Sam Houston - Biography and Facts

Sam Houston - Biography and Facts



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Born in Virginia, Sam Houston (1793-1863) became a lawyer, congressman and senator in Tennessee. After moving to Texas in 1832, he joined the growing conflict between U.S. settlers and the Mexican government and became commander of the local army. On April 21, 1836, Houston and his men defeated Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna at San Jacinto to secure Texan independence. He was voted president in 1836 and again in 1841, then served as a senator after Texas became a state in 1845. Despite his pro-slavery views, he believed in preserving the Union. He became governor in 1859, but was removed from office after the secession of Texas in 1861.

The traits that distinguished Sam Houston in Texas would be evident well before he settled there. He spent time among the Cherokee as a youth in East Tennessee, acquiring his distinctive familiarity with Indians. His service during the War of 1812 demonstrated his military ability and attracted the attention of Gen. Andrew Jackson. Houston became a Jackson protégé and, later, a Jacksonian politician. He represented Tennessee’s Seventh District in Congress for two terms before being elected governor in 1827. Resigning suddenly in 1829 after the collapse of his marriage, Houston spent several years with the Cherokee in Indian Territory.

Houston journeyed to Texas in 1832. Interested in land speculation and negotiating with Texas Indians on behalf of both the Cherokee and the United States, he was at the time and afterward accused of also intending to promote, with Jackson’s encouragement, a Texan insurrection against Mexican rule. Whatever his original motives, Houston quickly became involved in the growing protest against Mexico. After armed struggle commenced in 1835, a provisional government appointed Houston commander of its army. He was at Washington on the Brazos when independence was declared on March 2, 1836. Shortly thereafter, the fall of the Alamo compelled the small force Houston led to retreat eastward from Gonzales, trailed by panicked civilians. But at San Jacinto on April 21 his men secured Texas independence by destroying a Mexican army and capturing its commander, Mexican president Santa Anna.

The politics of the Texan republic revolved largely around Houston. Texans elected him to nonconsecutive presidential terms (1836-1838, 1841-1844). In the interim he served in the legislature. As president, Houston avoided open warfare with Mexico, despite provocations on both sides, and reduced governmental expenditures. He halted warfare upon Indians. The degree to which Houston shared many Texans’ enthusiasm for American statehood is unclear. After the United States spurned annexation in 1837, Houston courted England and France, hoping either that American anxieties over European encroachment would encourage annexation or that Europe would guarantee Texas independence. The Tyler administration finally moved to annex Texas during Houston’s second term.

The annexation of Texas and the winning of territory in the consequent war with Mexico accelerated divisions over the future of slavery in America. But, as Texas senator (1846-1859), Houston was a leading voice against sectional agitation. Although an unapologetic slave owner, Houston, like his mentor Jackson, insisted that the Union in all cases be preserved. He was the only southern senator to vote for every measure of the Compromise of 1850 and was one of only two to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Increasingly at odds with other southern Democrats, even in Texas, Houston gravitated toward the Know-Nothings. Attracted by their unionism, he also endorsed their nativism. Houston’s fortunes hit bottom in 1857 when his gubernatorial bid failed and the legislature voted not to return him to the Senate.

Houston managed to win the governorship in 1859. But his hope that sectional tensions might be diffused and his own career advanced by the establishment of a protectorate over Mexico came to naught, as did an effort to secure the Constitutional Union party’s presidential nomination. Over Houston’s opposition, a state secession convention met in January 1861. After a popular vote endorsed secession, Houston accepted Texas’s leaving the Union but rejected any affiliation with the Confederacy. The convention deposed him and, rather than accept federal military support, Houston retired. He died in Huntsville, Texas.

The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


Sam Houston

Sam Houston helped Texas gain independence from Mexico. He later helped the republic of Texas join the United States. To honor his efforts, the city of Houston was named for him.

Early Life

Samuel Houston was born on March 2, 1793, in Rockbridge county, Virginia. After his father died, in 1807, his mother moved the family to a farm in Tennessee. Houston ran away as a teenager and lived with the nearby Cherokee Indians for several years. He later returned home but continued his association with the Cherokee.

Entry into Politics

Houston fought in the War of 1812 under Major General Andrew Jackson. After the war Jackson gave him a job working with the Cherokee. Houston helped them move from Tennessee to the Arkansas Territory in 1818. He later returned to Tennessee and studied law. In 1823 Houston was elected to the United States Congress as a representative from Tennessee. In 1827 he was elected governor of the state.

In 1829 Houston resigned his office and went to live with the Cherokee in the Arkansas Territory. For the next three years he traded with the Native Americans and helped them fight for better treatment by the government.

Life in Texas

Houston took on another cause when he moved to Texas in 1832. At the time, Texas was part of Mexico. However, many people there wanted Texas to become a separate country. Houston soon became a leader of those who wanted independence. In November 1835 he became commander in chief of their army.

The people of Texas declared their independence in March 1836. Mexican troops led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna then marched through Texas to put down the revolt. On April 21, Houston led his troops in a battle at San Jacinto. They defeated the Mexican troops, and Texas became an independent republic.

Houston was elected the first president of Texas. He served until 1838 and then again from 1841 to 1844. He worked hard to have Texas become part of the United States. That happened in 1845. Houston served as a senator for the new state.

In 1859 he was elected governor. But this was during the period leading up to the American Civil War. Many people in the state wanted to keep slavery and to leave the United States. Houston did not agree. The legislature voted to secede, or separate, from the United States in 1861. Texas joined the Confederate States, but Houston refused to support the Confederacy. He was forced to resign as governor but remained in Texas. He died on July 26, 1863, in Huntsville.


Sam Houston “The Raven” (1793-1863)

One of the most colorful and controversial figures in Texas history, Sam Houston was born in Virginia on March 2, 1793. He spent much of his youth, however, in the mountains of Tennessee. There, young Houston became acquainted with the Cherokee Indians, and he spent much time with them, an activity which he much preferred over studies or working on the farm.

With the outbreak of the second war with England, Houston enlisted as a private soldier, and was made sergeant of a company. He excelled in the military and quickly won the admiration of his men and his superiors. After receiving three near-mortal wounds at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, he rose to the rank of first lieutenant before resigning in 1818 to study law.

After a short time, he was admitted to the bar and practiced in Lebonon, Tennessee before running for public office. He sought and won public office and was elected to the US Congress in 1823 and again in 1825. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee by a large majority.

While governor and after a brief marriage that ended unfavorably, Houston quietly resigned from Tennessee politics and returned to live with his longtime friends, the Cherokees. There, he remained until 1832 when he moved to Texas along with a few friends.

In Texas, Houston was elected delegate from Nacogdoches to the Convention of 1833 which met at San Felipe. From that time, Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. In 1835 he was appointed general of the military district east of the Trinity. He became a member of the Consultation of 1835, and of the Convention which met at Washington on the Brazos in 1836 to declare independence from Mexico. It was there that Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas.

Houston immediately took control of the Texas forces after the fall of the Alamo and Goliad and conducted the retreat of the army to the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, where on April 21, 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas long-sought independence.

In the fall of that year, Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. After serving his term as President, he served in the Congress of the Republic in 1839-40. Then in 1841, Houston was again voted by a large margin to the head of the Texas government.

After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected Senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States. Still later, in 1859, Houston was elected to serve as Governor of the State of Texas.

As Governor in 1861, Houston was strongly opposed to the secession of Texas from the Union. Because he was much in the minority on this issue, Houston was removed from office in March of 1861, ending his illustrious carrier in public service.

Houston retired to the privacy of his home at Huntsville, Texas, where died in July of 1863. He is buried in Huntsville’s Oakwood Cemetery.


Sam Houston and Eliza Allen: “Ten Thousand Imputed Slanders”

On April 11, 1829, Sam Houston and his bride of eleven weeks, Eliza Allen, abruptly ended their marriage. Neither would speak publicly of the cause for the rest of their lives. Eliza returned to her parents’ home in Sumner County. Sam fled to Arkansas territory to live among the Cherokee, after resigning as governor of Tennessee.

“And now that domestic misfortune, of which I say nothing, and about which there are ten thousand imputed slanders, has come upon, as a black cloud at noonday, I am to be hunted down!” Sam wrote Andrew Jackson on May 11, 1829, “What am I? an Exile from my home and my country, a houseless unshelter’d wanderer, among the Indians! Who has met, or who has sustained, such sad and unexpected reverses?”

Sam Houston in Cherokee Dress, 1830

In 1829, at age forty-one, former Major General and now Governor Sam Houston stood poised for a national career, as many saw him as the successor to his mentor, President Jackson. But his personal demons worked against his ambition – he was legendary for his drinking, his melodrama, and his renegade spirit.

Perhaps to overcome his reputation, perhaps for love, he courted young Eliza Allen, from a wealthy and politically connected Middle Tennessee family, whose father was Jackson’s old friend. Sam had known Eliza since she was about 13, when he first served in the U.S. Congress with her uncle Robert Allen.

The course of true love never did run smooth for Sam. “I have as usual had ‘a small blow up.’ What the devil is the matter with the gals I cant say but there has been hell to pay and no pitch hot!,” Sam wrote to John Marable on December 8, 1828, a few days after Eliza’s birthday. But he closed his letter with hope — “it may be that I will splice myself with a rib.”

On January 22, 1829, Sam married the 19 year old Eliza Allen at her home near Gallatin, with the Reverend William Hume, the Scottish minister of First Presbyterian Church in Nashville and a friend of Jackson, performing the service.*

The honeymoon soured within two days of the wedding. Eliza watched her husband in a snowfall fight with the daughters of her host, Martha Phillips Martin, at Locust Grove on the Gallatin Pike. Martha suggested, “You had better go out and help him.” Eliza replied seriously, “I wish they would kill him.” Martha looked at her, astonished. She repeated, “Yes, I wish from the bottom of my heart that they would kill him.”

The Houstons settled into the Nashville Inn, on the public square. The state government at the time met in the Davidson County Courthouse, and Sam spent his days at the capitol and his evenings in entertaining or campaigning. One day he returned to their rooms earlier than expected – Eliza sat “at a table weeping and reading old love letters…” Some say she confessed to Sam that she had been in love with a young terminally consumptive attorney, William Tyree, but she married Sam to please her parents.

Sam’s friend Frank Chambers reported, “During the next week or two Governor Houston looked years older. I saw that the beautiful young wife would be but dead sea fruit to him… I saw that his heart was broken.” Dead sea fruit was notorious for dissolving into ash when picked.

Nashville Inn, Public Square

On April 9, Sam wrote to Eliza’s father about “the most unpleasant and unhappy circumstance” that had “taken place in the family, and one that was entirely unnecessary at this time…” Sam attested he “was satisfied & believed her virtuous… That I have & do love Eliza none can doubt. – that she is the only earthly object dear to me God will witness.” Houston continued, “She was cold to me, and I thought did not love me. She owns that was one cause of my unhappiness. You can judge how unhappy I was to think I was united to a woman who did not love me.” Houston thought they could now be happy, and “you may rest assured that nothing on my part shall be wanting to restore it. Let me know what is to be done.”

But apparently, much was wanting on Eliza’s part where happiness was concerned. Sam left for an election debate at Cockrill Springs and Eliza headed home. Martha Martin “was surprised one evening to find Mrs. Houston at my front door, for she had come to spend the night with us on her return to her home in Gallatin… she seemed somewhat depressed, and by way of explanation said that she and General Houston had agreed to separate.” Their marriage unofficially ended on April 11, 1829.

The scandal of the Houstons’ separation spread like wildfire – Charles Love reported to Andrew Jackson that Sam’s “effigy was burned in Gallatin on Saterday night last,” April 11. He explained, “Our friend Houston has separated from his wife and will resign tomorrow [April 16] and leave the state Immediately for the Arkansas Territory to reside among the Indians. There is a hundred reports about the cause of separation he gave her Father a certificate that she was virtuous. I lament his unfortunate situation, his hopes for happiness in this world are blasted forever.”

A week later, on April 23, Sam fled from Nashville. Reverend Hume wrote John Coltart the next day, “I am sorry for him and more sorry for the young lady he has left. I know nothing that can be relied on as true… Oh, what a fall for a major general, a member of congress, and a Governor.”

Sam retreated to the home of his friend Oolooteka, also known as John Jolly, in Arkansas Territory. Before long his grief must have eased – he entered into a Cherokee marriage with Tiana Rogers Gentry in May 1830. But he left Tiana behind to go to Texas in December 1832.

Meanwhile, Eliza lived with her family, “in seclusion for a year or two – a picture of perfect woe…,” according to her relative, “M.B.H.” “She never uttered a harsh or reproachful word of the General – seemed only to pity him.” Eliza’s mother Laetitia Saunders Allen died in childbirth in November 1832 and her father John died in an accident the next April. Orphaned and the family estate sold, Eliza moved to Gallatin with her young siblings, where Mrs. E.L. Crockett claimed Eliza was “deeply respected by all” but “had only a few intimate friends.”

Eliza never pursued a divorce, although it would have been allowed under Tennessee law to a deserted wife. But Sam first tried for a divorce in 1833 in the Mexican State of Coahuilla and Texas – the grounds were that “a separation took place between your said petitioner and his said wife and that they have never since that time, nor can they ever, meet again.”

Sam was more successful when he became president of the new Republic of Texas in October 1836. By April 1837, he achieved his divorce by asking for a hearing before a district court judge, an exception to the law that would have required an act of divorce by the Texas Congress. On April 8, his attorney W. G. Anderson wrote Sam that although the judge wanted to postpone the case “until some correspondence could be had with the absentee H [Eliza Houston]… I resisted successfully… and take great pleasure in saying that a decision was made and that hence you are absolved from the Marital obligations into which you have heretofore entered…” Sam married 21 year old Margaret Lea on May 9, 1840, and the couple would have eight children.

President Sam Houston, Republic of Texas, 1836

Eliza eventually got word of the divorce. On November 8, 1840, she married 42 year old Dr. Elmore Douglass, a widower with three young girls. Elmore was the first cousin of her sister-in-law, Louisa Douglass Allen. Together Eliza and Elmore had three daughters and a son, only one of whom lived to adulthood.

Eliza Allen, ca. 1860, only known surviving image (Kenneth Thomson Collection)

Eliza Allen Houston Douglass died on March 3, 1861, at the age of 51. Eliza asked before her death that all her papers be burned, any images of her be destroyed, and her body be placed in an unmarked grave. In her quest for oblivion, she became instead a legend.

Sam Houston died on July 26, 1863, at age 70. After 1829, he escaped into revolution in Texas, becoming president of a new country, later annexed to the United States. He took their secret into eternity as an American hero.

Prepared by Ann Toplovich
September 12, 2018

* Hume and Houston were both members of the Tennessee Antiquarian Society, the predecessor of the Tennessee Historical Society.


A young lawyer and politician

Houston served under Jackson for several more years, based at Nashville, Tennessee, and serving as a sub-agent (a representative between them and the U.S. government) to the Cherokees. In 1818, Houston decided to leave the army and become a lawyer. Even though the process of preparation for the bar exam (the test by which attorneys become qualified) usually took much longer, Houston passed after only six months of study. He set up a law practice in Lebanon, Tennessee. Houston's large size, physical vigor, and fondness for dramatic, unconventional clothing made him stand out. He also was admired for his skill as a public speaker, and in 1819, he was elected attorney general of Tennessee (the top position in the state's legal system). This election launched Houston's political career.

In 1823, Houston was elected to represent his district of Tennessee in the United States Congress. He held this position for the next four years. Houston was only thirty-five years old when, in 1827, he was elected governor of Tennessee. Two years later, he married Eliza Allen, a young woman from a wealthy family. It seemed that he was now at his personal and professional peak. Only three months after the wedding, however, Eliza left Houston and returned to her parents' home. The short marriage was over, but no one ever knew why since neither Eliza nor Houston would talk about it. Some historians speculate that Eliza had been forced into the marriage by her father and did not like being married to Houston, while others guess that either Houston or his wife had been unfaithful.


The Early Texas Years: 1832-1841

Stephen F. Austin approved Houston's application to acquire land in Texas. He was a delegate to the Second Convention calling for the state of Texas to be separated from Coahuila and was later named as Major General in the Texas Army in 1835. In 1836, he was present at the Texas Constitutional Convention and celebrated his 43rd Birthday the following day as Texas declared its independence from Mexico. He was then named Major General of the Army of the Republic of Texas.

On April 21, 1836, Houston's army of 800 attacked Santa Anna's 1400 man army and in 20 minutes, they won the Battle of San Jacinto. With Santa Anna captured, an amristice was signed. He was elected President of the Republic of Texas on September 5. In 1840, he married Margaret Lea and was reelected as President the following year.


The Rare Love Story of Sam Houston & Margaret Lea

Sam Houston played an integral role in both Texas and United States history. He was a man of honor who fought through many a battle with courage and strength. However, there was another side of Sam Houston not taught about in history books. It is an untold tale of the great love between he and his wife, Margaret Moffette Lea.

Margaret was just 17 when she first laid eyes on Sam. She was standing in the crowd, and he had just arrived by boat into New Orleans. On May 22, 1836, Sam had arrived for medical treatment for the ankle he injured in the Battle of San Jacinto. From that moment forward, Margaret knew that her destiny was to be somehow tied to that of Sam Houston’s.

A Love Story

Photo: Courtesy of Denton Florian

Margaret and Sam were introduced to each other at a garden party in Mobile, Alabama in 1839. It was love at first sight however, Sam was under the impression that Margaret was her married sister. According to Sam and Margaret’s great-great granddaughter, Madge Roberts, Sam said to a friend, “You know, if that charming lady wasn’t already married I think I’d give her the chance to turn me down.” To which the friend quickly replied, “Well, General Houston, you’ve got the wrong sister. That’s the unmarried one.” He didn’t leave her side for the rest of the party.

Sam Houston and Margaret Moffette Lea were married the following year on May 9, 1840. This was Sam’s third marriage. The first ended in divorce and the second ended amicably in Indian Territory. However, this marriage was different. He and his new wife seemed to be destined to be together. Soulmates, so to speak, and Margaret influenced his life in ways that no man could ever imagine.

Margaret made it a point to play an important supportive role in Sam’s life. She helped him overcome “the bottle” and led him to his own baptism. It was a glorious day for Margaret to see Sam be baptized, and though she was reserved, she even shouted out in church that day. Margaret never traveled with Sam, though. One might think that a bit odd, but she was intent on making sure things were at order at home. Her mission instead was to create “a haven of a home that would beckon him.” She did exactly that for the entirety of their marriage. Together, the couple were parents to eight children: four boys and four girls. Sam passed away in July of 1863 of pneumonia. Nearly four and a half years later, Margaret passed away from a case of yellow fever.

Love Letters

While the account of Sam and Margaret’s love is one of warmth, romance, and destiny, no spoken or written tale can help us to relate to just how deep their feelings were. However, letters written between the couple take romance to a whole different level and really portrays just how madly in love they were.

Sam to Margaret
September 22, 1840
Washington, D.C.

“My love, I am so unhappy while separated from you, that I feel myself most happy when writing to you. You are always present in my thoughts, and remain supreme in my affections. My love, I do sincerely hope that you will hear no more slanders of me. Do be satisfied, if you hear the truth you shall never hear of my being on a ‘spree.'”

Sam to Margaret
January 8, 1841
Austin, TX

“Oh, I am weary of public life. How hateful are even its honors! I feel, my love, that I can only be happy when I will be with you. I feel my only love, as tho I cou’d only be calm, intelligent and happy when I cou’d hear your voice and enjoy the admonition of your wisdom! I wou’d then be a rational, cheerful, and happy man.”

Thy devoted husband,
Houston

Sam to Margaret
December 6, 1846
U.S. Senate Chamber

“I reflect on the chilling contrast between your embrace and the chilling embrace of a Norther, which I had to encounter when parting from you the next moment. I think often of our dear little daughters, and my heart melts at the helplessness of our little Maggy Lea. Indeed, I do not think it extravagant when I say that more than half of my waking hours are given to meditation about you and the children.”

Margaret to Sam
March 8, 1853

“How hard it seems, that at this sweet season, I should be separated from the only being that could ever really sympathize with me in my love of nature! I have often thought dearest, that my love for you approached too near to idolatry, and it may be that the Lord takes from me the companionship, so absorbing to every thought and wish, that I may have more time to think of the immortal soul. Sam, Nannie and Maggie each hand me a violet for you. We all long to see you. Mary Willie says I must send a violet for her too.”

“Oh my Love, you cannot have the least idea of my feelings.
I only wish that you were here, for I have many things to say to you. One is, I love you more than all created beings.”

Thy devoted & faithful Husband,
Sam Houston

EMMY Award Winning Documentary on Sam Houston

The story and Sam Houston and his wife Margaret doesn’t end here. In fact, there is a recent movie dedicated to the life of Sam Houston: “Sam Houston: American Statesman, Soldier, and Pioneer,” written by Houston biographer James L. Haley and directed by Denton Florian. The movie covers Sam’s life from birth all the way through his death. It has won five EMMY awards, has played on PBS all over Texas, and has been recognized by concurrent resolutions of the Texas House and Senate and the Governor of Texas for excellence in historical education.

The biographical documentary was filmed in 31 different locations across four states and some of the events shown in the film were filmed at the very places they took place. There are expert interviews of the top Sam Houston scholars, original works of art, animated maps, and restored archival images.

The movie itself has received a review score of 9.9 out of 10 in iMDb as well as 24 5-star reviews on Amazon, and is just under three hours long. It can be purchased from samhoustonmovie.com, and you can visit the movie’s Facebook page at Facebook/Sam Houston. When you sit down to watch “Sam Houston: American Statesman, Soldier, and Pioneer”, be sure there is plenty of popcorn on hand to get you through the film. You will not want to move from your seat…even for a second.

The information about Sam and Margaret’s love affair was graciously provided to Texas Hill Country by Director Denton Florian.


Sam Houston | Timeline

1793
Sam Houston is born on March 2, 1793 at the Timber Ridge Plantation in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He is the fifth of nine children born to Major Samuel and Elizabeth (Paxton) Houston.

1806
Houston's father, Major Samuel Houston, dies.

1807
Houston's mother moves the family to eastern Tennessee. They settle near Maryville in Blount County on undeveloped land that borders Cherokee Indian territory.

1809
Houston leaves home and joins the Cherokees.

1812
Houston returns to Maryville, Tennessee and opens a school.

1813
Houston joins the U.S. Army.

1814
Houston fights at the battle of Horseshoe Bend.

1817
Houston is appointed Indian Subagent in Tennessee.

  • Houston resigns from the U.S. Army and becomes a lawyer.
  • Houston is appointed Adjutant General of Tennessee.

1819
Houston wins the office of Attorney General of the District of Nashville.

  • Houston returns to private law practice.
  • Houston is elected Major General of the Tennessee State Militia by his fellow officers.

1823
Houston is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1827
Houston is elected Governor of Tennessee.

  • Houston marries Eliza Allen.
  • Houston announces his bid for re-election as Governor of Tennessee.
  • Houston and Eliza Allen separate.
  • Houston resigns as Governor of Tennessee and leaves Nashville.

18291832
Houston resides with the Cherokees and is given a new name - Big Drunk.

1833
Houston goes to Texas, leaving his life with the Indians. He becomes involved in Texas politics and in the rebellion against Mexico, and sets up a law practice in
Nacogdoches, Texas.

1835
Houston is named Major General in the Texas Army.

  • Houston's army wins the decisive battle of San Jacinto. Houston shouts the famous words, "Remember the Alamo," as he leads his troops to victory over Mexican General Santa Anna's army, gaining Texas its independence.
  • Houston is elected the first President of the Republic of Texas.
  • The town of Houston is founded.

1837
Divorce from Eliza Allen is granted.

1840
Houston marries Margaret Lea of Marion, Alabama, a strict Baptist who curbs his drinking and bears his eight children.

1841
Houston serves a second term as President of Texas.

1845
Texas gains statehood.

1846
Houston is elected to the U.S. Senate. He serves as Senator from 1846 - 1859.

1859
Houston is elected Governor of Texas.

1861
When Texas votes to separate from the Union, Houston, a strong Unionist, refuses to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. Consequently, Houston leaves the Governor's Office.

1863
On July 26, 1863, Sam Houston dies of pneumonia in his home in Huntsville, Texas. He is seventy years of age.


Sam Houston

Samuel "Sam" Houston (March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was an American statesman, politician, and soldier. He is best known for his leading role in bringing Texas into the United States. Houston, Texas and Sam Houston State University was named after him.

Shortly afterwards, he relocated to Coahuila y Tejas, then a Mexican state, and became a leader of the Texas Revolution. Sam Houston supported annexation by the United States. When he assumed the governorship of Texas in 1859, Houston became the only person to have become the governor of two different U.S. states through direct, popular election, as well as the only state governor to have been a foreign head of state.

Houston was born on March 2, 1793 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was of an Irish-Scottish descent. Houston was married to Eliza Allen from 1829 until they divorced in 1837. Then he was married to Diana Rogers Gentry until they divorced. Then he was married to Margaret Moffette Lee from 1840 until his death in 1863. Houston had seven children. Houston died on July 26, 1863 in Huntsville, Texas from pneumonia, aged 70.


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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas H. Kreneck, &ldquoHouston, Sam,&rdquo Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/houston-sam.

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