Samuel "Sam" Houston (March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was a nineteenth-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He is best known for his leading role in bringing Texas into the United States.
He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator for Texas after it joined the United States, and finally as a governor of the state. He refused to swear loyalty to the Confederacy when Texas seceded from the Union in 1861 with the outbreak of the American Civil War, and was removed from office. To avoid bloodshed, he refused an offer of a Union army to put down the Confederate rebellion. Instead, he retired to Huntsville, Texas, where he died before the end of the Civil War.
His earlier life included migration to Tennessee from Virginia, time spent with the Cherokee Nation (into which he later was adopted as a citizen and into which he married), military service in the War of 1812, and successful participation in Tennessee politics. Houston is the only person in U.S. history to have been the governor of two different states (although other men had served as governors of more than one American territory).
In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee as a Jacksonian. In 1829, Houston resigned as governor and relocated to Arkansas Territory. In 1832, Houston was involved in an altercation with a U.S. Congressman, followed by a high-profile trial. Shortly afterwards, he relocated to Coahuila y Tejas, then a Mexican state, and became a leader of the Texas Revolution. Sam Houston supported annexation by the United States. The city of Houston is named after him.
Houston's reputation was sufficiently large that he was honored in numerous ways after his death, among them: the US's fourth largest city, a memorial museum, a U.S. Army base, a national forest, a historical park, a university and a prominent roadside statue outside of Huntsville.
Read more about Sam Houston: Early Life and Family Heritage, War of 1812, Tennessee Politics, Marriage, Family, and Religion, Indian Territory, Controversy and Trial, Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator From Texas, Governor of Texas, Electoral History, Later Life, Honors
Famous quotes containing the words sam and/or houston:
“Kick at the rock, Sam Johnson, break your bones:”
—Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)
“In Washington, the first thing people tell you is what their job is. In Los Angeles you learn their star sign. In Houston youre told how rich they are. And in New York they tell you what their rent is.”
—Simon Hoggart (b. 1946)