Courtland is an incorporated town in Southampton County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,270 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Southampton County. Originally named Jerusalem, the town was given its present name in 1888. It served as Southampton County's only town through the 18th century, and was, as it remains, the county seat. This quiet little town was formed in 1791 on the north shore of the Nottoway River on a parcel of ten acres (40,000 m²) beside the courthouse. In 1831, the town became famous as the site of the trials and subsequent executions of Nat Turner and those involved in the Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion of 1831. At this time, according to a letter written by Solon Borland to the governor of North Carolina, it was but a small hamlet of approximately 175 people, with only three stores, one saddler, one carriage maker, two hotels, two attorneys and two physicians in the town. The town was also the boyhood home of Confederate Major General William Mahone, whose father, Fielding Mahone, ran a tavern. General George H. Thomas, "Rock of Chickamauga", and a native of Southampton County, was a Union general and graduate of the United States Military Academy, likely visited his uncle James Rochelle, clerk of court for Southampton County, located just three houses away from Mahone's Tavern, home of William Mahone.