Jeremiah's father and grandfather had been slave catchers before him. He married a woman named Betsy and had a son prior to 1855, while having a career as a slave catcher and administrator at the Ascension Plantation in Rhodes. Eventually, due to the abolition of slavery following the Civil War's end, the plantation no longer required his services and he was thus made redundant.
At some point later, he got a job working for the Central Union Railroad Company, but was fired by the company after large amounts of complaints from both customers and fellow employees. Due to a falling-out of some kind, Compson also became estranged from his son, Rance.
The court eventually seized his house and possessions, granting ownership to the Bank of Rhodes under the order given by Judge Meredith Holden on November 18, 1895. As a result, Compson became homeless and turned to a life of alcoholism. He subsequently set up an encampment around Eris Field.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
Compson is first encountered on a bench outside of the Rhodes Train Station, where he informs the player about how his once-respectable life fell apart and how he lost everything. The protagonist offers to break into his old home and retrieve three of his possessions: his old pistol, a ledger, and a valuable pocket watch.
During the search, the player discovers that Compson was once a slave catcher by the notes in his ledger, often writing how proud he was of the work he did in the position. The protagonist is disgusted by his findings and confronts him at his camp. Compson rants about how his life fell apart, how the public no longer respects him and how he lost the job he loved so much. The player then throws his possessions into his campfire, causing Compson to cry and fire the pistol at the player. However, due to its age and disrepair, the gun jams and Compson curses the player for destroying his possessions. His fate is then left for the player to decide - they can kill him, or simply walk away.
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- While referred to as a revolver in-game, Jeremiah's gun is actually a U.S. Johnson Model 1836 caplock conversion pistol (as evidenced by the brass block which replaced the original frisson pan on its right side), which was originally built as a flintlock pistol, but has been converted for use with a percussion cap.
- However, the inventory icon for the pistol appears to be a Model 1848 Colt Dragoon Revolver, suggesting it was originally supposed to be a revolver of that model. This would also make more sense, as flintlock pistols were obsolete by the 1850's and 60's, and the Dragoon was a popular civilian firearm at this time.
- Regardless of whether Compson is killed or spared, completing the mission increases the player’s Honor.
- The letter about Compson's discharge from the Railroad Company is dated April 2, 1870, which is the same date as his redundancy from the Ascension Plantation. Given that the date for the former doesn’t show when the "Read" prompt is used, it’s likely to be the wrong date, and should be later. This is presumably a developer oversight.
- Depending on whether the player kills Compson or not, Arthur's journal entry on his final encounter with him will vary slightly. The entry will read: "Went to see nice Mr Compson again." If the player spares Jeremiah the entry will continue: "Burned his valuable ledger right in front of his eyes." while if Jeremiah has been killed it ends: "Last thing he'll see."