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Red Brick Courthouse

Built in 1891, the Red Brick Courthouse was the third courthouse to stand in this location. 
The only courthouse in the county until 1931, the site was at the center of government 
functions until the early 2000s. It now houses the collection of Peerless Rockville.

Dragged from the jail and lynched without being given their day in court, Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey and Mr. Sidney Randolph were denied due process under the law. In 1896, Magistrate Charles M. Jones summoned a coroner’s jury which visited the crime scene where Mr. Randolph was lynched, then reconvened at the Red Brick Courthouse.

An inquest into the identity of those responsible for the lynching continued over several days. Testimony from more than 40 men was heard on July 4, July 7 and July 13. Despite all the evidence, the verdict was that Mr. Randolph died “at the hands of parties unknown to the jury.”

An inquest was a fact-finding process, usually conducted by the coroner who traditionally selected prominent men from the community to hear evidence. In the Randolph case, members of the jury were Benjamin Riggs (foreman), Samuel Soper, George Emmerich, Thomas McCollough, Thomas W. Stonestreet, Samuel A. Matlack, F. Cushman Braddock, William R. Pumphrey, Joseph O. Moulden, Wallace E. Ricketts, Lawrence Flack, Charles Ogden, and Thomas Mills.


Photo credits: Building: Peerless Rockville. Newspaper clipping: Washington (DC) Morning Times, July 14, 1896.

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