The prevalence of homicide in the south increased greatly in the second half of the nineteenth century. Manslaughter, murder, and mutilation took the place of duels in the old south. Violence in Virginia became increasingly commonplace, especially in rural areas. Descriptions of black men on wanted posters reflected racial prejudice in the south.
Harrison Thompson was a Negro man wanted for the murder of the town sergeant of Middleburg, VA, H. Milton Seaton, to the Sheriff of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Va., H. H. Russell. The man is described as a dark brown' colored man, 27 years of age, 160 lbs., 5'10''-11''. The large scar on the left side of his neck begins at base of his ear running to his chin is described as rough, and repulsive in appearance'. He is said to carry his head to the right because his mouth is drawn towards the right side. Other scars around his neck are mentioned. He works as a farm hand and a butcher, and is fond of baseball.