North Downtown in Charlottesville, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Historic Courthouse Square
After a stirring patriotic sermon by Rev. Charles Clay on a public Fast Day in 1774 the freeholders of Albemarle County met here and made a resolution to the Virginia House of Burgesses that called for a boycott of trade with England and for a meeting of a Continental Congress. When the British attacked Richmond in the summer of 1781 the Virginia General Assembly made Charlottesville its temporary emergency capital and met here for deliberations, including
The courthouse was also a place of worship and Jefferson himself helped organize an independent congregation led by Rev. Clay beginning in 1777 called the Calvinistical Reformed Church. A member of this church, Col John Harvie, introduced Jefferson’s famous Bill for Religious Freedom to the Virginia legislature that same year. Many years later Jefferson called the courthouse the “common temple” and proudly spoke of its use each Sunday by four Protestant denominations in turn.
The square was enclosed with a railing in 1792 and a second building of brick was built in place of the wooden structure in 1803 and now forms the north wing to your right. It faced a public square with taverns and shops behind you (on today’s Park Street). A whipping post, stocks, pillory and a stone jail stood on this public square that also was the commercial center of the town. The south wing of this courthouse, which is located behind this display was built in 1860 in the Gothic Revival style and was modified to its current appearance in the 1930’s as part of an extensive renovation. This work restored the Colonial features of the original building and remodeled the portico
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #04 James Madison, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #05 James Monroe series lists.
Location. 38° 1.894′ N, 78° 28.641′ W. Marker is in North Downtown in Charlottesville, Virginia. Marker is on Park Street north of East Market Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Charlottesville VA 22902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Old Swan Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Monticello (within shouting distance of this marker); Albemarle Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Jack Jouett’s Ride (within shouting distance of this marker); Watering Fountains (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Jonathan Jackson (within shouting distance of this marker); Gen. Alexander Archer Vandegrift (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Paul Goodloe McIntire (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Downtown.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,953 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 6, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on June 7, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.