Featuring 140 color photographs of Virginia's courthouses, this book is a visual treat as well as an innovative approach to history and architecture. It contains a wealth of social and architectural history. In addition to giving an overview of the history of 126 courthouses, the authors recount some notable legal proceedings that took place in the courtrooms, particularly those cases that involved societal change and the ongoing struggle for civil liberties. John O. and Margaret T. Peters approach their subject chronologically in five chapters: The Colonial Courthouses; The National Period, 1776-1830; The Antebellum Period, 1831-61; Recovery and Growth, 1865-1902; and The New Century, 1902-41. They examine historic structures ranging from the Essex County courthouse (1729) and the King William County courthouse, built ca. 1725 and one of the oldest public buildings in continuous use in the nation, to the newer historic courthouses such as Richmond's massive Supreme Court/State Library Building, dedicated in 1941. Virginia's Historic Courthouses provides a thorough examination of the state's courthouses. It traces the evolution of courthouse design, places the buildings in historical context, and analyzes the symbolic significance of Virginia's houses of justice. The book will appeal to a broad audience of interested general readers, and architectural historians, lawyers, judges, architects, and preservationists.