Sam Houston

Sam Houston was born on March 2, 1793. He was the fifth child of Samuel and Elizabeth Houston. They lived in Rockbridge county, Virginia. He rebelled against his brothers when they tried to make him work on a farm and he ran away from his home to live with the Cherokees who lived across the Tennessee River. They were very accepting of him and they gave him his own Indian name meaning “The Raven”.

At the age of 18 he left the Cherokees to open up a school and repay his debts. On March, 24 1814 he joined the United States Army as a twenty year old private. Within months he was ranked up in the army. He fought under Andrew Jackson at the battle of Horse Shoe Bend on the Tallapoosa River and received three near fatal wounds.

Still in poor health he moved to Nashville in 1818 and read law for six months.  With Andrew Jackson's help he was elected the Attorney General in Nashville. After returning to private practice in 1821 he was elected Major General of the State Militia by the other officers. He continued his rapid promotion for a while as a member of Jackson's court. In 1827 Houston was elected the governor of Tennessee. He was 34 years old and extremely ambitious.

On January 22, 1829 he married the 18 year oldEliza Allen of Gallatin, Tennessee. After 11 weeks of marriage they broke up and Eliza went home to live with her parents. Houston was verydistraught and resigned from office on April 16 and fled to the Mississippi river to live with the Cherokees for three years. He wore Indian clothing and was drinking so heavily he earned the name “Big Drunk”.  Under Indian law he married Dianna Rogers Genty, a mixed blood Indian.

On April 13, 1832 Houston beat William Stanbery with a cane. He was tried in court under  the House of Representatives and was soon arrested. It ended with a official reprimand and a fine.

He left Dianna and moved into Mexican Texas on December 2, 1832. He then moved to Nacogdoches where he quickly became interested in the Texan/anglo battle for revolution. There he served as a delegate and was there when the Texas  Declaration of Independence was passed. Two days later he was elected Major General of the Army and was told to gather a military. He then went to Gonzales to meet with his army when Santa Anna swept across Texas.

The Texans had lost many battles but on April 21, 1836 at the battle of San Jacinto the tide turned. In the afternoon when all of the Mexican army was asleep the Texans attacked yelling “REMEMBER THE ALAMO”. The Mexicans were caught off guard and fled into the river. Santa Anna had gotten away into the river so the Texan army went to round up the fleeing Mexicans. They captured a few men and didn’t realize they had captured Santa Anna until the Mexican soldiers started saying “el presidentae” meaning president in Spanish. They then forced him to sign the contract giving the Texans Texas. Sam Houston had received near fatal wounds in the shoulder and the nee. He was then elected president of Texas on October 22, 1836.

 On May 9, 1840, Houston married twenty-one-year-old Margaret Moffette Lea of Marion Alabama. They then had 8 children Sam Houston Jr., (1843), Nancy Elizabeth (1846), Margaret (1848), Mary William (1850), Antoinette Power (1852), Andrew Jackson Houston, (1854), William Rogers (1858), and Temple Lea Houston, (1860).

On July 26, 1863 Sam Houston died after being sick for several weeks.