Southwestern Historical Quarterly
good citizens, the destruction of property, the disturbing of the public
peace, contrary to the public safety and the peace and welfare of the
people. Danl Montague
Prest Citizen Court
PRESIDENT. Dr. Henry Childs-- You have heard the charges pre-
ferred against you; what say you, guilty or not guilty.
N. J. Chance Sworn
QUEs. by the examining committee-Do you know anything con-
cerning a secret organization in this country.
ANs. I know of such an order existing recently.
QUES. How did you obtain a knowledge of such organization.
ANs. By being initiated and receiving the signs, grips and pass-
QUES. Do you know what was the object of said organization.
ANs. I know the objects which all the members initiated were sworn
to carry out.
THE PRESIDENT. Please state to the court how you came to be
initiated-and fully & particularly all the information you may have
concerning said organization, giving the clerks time to write down
WITNESS. In the month of September last, while in conversation
with Col. Bourland of this County, he informed me that he and
others had received information concerning a secret organization in
the country and that a council had been held privately in Gaines-
ville, and upon consultation had chosen myself as the proper person
to undertake to find out the secrets of said organization, and the
names of those attached to it, as he informed me, for the purpose of
saving the country from disturbance and violence, and bringing the
members of the Order to justice.
Acting upon this suggestion, on the 26 day of September 1862, I
started to Dr. Childs' residence. Meeting him on the road, I intro-
duced myself, and after some conversation, he asked me if I was the
Mr. Chance who had recently returned from the Southern Army.
After answering him in the affirmative, he asked me a great many
questions in regard to the Confederate Army, its numbers, situation,
I then remarked that a friend of mine had informed me that there
was a secret union or peace party existing in the country and that he
(Childs) was the very man to whom my friend had recommended me
for full information on the subject. I told him, if there was such an
organization as had been represented to me, it was the very thing I
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 26, 2014.