Monday, August 20, 2012

1895 Cooke County Map

A comment left on the Bus Tour post reminded me that sometime ago I started to try locating the land owned by the men who were hanged.  I never finished the project, but will post a map showing a few of the land surveys belonging to victims of the hanging. 
Below is a copy of a 1895 plat map for Cooke county showing land owned by several of the men who were killed during the hangings.  Texas land surveys are known by the name of the person who was originally authorized to purchase the land.  So if your ancestor was not the original owner of the land, you would need the land deed for your ancestor to find out the name of the survey in order to find it on a map.  According to the Texas General Land Office:  "for the purposes of reference the name of the original certificate holder is retained as a means of identifying the surveyed tract."

1895 Cooke County Survey Map

The Texas General Land Office has an excellent website.  Another helpful website is Arphax Publishing.  The Arphax Publishing Texas Land Survey Maps series and Family Maps series are very helpful in finding the land your ancestor owned. 
I will be glad to add names to the map, if information is left in comments showing which survey was owned by your 'Great Hanging' ancestor.:)

The above map can be found on It is in their map collection called Historic Land Ownership and Reference Atlases, 1507-2000. is available free in most major libraries, university libraries, genealogy libraries, and in LDS Family History Centers across the U.S. 

Southern "Volunteers"

Most of the men who were hanged in the 'Great Hanging' probably had the same sentiments as the poor fellow in the cartoon above about being "drafted" into the Confederate Army.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

McCaslin & Clark to speak at 'Great Hanging' event

Two favorite authors of books concerning the Great Hanging will be speaking in Gainesville at the Civic Center on Saturday Morning, October 13, 2012.  The schedule for Saturday morning, October 13, 2012, of the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Great Hanging, includes Richard McCaslin, PhD and L. D. Clark, PhD, Leon Russell, and Ron Melugin.
Noted historian and author, Richard McCaslin, PhD, will speak on the topic of his book, "Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862."  Richard B. McCaslin, a professor and Department of History Chairman at the University of North Texas, is the author of many historical books, including Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas,  1862 (LSU, 1994), which won the Tullis Prize and an AASLH commendation.  Dr. McCaslin  earned his BA from Delta State University, MA from Louisiana State University and PhD from The University of Texas at Austin.

Also speaking is L. D. Clark, PhD.  His topic will be family stories of the Great Hanging.  L. D. Clark is the grandson of James Lemuel Clark and great-grandson of Nathaniel Miles Clark, who was hanged during the Great Hangings.  L.D. Clark earned his BA, MA, and PhD from Columbia University. He has a long career of teaching English at the University of Arizona, The University of Nice and Korea University.  He is the author of several books including  A Bright Tragic Thing, a novel based on the Gainesville hanging, and Civil War Recollections of James Lemuel Clark,  memoirs of his grandfather.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

'Great Hanging' Bus Tour

This event has been CANCELED!!
**Please check out the follow-up announcement by the Clark family here**

As part of the two-day sesquicentennial commemoration of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, a 4-hour bus tour is offered on Friday, Oct 12, 2012.

The tour bus will depart from the Gainesville Civic Center and visit four sites:
1. The Courthouse Square/Pecan Creek
2. Fairview Cemetery to visit the burial plots of 19 men who had influence during The Great Hanging
3. The Black Cemetery where Col. William C. Young is buried
4. Clark Cemetery where Nathanial M. Clark is buried

Those of us who had an ancestor who was hanged in the Great Hanging would like to know some of the following locations:
Where did the trials take place?
What was the route taken from the courtroom to the hanging tree?
Where is the location of the old warehouse that the bodies were thrown into?  
Where was the hanging tree was located or at least the general vicinity? 
And, the most nagging question of all will always be, "WHERE ARE THEY BURIED?"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sesquicentennial Great Hanging Event

This event has been CANCELED!!
**Please check out the follow-up announcement by the Clark family here** 


October 12-13, 2012
Gainesville, Texas

The Morton Museum of Gainesville has recently added information about the Commemoration of the Great Hanging to their calendar.  This event will take place October 12-13, 2012 in Gainesville, Texas.

A website was created for the event: 

The home page states the following:

This Civil War Tragedy resulted in the hanging of forty men suspected of being unionists. 
The two day event commemorates the 150th year of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas.
, October 12, 2012 includes bus tours to historic sites and an evening meal with a Civil War Ball. 

On Saturday, October 13, the day starts with coffee and donuts, lectures by distinguished authors, lunch, a film entitled "Black October" and a panel discussion.

Visit the website for registration information.  Hope to see you there!