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Loudoun County Courthouse


The Loudoun County Courthouse site is significant to the history of the UGRR in VA. On this site Leesburg attorney John Janney took part in at least 2 significant 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 enslaved wife Maria with the help of UGRR agents in PA and OH. Gant was then able to purchase Maria's freedom and the couple moved to OH. Gant and Grimes, along with many others of their race, had been registered as free at the courthouse.


The file room is open for research daily, 9-4:30 pm.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 18 E. Market Street, Leesburg, Loudoun, 20176

National Register/National Historic Landmark Status: Leesburg Historic District

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Clerk of Court

Location Type: Site

People/Organizations Associated with the site: John Janney (Lawyer)

Freedom Seekers: Maria Talbott,Patty (VA, 1840)

UGRR Operatives: Leonard Andrew Grimes,Nelson T. Gant