Text    Click for small text size. Click for medium text size. Click for large text size.         Click to share this page.     Click to print the page.   GO »

Vignette Details

Loudoun County Courthouse

The Loudoun County Courthouse site is significant to the history of the Underground Railroad in Virginia. On this site Leesburg attorney John Janney took part in at least two trials. In 1840 Janney obtained the least punishment possible for free-born carriage-driver Leonard Grimes for stealing slave Patty and her six children on behalf of Patty’s free husband. Grimes served two years in a Richmond jail; Patty and her family reportedly reached safety in Canada. In the second trial, Janney successfully argued the 1846 acquittal of freed slave Nelson Talbott Gant for stealing his slave wife Maria with the help of Underground Railroad agents in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Gant was then able to purchase Maria’s freedom and the couple moved to Ohio. Gant and Grimes, along with many others of their race, had been registered as free at the courthouse.