Tapping the Scales of Justice - A Dose of Connecticut Legal History
If the walls could talk, what tales the New
London courthouse would spin. In 1815, a gala ball was held at the
courthouse to celebrate the conclusion of the War of 1812 and the lifting of
the blockade of New London harbor.
Earlier, under dramatically different
circumstances, a makeshift hospital was set up in the courthouse during the
Yellow Fever epidemic of 1798.
It is said Patrick Henry argued cases here, Daniel Webster spoke in praise of the Constitution, General Lafayette
paid a visit, and Horace Greeley campaigned for Abraham Lincoln. The
courthouse even functioned as a Sunday school where Matilda Wright taught
children of the poor who were not welcome in area churches.
Built in 1784 to replace the courthouse burned during the American
Revolution, the structure supports a distinctive cupola, a Palladian window,
and fluted pilasters. Isaac Fitch, a Master Joiner of Lebanon, Connecticut,
is generally credited with the design. In 1970, the building was entered in
the National Register of Historic Places.
Doses of Connecticut Legal History