This historic practice goes by many names: Bier’s Test, Bier-Right, Trial by Touch, Ordeal of Blood, Blood-test, Covenanting by Blood, and many others that have been lost to time.
Oliver Vermillion was a wealthy man in the 1820s. He lived in the Thompson’s Ford area of Nicklesville, Virginia.
The case of Reuben Herndon is often mentioned as one instance of the “ordeal of blood” in Virginia’s history, but unfortunately, no evidence can be found to support this long-held belief. Still, the case remains a fascinating glimpse at justice in Virginia just after the Civil War.
The body of a baby boy was found in Accomack County, in March of 1679. It was buried in a blue blanket.