Courthouse - A Connecticut Landmark
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. Architectural
drawings and photos can be viewed at the Library of Congress
American Memory web site:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/mdbquery.html. Fill in the search
term box with the terms "New London Courthouse."
of Connecticut Legal History