Elias Openshaw, uncle to John Openshaw, is a stern, aloof, arrogant racist with a substantial amount of wealth. The character of Elias is given not in exact detail, but through implications of his actions. He fought in the American Civil War under "Jackson" and "Hood", referring to General Stonewall Jackson and General John Hood. This certainly implies his racism; it is confirmed when the reason for Elias' return to England his because of his "aversion to the negroes, and his dislike of the Republican policy extending the franchise to them." Elias is described as quick-tempered and foul-mouthed. The arrogance is an implied quality based on his temper and his refusal to enter the town of Horsham near his estate. His aloofness extended to a lack of friends and no social life at all. Elias' wealth is made known in certain terms and through the implication of the sizeable estate that eventually passed onto John's father along with the sum of 14,000 pounds. The amount equates to just over $400,000 today. The death of Elias, Joseph and John leads the reader to understand Elias as an angry, arrogant racist with a secret worth killing.