HOUSTON, Sam (17931863). An American soldier and political leader, who was instru mental in securing the independence of Texas. He was born near Lexington. in Rockbridge County. Va.. March 2. 1793, c f Scotch-Irish parentage. After his father's death in 1806, the family emigrated to Tennessee. where he entered an academy. hut left to try a clerkship in a store, and wearying of this, went to live among the Cherokees. Ile remained with them three years, when he returned to civilization and taught school. In 1813 lie enlisted as a private in the United States Army; served bravely in General Jackson's campaign against the Creeks, being wounded at Tohopeka, and soon rose to be lieutenant. In 1817 he was appointed agent to aid in negotiations with the Cherokees; incurred hostility for attempting, to prevent the smuggling of negroes from Florida into the United States, and resigned his commission, 1818, and began the study of law at Nashville. lie soon opened an office at Lebanon. was made Adjntant-General of the State in 1819, and major of the State Militia. lie was elected to Congress in 1822, was reilected in 1824, and in 1827 was elected Governor. In January, 1829, he married Miss Allen, a Tennessee lady, hut three months after wards left her, and, resigning his othee without giving either public or private reasons for his course, went to live among his old friends the Cherokees, who had emigrated to Arkansas. Ile championed their cause before Congress. incur ring by this much enmity, especially from the `Indian ring.' and becoming involved in an en counter with William II. Stanbury. Representa tive from Ohio. who had accused him of fraudu lent attempts to obtain a contract for Indian rations. For beating Stanlmry he was repri manded in the Ilouse of Representatives. and was tried and fined. hut President Jackson re mitted the fine. The incident served to give
Houston once more a national notoriety.
Visiting Texas in December, 1C32. he was in vited to settle there and become the leader of the American colonists in their struggle for their rights. He complied. and was elected a delegate to the convention held April 1. 1533. to form a Slate Constitution and seek membership in the Mexican Republic, separate from the State of Coahuila, with Nt hich Texas had hitherto been joined and in which the anti-American party was predominant. The rejection of the Consti tution and the attempt to disarm the Americans led to open warfare, and Ilouston was then chosen general of the military district east of Trinity River, and soon afterwards commander in-chief of the Texan army. At the head of a small force of undrilled volunteers he led in the military movements which resulted in the defeat of Santa HMI on the San Jacinto. April 21-22, 1836, and in the independence of Texas. In September he was elected President of Texas, was inaugurated h-tober 22d, and served again Iron' 18.11 to I814. The annexation of Texas to the' United States, in 1845. was due to his nego tiations, and he was one of its representatives in the Senate front 1846 to 1859. In 1859 lie was again elected Governor of Texas, but opposed secession in 1861, refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederate States, for which, on March 18, 1861, he was deposed. Ile then re tired to Iluntsville. Tex.. where, on July 25, 1863, he died. Consult: Williams, Sant HouStrm and that War of Independunee in Texas (Boston. 1893); Crane. Life and Sclert Literary Remains of Snm Houston (Philadelphia. 1884) ; and Bruce, Life of General Houston (Ne• York. 1891), in the "Makers of America Series." See TEXAS.