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

Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging

Being brought before the Court a second time to receive his
sentence, he requested the privilege of correcting his former state-
ments. Being again sworn he deposed as follows:
"There are signs, grips and passwords in the Order which will afford
protection when the Northern Army comes in, and by which the
members know each other["].
THE COURT. Henry Childs, you have been tried upon the charges
preferred against you, by twelve men selected from among your neigh-
bors, and by them you have been found guilty. This court has en-
deavored to extend to you every right and privilege known to the
laws of the laws of the County. That it has acted fairly and impartially
in all its proceedings, and has shown no disposition to abuse the extra-
ordinary powers granted to it by the people, themselves your neighbors,
we feel assured will not be questioned by any one, not even yourself.
We feel the grave responsibility resting upon us and have pursued
with solemn and melancholly [sic] step the path of duty assigned us.
Although our proceedings have been conducted in the midst of con-
siderable confusion and excitement, we have not shared its influences
to that extent privileged to those who have lighter and much less
serious obligations to discharge to the people. Those on the outside
have performed their duty-Ours yet remains to be done. Theirs was
a duty of actions. Ours is a question of conscience. Theirs was a matter
of personal safety, while ours involves the life or death of a fellow-
man, our neighbor. Having discharged their duty faithfully, we must
discharge ours conscienciously [sic]. You were duly notified of the
charges preferred against you, and on the trial was confronted with
all the witnesses against you. The truth of their statements you did
not only fail or attempt to disprove, but now come before us and
acknowledge them correct. And if true and correct, they place you
beyond the protection of any law known to the civilization of the
present day. In the discharge of our last said duty to the people, let
us assure you that you may not expect reprieve or extenuation of
the judgment now about to be pronounced, and while it is yet time,
may you use it in an assiduous effort to prepare for Eternity. This
world is but of to-day-the one beyond, that of forever; and may you,
in expiating the crimes against the laws of mankind, propitiate and
appease the anger [sic] offended majesty of the Great Lawgiver of the
Universe. In accordance therefore, with the decision of this Court,
you will be taken from your place of confinement, on the 4th day of
October '62 between the hours of i2 and 2 o'clock of said day, and
hung by the neck until you are dead, and may God have mercy on
your soul.

379

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 September 21, 2014.