Revolution, the jail fell into disrepair.

This deterioration continued until 1836 when, like its predecessor, inmates set it aflame. The culprits escaped, but were soon caught. At least one
Halifax Colonial Jail image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 27, 2012
2. Halifax Colonial Jail
other prisoner died in the fire. This is the third jail, which was constructed in 1838, and designed to be fireproof.
 
Location. 36° 19.809′ N, 77° 35.311′ W. Marker is in Halifax, North Carolina, in Halifax County. Marker is at the intersection of King Street and Market Street, on the left when traveling north on King Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Halifax NC 27839, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Colonial Punishment (a few steps from this marker); Site of First Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Halifax Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Eagle Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Early American Taverns (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Eagle Tavern (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Tap Room (about 300 feet away); The Market Green (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Halifax.
 
More about this marker. On top is a "Background image: Section of C. J. Southier map from 1769 showing the second colonial jail (B) in Halifax"

On the lower left is the "Virginia Gazette, March 1, 1776." and on the lower right the "The Raleigh Register, August 30, 1836"

On the bottom is a "Background: architectural drawings of the jail, ca. 1895, from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Building Survey, Reproduction Number: HABS NC,42-HAL"
 
Also see . . .  Historic Halifax. North Carolina Historic Sites (Submitted on October 30, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 256 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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