Houston, Sam (1793–1863)

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Houston, Sam (1793–1863)

Sam Houston (b. 2 March 1793; d. 26 July 1863), president of the Republic of Texas (1836–1838, 1841–1844). Born near Timber Ridge Church, Rockbridge County, Virginia, Houston received little formal schooling and spent three years among the Cherokee Indians. In 1813, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was wounded in an engagement with the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend. He left the army in 1818 to study law in Nashville. His popularity led to a variety of elected and appointed offices, including two terms in Congress (1823, 1825) and election as governor of Tennessee (1827). He resigned the governorship in 1829 and spent the next six years establishing diplomatic and trade relations with the Indians.

Houston moved to Texas in 1832 and was caught up in the turmoil between the Mexican government and the Anglo-American population. He was elected a delegate to the Consultation of all Texas communities in 1835, and the revolutionary government awarded him a commission as major general. He signed the Declaration of Independence on 2 March 1836, and two days later he was selected to command the Texas Army, which he led to victory at the battle of San Jacinto on 21 April of that year. On 5 September 1836, Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas, an office he held twice during that nation's nine-year history. When Texas joined the United States, Houston was sent to the U.S. Senate, where he served for fourteen years. On 21 December 1859 he was inaugurated governor of Texas, but his opposition to secession and his refusal to swear allegiance to the Confederate government forced him to relinquish the office in 1861. He spent the last years of his life at his home in Huntsville, Texas.

See alsoTexas Revolutionxml .


Llerena Friend, Sam Houston, the Great Designer (1969).

Sam Houston, The Autobiography of Sam Houston, edited by Donald Day and Harry Herbert Ullom (1954).

Amelia W. Williams and Eugene. C. Barker, The Writings of Sam Houston, 8 vols. (1938–1943).

Marion Karl Wisehart, Sam Houston, American Giant (1962).

Additional Bibliography

Campbell, Randolph B., and Mark C. Carnes. Sam Houston and the American Southwest. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.

Haley, James L. Sam Houston. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002.

                                 Michael R. Green

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Houston, Sam (1793–1863)

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