son of Major Samuel Houston & Elizabeth Houston, Sam Houston was
born in a log cabin on the family's plantation March 2, 1793 in Timber
Ridge, Virginia. Major Samuel Houston had served in the Revolutionary
War and after his death in 1806, Mrs. Houston moved the family to Tennessee
the following spring. They first stopped in Knoxville and then settled
on a farm in Marysville, Tennessee that Major Houston had received as a land
grant before his death. Sam's brothers John and James Houston ran a
store in Marysville.
at age 16, Sam went to live with the Cherokee Indians. Sam spent about
a year with the Cherokees before returning home. Upon returning home,
Sam had another argument with his brothers and soon returned to live
with the Cherokees.
war of 1812 broke out Sam's brother Robert joined the Army and Sam opened
a school and became a teacher. He then signed up for school at Porter
Academy, but later dropped out and joined the Army. He served as Third
Lieutenant under General Andrew Jackson in the war against the Creek
Indians. Sam was injured in this battle when an arrow hit his thigh
and a friend pulled it out. General Jackson ordered Sam to stay out
of the fighting to give his leg time to heal. Later Sam volunteered
to lead a charge at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend where he was again
wounded when a musket ball hit him in his shoulder and another in his
forearm. The injuries were severe enough that the doctors did not expect
him to live.
Sam rode his horse to Washington D.C. for more medical treatment. What
he found when he arrived was the British had burned the Capitol building
and the White House. After receiving medical treatment, he rode back
to Timber Ridge, Virginia where he spent the winter visiting friends and relatives.
Sam resigned from the Army, studied law and was soon elected attorney
general for Nashville and appointed adjutant general of Tennessee. He
served two terms in Congress 1823-1927 and was elected governor of Tennessee
he married Eliza Allen, and for unexplained reasons the marriage dissolved
almost as soon as it happened. Shortly thereafter, Sam resigned his
office. For the next 6 years he lived with the Cherokee in Oklahoma.
1835, Sam moved to Texas and was named the commanding general of the
revolutionary army. On March 2, 1836, Texas issued its declaration of
Independence from Mexico.
led Texas into battle and forced Santa Anna to order all of his troops
out of Texas. Texas was soon free and independent and Mexico was forced
to sell California to the United States. Sam served as the first president
of the new republic of Texas from 1836-1838 and was later elected to
a second term. After the annexation of Texas by the United States, Sam
was elected to the US Senate, serving from 1846 to 1859. Upset that
Texas was moving toward secession, he successfully ran for governor
in 1859. Despite his efforts against, the people of Texas voted to secede,
and Sam was forced out of office in 1861.
Margaret Houston had eight children. Houston
is said to have designed the home his family occupied beginning in 1848
in Huntsville, and lived in periodically until it was sold in 1858.
Near the end of his life, Sam Houston said that his Huntsville, Texas
home reminded him of his Virginia birthplace and referred to it as "our
dear woodland home".
Marquis James described the Huntsville property this way in "The
stood on spacious grounds at the edge of the village, which prided itself
on being a replica of an old-fashioned southern community. In the side
yard General Houston erected of squared logs his particular sanctum,
where he could whittle and scatter papers and pipe ashes to his heart's
died in his home in Huntsville, Texas on July 26, 1863. (see
obituary) Today there is a monument on a parcel of his original
home place in Timber Ridge, Virginia and a bust of Sam Houston is located
at the Capitol of Virginia in Richmond and a second monument in Huntsville,
Hopewell, Clifford, Sam Houston, Man of Destiny. Austin, TX;Eakin Press
1987. Nevin, David F. Fight and Be Damned: Said Sam Houston, Smithsonian,
Washington, DC: Smithsonian Association, July 1992,pp 82-91. The New
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Rockbridge County, Virginia Heritage
Book 1778-1997: published by the Rockbridge Area Genealogical Society