As one of only two remaining courthouses in New York State in which trials relating to the successful 1851 rescue of freedom seeker William "Jerry" Henry were held, the Cayuga County Courthouse is one of the few surviving civic structures that reflects the struggle between the federal government's attempt to impose the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and public sentiment in opposition to this law in New York State. In 1846, the Cayuga County Courthouse was also the site of the precedent-setting trial of African American Wiliam Freeman, charged with murder and defended by William Henry Seward on the basis of insanity. Finally, the Cayuga County Courthouse has a 1913 plaque dedicated to Harriet Tubman. This 1836 Greek Revival structure maintains superior architectural integrity and stands today as a vibrant example of living history as it continues its role as Cayuga County's Supreme and County Court.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 152 Genesee Street, Auburn, Cayuga, 13021
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Hon. Herbert D. Marshall
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: Harriet Tubman,William “Jerry” Henry