Birthday: March 2, 1793
Died At Age: 70
Sun Sign: Pisces
Born in: Rockbridge County, Virginia
Famous as: Former Governor of Texas
political ideology: Democratic Party
Spouse/Ex-: Diana Rogers Gentry, Eliza Allen, Margaret Moffette Lee
father: Major Samuel Houston
mother: Elizabeth Paxton
children: Andrew Jackson Houston, Antoinette Power, Jr., Margaret, Mary William, Nancy Elizabeth, Sam Houston, Temple Lea Houston, William Rogers
Died on: July 26, 1863
place of death: Huntsville, Texas
U.S. State: Virginia
Who was Sam Houston?
Samuel “Sam” Houston was an American soldier turned politician who played a key role in the creation of a separate state of Texas in the United States. A prominent figure in the political history of Texas, this politician served as the President of the Republic of Texas twice and also as a governor of the state. He played an important role as a soldier in the War of 1812 which helped to launch his political career in future. He served under Andrew Jackson who was very impressed with the young man’s sincerity and bravery—Houston fought on in spite of being wounded and very courageously faced the bullets which left him with shoulder and arm injuries. Jackson helped to get him a position as an Indian agent to the Cherokee. He also began to study law and was elected to the US House of Representatives for Tennessee. Throughout his political career he supported Andrew Jackson and was considered by some to be Jackson’s protege in spite of their widely differing views. He was made the Commander-in-Chief at the convention to declare Texan independence and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in March 1836. He was a very reputable politician whose works were widely recognized and respected.
Childhood & Early Life
He was the son of Samuel Houston and Elizabeth Paxton. His father was a member of Morgan’s Rifle Brigade and was commissioned as a Major during the American Revolutionary War. He had eight siblings.
His father died in 1807 and his mother took the children to eastern Tennessee. He was made to work as a shop clerk at his older brothers’ store which left the teenager dissatisfied; he ran away from home in 1809 at the age of 16.
He went to live with the Cherokee tribe whose leader welcomed him with open arms and became like an adoptive father to the young Sam. He learnt about the lifestyle of the tribal people and also became fluent in their language.
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He enlisted in the 39th Infantry Regiment in 1812 to fight the British in the War of 1812. Within a few months he rose from the tank of a private to third lieutenant.
While fighting at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 he was badly wounded but had his injuries bandaged and rejoined the war. He served under Andrew Jackson who was greatly impressed by Houston’s bravery and valor.
After the war, Jackson had him appointed as an Indian agent to the Cherokee. However, some differences with John C. Calhoun, the Secretary of War, led to his resignation in 1818.
He began studying law at the office of Judge James Trimble and passed the bar exam; he was appointed as the local prosecutor in Nashville in 1818.
He was elected into the U.S. House of Representatives for Tennessee in 1822 where he strongly supported Andrew Jackson who was a Democrat. Houston was a Congressman from 1823 to 1827.
He went to Washington, DC, in 1830 and 1833 to expose the frauds which government agents had committed against the Cherokee. During this period, anti-Jacksonian Congressman William Stanbery accused Houston on some grounds for which he was found guilty. He was told to pay $500 in damages but he left the U.S. for Mexico without paying this amount.
He went to Texas and became a supporter of William Harris Wharton who advocated independence from Mexico. He was commissioned as the Major General in Texas Army in 1835.
He served as the Commander-in-Chief at the 1836 convention to declare Texan independence. He signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on 2 March 1836.
He served as the president of the Republic of Texas twice. In his first term, he served from October 1836 to December 1838 while in his second term he served from December 1841 to December 1844.
The U.S. annexed Texas in 1845 and Houston was elected to the U.S. Senate along with Thomas Jefferson Rusk. He served from February 1846 till March 1859.
He is best known for playing a major role in establishing the independence of Texas by signing the Texas Declaration of Independence. He also served as the President of the Republic of Texas twice.
Personal Life & Legacy
His first marriage was to Eliza Allen in 1829 when Houston was 35 and the girl just 19. Eliza was unhappy with this marriage and left him soon after.
He later married Tiana Rogers, a Cherokee woman in Arkansas territory. He had one child with her. Their marriage ended when his wife refused to accompany him to Texas.
He married for the third time in 1840. His wife was Margaret Moffette Lea who was much younger than him. Their marriage produced eight children. Houston, who had a problem of excessive drinking finally gave up this habit at the persuasion of his wife.
He developed a persistent cough in 1863 and suffered from a bout of pneumonia which led to his death at the age of 70.