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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

competency to decide matters of conscience for other men-that
they, also, were members of the tribunal who had condemned him
to die, which fact, alone, seemed [to] be sufficient to disqualify
them for such a delicate trust. He refused to entertain these ex-
cuses saying; that he had ever known them to be good men and,
more recently while on trial for his life, he had discovered them
to be men of upright judgements, and he believed had done
Justice between him and the country.
They told him that the crime for which he had been con-
demned consisted in going into the society, that the crime con-
sisted in taking the oaths, in the first instance; and in no wise
could he be held responsible, as a moral being, for going out of
the order, no matter what revelations might become necessary in
his abandonment of an association which, by the laws of the land,
had been held to be criminal and desperately wicked. With this,
they introduced the doctrine of repentence as taught by the Bible
and left him a victim to his own melancholly [sic] reflections.
He continued from time to time, to defer making any revela-
tions until the hour arrived for his execution; and notwithstand-
ing the repeated efforts to relieve his mind of any doubts as to
his moral obligation to reveal the names and secrets of the
"Order," he died with his fidelity to the cause only partially
His own statements before the Jury were disconnected and
evidently showed a disposition to evade the truth. He spoke boast-
ingly of himself as being the author of the main secrets of the
order; but afterwards admitted that he heard the signs, grip, and
password were the same in the Northern wing of the "Order."
From other facts, it is clearly ascertained that he is not entitled
to the distinction he claims in the order. His conduct through-
out revealed all the elements of a depraved nature, and he died
upon the tree exhibiting that defiance of death that usually seizes
hold on the last moments of a depraved, wicked, and abandoned


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 29, 2016.

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