Sam Houston Summary

Sam Houston had to face many obstacles since he was a little boy. He had very little education; however he educated himself with many readings from his father’s library. Houston served as governor for Tennessee and Texas. He also served as a United States senator for thirteen years. . He befriended General Andrew Jackson and remarried three times. Houston was made the first president of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and was re-elected in 1841. He gave many speeches throughout the years. Houston died on July 26, 1863, in Huntsville, Texas.

Sam Houston, fifth child of Samuel Houston and Elizabeth Paxton Houston, was born on March 2, 1793. His father, Samuel Houston, a member of the revolutionary member, went bankrupt in 1806 and had no other option but to sell the Timber Ridge and move west to Tennessee. His father died the same year! A year later, Sam Houston, his mother, and his eight siblings resided south of Knoxville in Maryville, Tennessee. At the age of fourteen, Sam Houston had little education but spent a large amount of time reading books in his late father’s library.

He also spent a great amount of time clearing land and developing a farm. The family decided that he would work as a clerk in a store because in his brother’s eyes he wasn’t doing anything worthwhile. Sam showed no interest in this job which resulted in his disappearance from the job and home. He crossed the Tennessee River with the Cherokee Indians. Houston joined a band of approximately three hundred Cherokees led by Chief Oo-loo-te-ka. The chief liked Sam greatly that he soon adopted him and gave him the name “Colonnen”. Colonnen refers to “The Raven” which is a symbol of good luck to the Indians.

He went into debt due to bringing gifts home to his Indian friends each time he went to visit his family. At the age of nineteen, Houston had to find a way to get out of debt and decided to become a teacher. He charged the students a higher rate than usual which only took six months to pay off his debts. At the beginning it was just a way to make money but he soon realized that he had a strong interest in teaching. The War of 1812 had begun shortly after Houston began teaching. His career ended really soon. “Euclid soon defeated him and ended whatever thoughts he may have had of a permanent careers as a teacher.

Houston was not amongst the early volunteers of the war; however he decided to enroll in a local academy to further his education in math. On March 24, 2013, Sam decided to enlist in the United States Army. Within a few weeks of training he became a sergeant. Nine months later, Sam was promoted to third lieutenant. Early in the 1814, Houston came under command of General Andrew Jackson. He became really good friends with Jackson for approximately thirty years. During the war, Houston was wounded and General Jackson ordered him to stay out the rest of the battle. The Indians refused to surrender.

Houston volunteered to lead the attack; however his men hesitated to go forth, Houston ran forward and the Indians ended up shooting him twice in the right shoulder. Jackson ordered the Cherokees to complete the battles which forced the Indians to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson. This treaty consisted of giving up their claims to more than three-fifths of Alabama. Sam Houston was treated at one of their hospitals in eastern Tennessee and then transported back to Maryville. After the treatment he was assigned to the Southern Division of the United States Army. He was on light duty in the adjutant general’s office.

On October 28, 1817 Houston was appointed federal subjacent to the Cherokees. At the age of twenty-five, on March 1, 1818 he resigned from the army and as Indian subagent too. Three months later, Sam Houston returned to Nashville to begin the study of law with Judge James Trimble. It only took Houston six months to learn and pass the bar examination. He then moved to Lebanon and opened a law office. In 1819, Houston was elected attorney general, and he then returned to Nashville. He was very successful and knowledgeable but he was not satisfied with the pay. He resigned in1820 in private practice in Nashville.

“In 1823 he ran for the United States House of Representatives from the ninth Tennessee District. ” (pg 15) Houston’s second term ended on March 1827, he went back to Tennessee to run for governor. He put himself in the public’s eyes by attending political rallies and any events that included the voters. “In early September he defeated Cannon by more than 11,000 votes in a total of more than 75,000 and won the governorship. ” (19) In 1824 Sam Houston was introduced to a woman named Eliza Allen. She was only twenty and Sam Houston was thirty-five at the time. He asked her father for his permission to marry his daughter.

Her father gave him permission to wed his daughter. She did not love Sam; however her family pretty much pressured her into marrying Houston only because he was a successful man. She followed their command and accepted his proposal in October 1828. They exchanged wedding vows on January 22, 1829 at the Allen’s home. Unfortunately, three months after the marriage his wife left him and went back home to her family. She refused to be with him and on April 16th Houston resigned as governor of Tennessee. It is still unknown why she left Houston, although she was pressured into marrying Houston. Sam and his companion, H.Haralson, journeyed down the Cucumber River to Ohio on April 23, 1829.

He ended up in Arkansas with his Cherokee friends. His companion continued to travel leaving Houston behind with his adopted father and friends. Sam Houston soon discovered that the Cherokee nation had to move out of Arkansas and into east-central Oklahoma. The Cherokees were worried that the whites were going to take their current land again. Houston became their advisor and a listener to the Cherokee tribe. “Houston departed to Washington to inform President Jackson that several Indian agents should be removed and the Treaty of 1828 honored.

He traveled to Washington D. C. to inform how the Cherokees received unbroken promises and that they rather have money verses gold. Sam Houston wed another woman, Tiana, while still married to Eliza. It wasn’t a big deal because she was considered Indian and his other wife was Cherokee. Within time he got a weakness for alcohol. It started interfering with his everyday live, was turned down when he campaigned for a position on the Cherokee council, and he also hit his adoptive father. Soon after, his mother fell ill and was rushed back to her home in Tennessee where she died in September 1831.

A month later he traveled back to the Cherokee nation. In April he was arrested and punished for striking congressman, Stanbery, with his cane. He was found guilty and received a reprimand. In October 1832, Houston started preparing for his trip to Texas; however his wife refused to go. Houston left her some of his possessions and then divorced her. Sam Houston set up headquarters in San Felipe and began to plan a defensive strategy against the Mexicans. The volunteer soldiers under Stephen Austin battled and successfully took San Antonio, killed Milam, and forcing General Cos to surrender.

The soldiers believed that the war was over; however Houston was not convinced that it was over. He made a public announcement that Texas was in need of 5,000 trained men by March 1, 1836. While Houston and the men prepared for the war they were approached by Fannin and the two leaders that won at war in San Antonio. Fannin, Johnson, and Grant came in making promises to the soldiers causing thousands to leave Houston and to join their militia. Sam Houston continued to lead approximately sixty to seventy men. On January 20, Houston traveled to San Felipe to meet with Governor Smith.

Houston spent the rest of February with the Cherokees and Indians in the northeast. After arriving at the convention site, Washington-on-the-Brazos, he received news that Santa Anna’s army had attacked Texas and “besieged” the Alamo and the remaining soldiers. The declaration of independence was adopted on March 2nd. Two days later, Houston had become “commander in chief of the land forces of the Texian army both Regulars, Volunteers, and Militia, while in actual service. ” On March 11th, Houston reached Gonzalez and found 374 volunteers that were led by Edward Burleson.

While preparing the men for war Houston received news that Santa Anna’s army had “taken” the Alamo and attacked and burned all of its defenders. Houston ordered Fannin and his army to retreat to Victoria. They were captured and murdered by the Santa Anna’s army. On April 20th, the battle began between Santa Anna and Houston’s soldiers. Unfortunately, Houston was injured during the battle. Houston’s army men had captured and killed many men causing Santa Anna to offer a peace treaty. Houston refused until both government leaders were present. Fortunately, Houston’s approach succeeded.

Sam Houston and Eliza’s divorce was not final until 1837. Houston served as president for two years, December 1836 to December 1838. He was reelected in September 1840. In 1836, a small group of soldiers were attacked by the Mexican General Santa Anna. Houston’s army won the battle against the Mexican forces at San Jacinto and gained independence for Texas, opened up a law office, and promoted a land development after his term expired. He traveled to Mobile, Alabama to interest a wealthy merchant, William Bledsoe, in the Sabine City project.

While visiting the Bledsoe estate Houston met Margaret Lea. They were married in Marion, Alabama, on May 9, 1840. They had eight children. Margaret convinced Houston to stop drinking and attend church. Houston continued to work towards annexation with the United States. He used the United States and Great Britain hatred to one another in hopes to make each country want to snatch up Texas so that the other country could not. With high hopes of joining with the United States, the United States still was unwillingly to annex Texas. In 1845, Texas became part of the United States.

“Houston’s joyous moment at the approach of annexation was tempered by the death of Andrew Jackson on June 8, 1845. The family rushed to the Hermitage but arrived a few hours late. They attended the funeral and were guests at the Donelson plantation for several weeks. ” (139) Meanwhile, Mexico was at war with Texas for ten years. Houston remained in Washington to work in support of the war. Houston left Washington in the spring of 1847 because his wife had surgery due to breast cancer. “Houston traded Raven Hill for land within a few miles of Huntsville and planned to build a home for his family.

He remained in Texas for the rest of the year, keeping abreast of the war news as General Winfield’s Scott’s army took Mexico City. ” (147) In January 1847, Sam Houston obtained a new six year senate term. Houston became a presidential candidate but Houston’s mind and heart was with his family. In 1852, Franklin Pierce was elected; however if Houston put in the effort he could have won. January 15, 1853, he was elected to a new six-year term as Senate. In October 1853, Houston’s family moved to Independence, a city fifty miles to the southwest, while leasing out his home in Huntsville.

In 1859, Sam Houston appeared to be leaning toward retirement. Houston invited the public to vote in his favor; however he did not campaign. “Texans who wanted his leadership had drawn him into the contest, and they did the campaigning. Houston became the only man in the United States to serve as governor of two states. He promised funds for railroads, schools, river improvements, and a protector of Texas if Mexico should try to battle again. Houston was all about the people he served and not the political party. Some petitioned for him to run for president, but he refused to participate in the national convention.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States, Houston warned Texans that the civil war was going to happen if Lincoln violated the Constitution. The Texas convention removed Houston from office and replaced him with Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark. This resulted because Houston refused to take oath to loyalty to the newly formed Confederate States of America. He wanted to avoid war at all cost and declined Lincoln’s offer to use the federal troops to keep him in office and Texas in the Union. After leaving the Governor’s mansion, he continued to support Texas.

Sam Jr. joined the Confederate Army, against his father’s advice, was wounded at the battle of Shiloh. He was reunited with his family but on crutches. Houston moved his family to Huntsville because United States “took” Galveston and “destroyed the Houston’s family’s main source of income. ” (197) In the winter of 1863, Houston fell ill. He developed an awful cough and was diagnosed with pneumonia. His wife stayed by his side and heard his very last words before his death, “Texas…Texas…Margaret. ” Texas and his family were very important to Sam Houston.

Sam Houston, one of the most important political figures to Texas. Houston served as governor for Tennessee and Texas. He also served as a United States senator for thirteen years. . He befriended General Andrew Jackson. He remarried three times; however he had eight children with his third wife. Houston was made the first president of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and was re-elected in 1841. He gave many speeches throughout the years. He led a successful battle for Texas Independence. On July 26, 1863, Houston died of pneumonia in their “Steamboat House. ” He will always be remembered!