The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the Confederate Army, took leave from his regiment, the grd
Texas Cavalry, to visit in Cooke County where his brother, James
J. Diamond, lieutenant colonel of the 1 ith Texas Cavalry, had
served as a member of the citizens court. George W. Diamond was
asked by his brother and other members of the Gainesville court
to write a full account of the "Peace Party Plot" and the trials of
the conspirators. The original records of the court were turned
over to him to be used as the basis of his chronicle. Shortly after
the end of the Civil War, he began this account, the final draft of
which was completed, as internal evidence indicates, sometime
between February 1, 1874, and December 2o, 1876. Diamond was
then living at Whitesboro, Grayson County, where he died
in 1911.
Since Diamond's death, the unpublished manuscript in his
handwriting has remained in the custody of his heirs. Its existence
was made known recently by a granddaughter, Mrs. Harry Harlan
of Dallas. Because of the author's intent expressed in the manu-
script to lay his compilation before the bar of history, Mr. and
Mrs. Harlan have allowed the work to be edited for publication.
By reason of its generous detail, it is a valuable complementary
piece to the Barrett account.
Behind the Great Hanging at Gainesville lies a sequence of
events and movements-local, state, and in the broadest sphere of
the nation itself-that bear significantly upon its occurrence.
They were the same developments that had led already to the
secession of Texas and other Southern states, the formation of
the Confederacy, and the outbreak of war between North and
South.
As early as the annexation of Texas to the Union in 1845, the
state and its people had become embroiled directly in the bitter
intersectional disputes then raging over the question of slavery.
But it was not until the late 185o's that the area of North Texas
in which Gainesville and Cooke County lay became a battleground
in the preliminaries to armed conflict. The reason for this delay
is indicated largely by the character and background of most of
its inhabitants at the time.
The settlers in this isolated, frontier region of Texas were
mainly small farmers and mechanics, most of them drawn from

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed October 21, 2014.