Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging
oped in their successful execution. The result is, quite a number of
those who cherished the wicked designs to accomplish our utter ruin
have been arrested and confined in prison. The price of liberty is
eternal vigilance, and I thank God that through the patriotic zeal,
extreme caution and vigilance of the citizens of Cooke County, this
infamous plot was discovered in time to save the country from the
ruthless hand of the domestic traitor, robber and murder[er]. I under-
stand the object of this meeting to be to advance by proper and legiti-
mate means the work already begun. I am quite confident that you
will all agree with me when I say that something must be done to check
these conspirators in their villainous schemes and arrest the further
progress of their wicked machinations. This is due to ourselves, to
God and humanity.
As for me, while my whole heart is honestly earnestly enlisted for
the defense of my common country, I regard it as my first duty to stand
by my family fireside and not abandon my wife and children to the
lawlessness and violence of my designing neighbors; and I am well
assured from the number of good men of the County of Cooke as-
sembled here today that the people are of the same mind. While I
hope that wisdom & moderation may characterize our further proceed-
ings, I still hope that no man will falter in this hour of trial. We have
met to act. There is a duty for every one to perform. Something must
be done; and trusting confidently to your wisdom and virtue, and
having a common interest with mine, I ask you in the name of hu-
manity what shall be done?
On motion, it was unanimously resolved that a committee of
five good and true men, citizens of Cooke County, be appointed by
the chairman, whose duty it should be to select twelve good true
and lawful men citizens of the county to act as jurors, empow-
ered to investigate, examine and decide upon all cases that should
be brought before them.
Whereupon the chair appointed on said committee William
Peery, Jas. B. Davenport,34 R. G. Piper,35 Aaron Hill6 and J. B.
"James B. Davenport was born in Kentucky in 18ox and took up land for
farming in Cooke County in the 1850's. He served as a member of the town patrol
at Gainesville in 1861. Smith, First xoo Years in Cooke County, 32; U. S. Eighth
Census, 1860 (Returns of Schedule i, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas,
microfilm, Dallas Public Library).
"8R. G. Piper, Chief Justice of Cooke County in 1862, was born in Virginia in
1815. He moved to Texas after 1850, taking up land for farming in Cooke County.
"8Aaron Hill was born in South Carolina in 1795. He moved to Texas with his
family in 1848, receiving a patent in 1850 for 640 acres in Cooke County. He is
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 May 26, 2015.