Southwestern Historical Quarterly
James J. Diamond,15 Capt. Wm. C. Twitty,le Capt. C. L. Roff17
and others met in the town of Gainesville, Cooke County, for the
purpose of maturing some plan by which they might obtain the
secret schemes and operations of the conspirators.
After a long consultation, they agreed to appoint, or designate,
some suitable person to make application and receive a regular
initiation into the order, obtain the signs, grip & password and all
information necessary to a full understanding of the character of
that class of citizens with whom they had to deal, as well as the
names of those of which the "Order" was composed.
"1James J. Diamond was the eldest of six brothers who moved to Texas from
their native county of De Kalb, Georgia, before the Civil War. He settled in
Grayson County near present-day Whitesboro. A cotton planter and slave owner
in the Red River valley portion of northwestern Grayson County, he was the
leading spokesman in that area for Southern rights and views in the days imme-
diately preceding the Civil War. He attended the 186o Democratic National Con-
vention at Charleston, South Carolina, as a delegate from Texas and bolted as a
member of that delegation upon the nomination of Douglas for president.
Upon the election of Lincoln in November, 186o, James J. Diamond was instru-
mental in calling a public meeting of Grayson and Cooke county citizens at Whites-
boro on November 23, 186o, "to take into consideration the present political con-
dition of the country." His brother John R. Diamond was called upon to preside.
James J. Diamond, as chairman of a committee of fifteen named by the meeting,
offered a resolution calling upon Governor Sam Houston "to ascertain the will of
the people ... by convention, or otherwise" on the question of Texas remaining
in the Union. He also moved that a company of loo men be organized at once in
the two counties to help defend "Southern interest and Southern equality in the
Union, or out of it." Both resolutions carried with only four votes against them.
James J. Diamond attended the Secession Convention in Austin as one of Cooke
County's two delegates. He was named a member of the Convention's Committee
of Public Safety, which in effect took revolutionary control of the state in the
interim between the recess of the convention on February 4, 1861, and its re-
assembly on March 2 to announce the ratification at the polls of the ordinance of
secession. He was named lieutenant colonel of the 11th Texas Cavalry upon its
organization in the spring of 1861, participating in its occupation of the Indian
Territory. He succeeded to its colonelcy upon the death of Colonel William C.
Young in October, 1862. He died in Houston, Texas, during the yellow fever
epidemic of 1867. Lucas and Hall, A History of Grayson County, Texas, 125.
'6William C. Twitty was born in Kentucky in 18ox and lived for a number of
years in Louisiana before moving to Texas in the fall of 1836. While in Louisiana
he married Elizabeth Montague, daughter of Daniel Montague. Twitty was among
the first settlers in Cooke County west of Gainesville. He died a few years after
the end of the Civil War, and his widow made her home at Marysville, Cooke
County. A. Morton Smith, First zoo Years in Cooke County (San Antonio, 1955), 20.
17In October, 1862, Charles L. Roff was captain of a cavalry company in Brig-
adier General William Hudson's brigade of state troops, and later served as major
of Bourland's Cavalry Regiment. C. N. Jones, Early Days in Cooke County
(Gainesville, 1986), 67.
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 March 15, 2014.