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

Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging

courage and intelligence who, under the instructions of the com-
mittee, made the necessary application, joined the Society and
obtained in detail its inside workings.
COL. N. J. CHANCE'S TESTIMONY
Immediately after being appointed to this delicate and respon-
sible trust, Col. Chance visited the residence of Dr. Henry Childs
and was regularly initiated, took all the degrees & received the
signs, grip, and passwords, and was duly commissioned to swear
in others. When he had obtained the secrets of the "Institution"
and had learned a great many of the names of its members, he
reported to the Committee.
As the testimony of Col. Chance will appear in the proceed-
ings on the trial of Dr. Henry Childs, it is not deemed neces-
sary to introduce it here. His evidence strictly corroborates that
given by McCurley, fully confirms the Committee in their appre-
hensions of an immediate outbreak. The organization had so far
attained its ends, that nothing was lacking but a fit opportunity to
make known its designs only in their execution. While this com-
mittee was by day and by night earnestly engaged in the prosecu-
tion of a well-planned project to defeat the Conspirators and save
bloodshed, the people generally were very prudently kept from
a knowledge of its operations; in fact, no one knew anything con-
cerning the existence of such a committee except the very few
employed to aid and further its progress.
Accordingly, there being no further time to lose, the following
named citizens met together to consider how to avoid the impend-
ing danger-to wit; Col. James Bourland, Col. Daniel Montague,""
Fzrst zoo Years in Cooke County, 35; Elliott, "Union Sentiment in Texas, 1861-1865,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, L, 451; Cates, Pioneer History of Wise County,
131.
Some quarter of a century after the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Chance was
apprehended and tried at Sherman for the murder of E. Junius Foster, editor of the
Sherman Patriot, in October, 1862. Chance subsequently had become a minister in
the Christian Church. He was acquitted following the surprise confession in the
trial by James D. Young that it was he, not Chance, who had fired the fatal
shotgun blast that ended the life of the editor. Landrum, Grayson County, An
Illustrated History of Grayson County, Texas, 65.
"'Diamond's narrative throws additional light on the life of Daniel Montague,
one of the most important leaders in North Texas during the Republic of Texas

359

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 July 28, 2014.