Formed in 1749, Southampton County remains largely rural, with peanuts, tobacco, cotton, and lumber its major products. The slave insurrection of 1831, led by Nat Turner, is the most significant event in the county's history. Turner was hanged in front of the Southampton courthouse on November 11, 1831. When that courthouse was constructed in 1798, the town was named Jerusalem; the name was changed to Courtland in 1888. It remains a small town. The present Southampton County Courthouse was originally an austere, two-story, brick temple-form building with a pedimented gable, simple entablature, and lunette window. In 1924 it received a tetrastyle Tuscan portico, pilasters, full entablature, and circular window, which gave the building an 1820s GrecoRoman or Jeffersonian appearance. The 1960 addition is awful. Across the street from the courthouse is the former Mahone Tavern (c. 1820), a two-story clapboard structure.
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Southampton County Courthouse
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