Dear Portal friends: Do you enjoy having history at your fingertips? We’ve appreciated your support over the years, and need your help to keep history alive. Here’s the deal: we’ve received a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Now it’s time to keep our word and raise matching funds for the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment. If even half the people who use the Portal this month give $5, we’d meet our $1.5 million goal immediately! All donations are tax-deductible and support Texas history: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Not Now

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

Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging

of this Order should be killed in their struggles to carry out its objects,
you will do everything in your power to defend and protect their
families, until otherwise provided for, so help you God."
He told me that the penalty for revealing any of the secrets of the
Order was death, and in case any of the members should betray its
existence and designs, it was solemnly enjoined upon every member
to hunt him or them to the ends of the world. And that the most
horrible death conceivable would be inflicted up[on] those guilty
of treachery.
I asked him if he had any leading men in the Order. He replied,
yes, many of them, and that [they] could be admitted and invested
with the signs, grip 8 until they had taken the obligation above given
that any persons, who might give me those signs, grip and passwords,
was a full member, and that any information coming from such a
source I might rely upon as being correct and legal. Here he gave me
the signs, grip and passwords. (The witness here gave the Court the
signs, grip and passwords as received from the accused.)
He remarked that the members of the Institution had been forced to
take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, and that they did not
consider it binding-that Jeff. Davis with his rebel army had, in their
acts, been worse than murderers and theives [sic]-that he and his
army would soon be compelled to surrender; in no small degree, by
the means and influence of the Order-that the organization was
spreading rapidly through the Southern Army-that they were six hun-
dred strong in the city of Austin-that they were very strong in Gray-
son County; that a majority of the men in Sherman (except the
soldiers) belonged the Order-that they were quite strong in Collin
County, and in many counties in North Texas.
He then informed me that I might consider myself fully initiated
and authorized to initiate others-such of my friends and acquaint-
ances as I thought would do. I desired to have my brother, Joseph C.
Chance, initiated. He regarded the proposition with serious doubts,
saying my brother had been a rabbid [sic] secessionist and rebel. I
allayed his apprehensions by telling him that my brother had changed
in his political sentiments, and that he was willing and anxious to
join. He gave me permission to initiate him. I requested him to do
so, and on the following day he initiated my brother in my pres-
ence, repeating to him the same in substance, as have stated.
The prosecution here tendered the witness to the accused.
QUES. by accused. How do you [know] that there was a secret
organization as stated?


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

Beta Preview