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Is Cow Stealing a Hanging Offense?

I have a family story for you that I actually just learned from my grandmother and great aunt. 

Traveling Shoes (Told by my grandmother, Argusta Goodyear, 78, and Arletha McCallum, her sister, 87)

Mary Carter, my great grandmother, married James Buie. James was a “well to do” man that was favorable with the farmers in the area. We are not certain what his job title was but it was good for a black man in that day.  Mary often told her children of the short time they were married and how she never had to gather her own wood or work in the fields. James saw to it getting done for her because she was his lady. When James died, he left Mary with two cows of her own.

Mary’s brother, James Carter had a bit of a gambling habit. Sometimes he’d win and sometimes he’d lose. Most of the time the latter. James owed a big gambling debt and had to pay in a hurry or else. It seems that Mary’s cows were the answer. How did he do this? Glad you asked. James took the cows right out of the pasture. But, not before he put sacks on the feet of the cows to hide the direction in which he was taking the cows.

My aunt also thought it would be a good idea to post our family website link, she will be adding more family stories. (

Alyssa Lowe Nicolas

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