Friday, March 5, 2010

Sam Houston, The Hero of Texas Independence,

Houston, Texas is named in honor of this man.

Sam Houston, routed Mexican General Santa Ana at San Jacinto in 1836 and declared Texas an independent country.  He became the first president of the state of Texas and served in that capacity for two terms during the years 1836-38 and 1841-44.

Houston's great grandparents migrated from the Scottish village of Houston by way of Ulster about 1730.  He was born March 2, 1793 in Virginia.  At age 15 he was a frontiersman in Tennessee where he lived with Cherokee Indians for three years.

He fought under Andrew Jackson, became a congressman, and later governor of Tennessee.  Angry at the conniving of government agents at the expense of the Cherokees, Houston fought them vigorously in official circles.  He became a lawyer and was sent to Texas to negotiate treaties with the Indians.

He decided to stay in Texas and become involved with the troubles brewing between the Anglo-Saxon settlers and the Latin regimentation of the Mexican government.  War soon broke out and he became a prominent military leader.

When Texas was admitted to the Union as a state, Sam Houston became the state's U.S. Senator.  He served as senator until 1859.  He spoke out frequently on be half of the Indians.  This did not endear him with the Texas legislature, and he was not re-elected.

Returning to Texas,  Houston again ran for governor and was elected in 1859.  With the Civil War about to break, he tried unsuccessfully to stop the secession of Texas from the union.

Upon his refusal to swear allegiance to the Confederacy in 1861, he was deposed as governor.  He died on his farm near Huntsville, Texas, July 26, 1863.


On May 8,1840, he married  Margaret Lea and they had 8 children.  She was 21 and he was 47.

Houston was evicted from office in 1861, because he refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.

In 1854, He made a profession of faith and was baptized by a Baptist minister, Rufus C. Burleson, who later became the president of Baylor.

He died from pneumonia with his wife by his side.  He last recorded words were, "Texas, Texas, Margaret..."

Sam Houston is buried in Huntsville, Texas, but his wife Margaret Lea is buried in the City of Independence, Texas.  No explanation is given.

In Chicago, Houston Avenue is named for Sam Houston and runs 3024 east and from 8000 south to 13448 south.

Harvey Houston was president of our Society in 1979 and was a cousin of Sam Houston.  Mrs. Harvey Houston was a cousin of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America.  Strange how history divides us and then binds us together again as one great family.

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