Sam Houston


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Uncle Sam

HOUSTON, SAM, General, Statesman, Military Hero, and President of the Republic of Texas; born near Lexington, VA., March 2, 1793.  His family went to Tennessee, in his early days, where the Cherokee Indians adopted him as one of their nation. He served with distinction under Jackson in the Creek War, in 181314, and was severely wounded. Leaving the army in 1818, he became a lawyer, and was a member of Congress from 1823 to 1827. He was governor of Tennessee in 1827, and afterwards lived among the Cherokees, as their legal protector from fraud. Sam Houston moved to Texas in 1832, where he took a leading part in its public affairs. Instrumental in achieving its independence (1836), he was elected its first President that year; also from 1841 to 1844. He favored the annexation of Texas to the United States, and was elected its first United States Senator in 1846. In that station he remained until 1859, when he was chosen governor of Texas.

Sam Houston

Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas

He opposed the secession and insurrectionary movements in that State with all his might, and retired from office rather than take the oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy. He died in Huntsville, Tex., July 25, 1863.

Sam Houston in the Civil WarAs before stated, Houston was governor of Texas when the Confederates, in convention, declared its withdrawal from the Union. The convention officially informed the governor of the act, and that they had instructed their appointed delegates to ask for the admission of Texas into the Southern Confederacy. To this communication Houston promptly replied, in substance, that the convention had transcended its delegated powers; that its acts were usurpations; and that he should consider it his duty to act as governor until the legislature of the State should take action in the matter, regardless of all alleged changes in the political relations of the State. This reply produced great excitement. Believing the governor was about to assemble the militia of the State to resist the convention, that body passed an ordinance (March 8, 1861) which defied his authority. Then the venerable Houston, in a stirring address to the people, recounted his services and his trials, and complained bitterly of the " usurpations " of the convention, which, he said, " had transferred the people, like sheep from the shambles, from the Union to an unlawful league." Loving Texas too well to do aught that should kindle civil war upon its soil, he said he should not attempt, under the circumstances, to exercise his authority as governor, nor would he take the oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy. He took no part in public life after this act.




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