David G. Burnet
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Hardin Richard Runnels
Office Established at Statehood
December 29, 1845
1st President of
the Republic of Texas
6th Governor of
US Senator (Class 2)
Mirabeau B. Lamar
After the death of his father, Sam's mother moved the family to Baker Creek, Tennessee. Despite his deep love and respect for his mother, Sam ran away at the age of 15 and was soon in the company of the Cherokee Tribe of Chief Oolooteka. The tribe adopted young Sam and bestowed upon him the name "Colonneh", which means "the raven". Many of his most admired traits were honed during his time with the tribe.
When Sam was 19 years old, he returned to Maryville, Tennessee where he built the first school structure in that state, after its inception into the Union. Later, Sam became an attorney and set up a practice in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1818, he became Attorney General for the Nashville District.
In 1822, Sam was elected to the House of Representatives for the State of Tennessee and held that seat until 1827. He later served as Governor of Tennessee, but resigned following his first wife Eliza leaving him, and headed first to his adopted family in the Cherokee Nation where he was made a citizen, then on to Texas.
|Santa Anna surrenders to Houston|
Sam served as a General in Texas' battle for independence from Mexico, eventually leading them to victory. He was at the Convention which met at Washington on the Brazos in 1836 to declare independence from Mexico and he was a signatory of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It was there that Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas.
Sam is most famous as a key historical figure in the history of Texas. He was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas in 1836, and served two terms. He was a US Senator for Texas after it joined the United States, and later the governor. He fought to keep Texas in the Union leading up to the US Civil War, but lost, even in his role as Governor. The Confederacy removed him as Governor, and he retired from public life.
January 22, 1829, Sam married 19-year-old Eliza Allen, the daughter of Colonel John Allen of Gallatin, Tennessee. Eliza left Sam after only a few months of marriage. Under civil law, he was still legally married to her until he was able to officially divorce her in 1837.
Sam next married Tiana Rogers, daughter of Chief John Headman Hellfire Rogers and Jennie Due, a sister of Chief John Jolly (Houston's adopted Cherokee father), in a Cherokee ceremony. She had two children from her previous marriage to David Gentry Jr; Gabriel, born 1819, and Joanna, born 1822.. She and Sam were married for several years and had one known child, Margaret Lewis Head Houston, born in1830. Tiana chose not to accompany Sam to Texas in 1832, ending their marriage. She later married John McGrady.
On May 9, 1840, Houston, married for a third time, to 21-year-old Margaret Moffette Lea of Marion, Alabama, despite her family's and his associates' objections. This marriage stuck, and they had eight children together. Margaret served as a tempering influence on her much older husband and eventually even convinced him to stop drinking, and convert from the Catholicism he took up in order to procure land in Mexico to her Baptist beliefs.
Sam's health deteriorated in 1863 due to a persistent cough, which developed into pneumonia, and led to his death. Samuel Houston died July 26, 1863 at Steamboat House, with Margaret by his side.
The inscription on his tomb reads:
A Brave Soldier. A Fearless Statesman.
A Great Orator—A Pure Patriot.
A Faithful Friend, A Loyal Citizen.
A Devoted Husband and Father.
A Consistent Christian—An Honest Man.
There are numerous monuments and places named for Sam Houston. One of the most prominent is the city of Houston, Texas. Minnesota, Tennessee, and of course, Texas all have named counties in Sam Houston's honor. There are several other towns and buildings, as well as a battle ship all named for his memory.
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