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Scale Drawing

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C. Bradley (fl. 1869). Isometrical Projection of Part of Manchester, Va., 1869. 18 1/8 x 19 inches.

This interesting scale drawing of a portion of Manchester, Virginia, illustrates a 21 February 1869 murder scene, showing two routes from a local tavern to the home of Richard H. Whitehead, later convicted of the murder of James Rogers, forty, a stonemason and the father of four children. Whitehead, twenty-four, worked for the Manchester Cotton and Wool Mills; his accomplice, Thomas Willis, twenty-eight, worked for the Tredegar Iron Works. While drinking with Willis at Talley's Bar Room, Whitehead had been unable to suppress his considerable ill will toward Rogers. Whitehead's dark mood erupted into a shooting later that evening. The Chesterfield County Court convicted both Whitehead and Willis of murder in the second degree and sentenced the former to eighteen years in the penitentiary, Willis to seven. Whitehead appealed the verdict, but died of consumption in May 1870 before any action could be taken.

Besides the part it played in the murder trial, the map is equally interesting for its depiction of particular buildings and residences of the time, revealing considerable information about how the area actually looked. The Library of Virginia's archival staff discovered the map in the records of the Chesterfield County Court on deposit at the Library during the processing of the collection.

Location: Chesterfield County, County Court, Criminal Causes and Grand Jury Presentments, Commonwealth v. Willis and Whitehead, 1870