Samuel Houston

.. s imprisoned. Houston returned to law and set up his practice in Nacogdoches where he joined the Roman Catholic Church as required by Mexican law. Houston returned east, to Washington, D.C. and then New York City, to meet with his legal client, The Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company. Houston was soon named Commander-in-Chief by the Nacogdoches Committee of Vigilance.

The Texas Provisional Government, on the motion of Merriweather W. Smith, named Sam Houston a Major General in the Texas Army. On January 14, 1836, Houston addresses his troops at Goliad and orders Jim Bowie to return to San Antonio and blow up the Alamo. Houston was granted a furlough from the army to travel to an Indian parlay. There he met with Chief Bowl to arrange a treaty that would protect both the Cherokee and white residents of northern Texas.

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He celebrated his 43rd birthday as Texas declared its independence from Mexico and was appointed Major General of the Army of the Republic of Texas– regular, volunteer, and militia. He was to take immediate command and organize the army. Houston reached Gonzales where he learned that the Alamo had fallen and all of the defenders were killed. His retreat from Gonzales, known as the Runaway Scrape, moved eastward in a zigzagging pattern. Houston’s army of 800 attacked Santa Anna’s 1400 man army, and in twenty minutes he won the decisive Battle of San Jacinto.

For Houston’s men only 6 were dead and 13 wounded, while Santa Anna lost 630 dead and 208 wounded. Houston was wounded by a shot in the lower right leg. Santa Anna was captured and taken to General Houston where he signed an armistice. Houston sailed from Galveston Island for New Orleans in order to receive medical attention for wounds received at the Battle of San Jacinto. When he landed in New Orleans, he was met by a band and cheering crowds. The surgeons removed twenty pieces of bone from the wound while Houston was convalescing at the Christy Mansion in New Orleans.

After hearing reports that the government was in chaos, he went back to Texas where he was elected President of the Republic of Texas, receiving 5,119 votes to 743 for Henry Smith and 587 for Stephen F. Austin. Mirabeau B. Lamar was elected Vice-President. Houston turned over the Presidency to Vice-President Mirabeau Lamar after two years, in which he stabilized the currency, secured the safety of the borders, and gained recognition by the United States.

Houston met Margaret Lea of Marion, Alabama while on a trip to Mobile, Alabama. Margaret Moffette Lea was Sam Houston’s third wife. They were married May 9, 1840 and remained married for the remainder of Sam Houston’s lifetime. They had eight children, four girls and four boys. There were no children born to from the other two marriages.

Houston continued his trip through the United States, visiting Andrew Jackson at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee. Then, Houston returns to Nacogdoches, Texas, where he made a speech denouncing President Lamar’s campaign against the Indians, in which Houston’s old friend Cherokee Chief Bowl was killed. Houston was elected a member of the Texas Congress from Nacogdoches and then took the oath of office for his second term as President of Texas where he struggled to balance the Texas budget. To repel a Mexican army, which has invaded Texas, Houston mobilized the army. Santa Anna raided San Antonio with a strong force and Houston retaliated by sending 1200 men into Mexico.

After victory, Houston ends his second Presidency and lays plans to retire to Raven Hill plantation 13 miles east of Huntsville, Texas. Samuel Houston returned to Texas where he speaks in favor of the annexation of Texas to the United States and soon Texas was admitted to the United States. Houston left Texas on his way to Washington, D.C. to serve as one of Texas’ first senators where he made speech supporting President Polk on the Oregon question, breaking the unwritten rule that freshmen senators are to remain silent. Houston also spoke for the Oregon Bill, which would prohibit slavery in the Oregon Territory.

He spoke 13 times for the Compromise, which Texas ratified the Texas Section of the series of bills making up the Compromise of 1850. Houston was elected to his third and last term as an U.S. Senator and made a major speech in Austin that defended his Senate record, advocating the development of railroads in Texas. Another a major speech he delivered on the floor of the Senate opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. After Houston was baptized into the Baptist Church, he declared himself a candidate for Governor of Texas but was defeated.

Texans gave Houston a 10,000 vote victory over Hardin R. Runnels in the governor’s election and was inaugurated as Governor of Texas, which has grown to a population of 600,000. Houston ran a close second to John Bell of Tennessee for the nomination of the Union Party for President of the United States. The state of Texas secedes from the Union on the same day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States. As Governor, Houston refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America and was deposed as Governor. April 12, 1861, The Civil War begins at Ft.

Sumpter. One year later Sam Houston Jr. was badly wounded at The Battle of Shiloh. The Houston family moved back to Huntsville and rented a Steamboat House. On July 26, Sam Houston died of pneumonia in the Steamboat House at Huntsville.

He was seventy years old at the time of his death. His grave is located in north Huntsville in the Oakwood Cemetery. Houston chose this location across the street from where the Steamboat House once stood. Sam Houston was important to our nation’s history because he was a true hero. He stood up for his beliefs, served his country, and took charge in actively shaping a nation by starting with its largest state, Texas. He was strong enough to fight for the rights of Native Americans and face the consequences.

There were issues he did not agree with and he strove to change those issues, but he still remained loyal to the United States because he knew that it would grow with its freedom and remain a strong force. His speeches on freedom and virtue has helped shape the laws of our nation. He was a war hero, politician, and a true frontier legend. Sources: Sam’s Houston’s MainPage. http://www.norfacad.pvt.k12.va.us/project/houston/ houston.htm Sam Houston Memorial Museum, Huntsville, Texas. http://www.shsu.edu/~smm www/ .