Historic Courtland sites filmed

Published 12:19 pm Friday, June 29, 2012

WHRO television host and historian John Quarstein shoots an introduction to a 90-second video clip filmed at the Rochelle-Prince House in Courtland. Quarstein was filming Thursday as part of WHRO's Here and Then series on the Nat Turner Slave rebellion of 1831. TIDEWATER NEWS/DALE LIESCH

COURTLAND—Southampton County and the slave rebellion of 1831 have drawn the interest of a local public television station.

Fourteen locations in and around Courtland will be featured by historian John Quarstein in the “Here and Then” series related to the Nat Turner rebellion, where an uprising of 40 slaves killed 57 whites; the whites retaliated and killed 300 blacks.

Quarstein and a camera crew spent part of Thursday at the Rochelle-Prince House across from the Southampton County Courthouse, filming for the PBS station in Norfolk. The home belonged to James Rochelle, the clerk of courts in 1831 who was involved in the August trial that resulted in Turner’s execution.

“From the standpoint of the Nat Turner rebellion it’s more about the aftermath,” Quarstein said. “He documented all the court proceedings.”

Rochelle’s brother, Clements, was sheriff at the time and James Rochelle’s daughter, Margaret, married John Tyler Jr., the son of President John Tyler.

“The president at one time had a son and two grandkids living in that house,” said Lynda Updike, president of Southampton County Historical Society.

Rochelle’s son, James Henry, was captain of the CSS Jamestown during the Civil War.

The 90-second films also will be used as part of an interactive map for tourists as well as part of an iPad application that will allow visitors to take driving tours.

Other locations filmed for this “Here and Then” series included the former location of the hanging tree on Bride Street, the Rebecca Vaughan House, the courthouse and Pauper Cemetery, where part of Turner’s body is buried.

Quarstein said the piece on the Rochelle-Prince House should air in about three weeks.

The house, built in 1814 and expanded between 1826 and 1827, was acquired by the historical society in 1964 and is a museum documenting the Rochelle family history.