Judiciary Square in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Sitting in Judgment
Civil War to Civil Rights
— Downtown Heritage Trail —
In 1874 Congress took over city operations, ending home rule. DC lost the right to elect a mayor and city council. The courts and municipal offices remained in the mayor-less City Hall. For nearly a century, until limited home rule was restored, three commissioners appointed by the U.S. president ran the city.
As part of steps to return home rule to the city in 1970, Congress reorganized DC's judicial system. It removed local cases from federal jurisdiction and created the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to hear everything from traffic violations to criminal matters. The Superior Court's Family Division moved into the Old City Hall/Courthouse. An expanded DC Court of Appeals became the District's court of last resort.
In 1999 the worn-out courthouse closed to await rehabilitation. Ten years later, after extensive
Some of the most noteworthy trials in our city's history have taken place here. In 1867 John Surratt faced trial for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to kill President Lincoln. Surratt was acquitted after testifying that, when the assassination occurred, he was in New York on a Confederate spying mission.
Charles Guiteau fared worse. In 1882, despite evidence of insanity, Guiteau was convicted of mortally wounding President James Garfield. He received the death penalty.
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number e.4.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Government & Politics • Notable Buildings • Notable Events. In addition, it is included in the Downtown Heritage Trail, the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #20 James A. Garfield series lists.
Location. 38° 53.7′ N, 77° 1.06′ W. Marker is in Judiciary Square in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on Indiana Avenue Northwest east of 5th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west. Located on the south side of the DC Court of Appeals Building - on Indiana Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 430 E Street Northwest, Washington DC 20001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old City Hall (here, next to this marker); A Courthouse Reborn (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Building Out the Square (about 400 feet away); Senator Daniel Webster (about 400 feet away); Discover DC / Judiciary Square (about 400 feet away); Daniel Webster (about 500 feet away); DC Recorder of Deeds Building/WPA Era Murals (about 500 feet away); Washington City Spring (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Judiciary Square.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .
1. Lott Flannery, sculptor. (Submitted on August 11, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Tribute to Lincoln by Benjamin B. French,. Washington Evening Star - April 15, 1868 (Submitted on August 11, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. District of Columbia City Hall ["Old City Hall"]. (Submitted on August 11, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Jurisprudence; Lott Flannery, sculptor
Credits. This page was last revised on May 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 827 times since then and 20 times this year. Last updated on August 12, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1. submitted on May 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on August 21, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on May 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 11, 12, 13. submitted on August 11, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.