In 1786 William ABBOTT of Halifax Co. VA was the victim in the alleged theft of a horse. Arrested and charged in the crime were John COMPTON and Barton LOVELACE.
Compton and Lovelace were bound over for trial in Richmond. The outcome of the trial is not known.
Does anyone know any family stories that might reflect knowledge of this episode and the outcome of the judicial process? Does anyone know of close links between Abbott, Compton and Lovelace families in southern VA in the 1780s?
Despite popular perception, horse theft was not always a capital crime in colonial America. If convicted, Lovelace and Compton may have suffered only imprisonment.