Sam Houston

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Sam Houston
Samuel Houston

Sam Houston was as legend reports a big man about six foot and six inches tall. He was an exciting historical figure and war hero who was involved with much of the early development of our country and Texas. He was a soldier, lawyer, politician, businessman, and family man, whose name will be synonymous with nation heroes who played a vital part in the shaping of a young and prosperous country. He admired and supported the Native Americans who took him in and adopted him into their culture to help bridge the gap between the government and a noble forgotten race. Sam Houston succeeded in many roles he donned as a man, but the one most remembered is the one of a true American hero. On March 2, 1793, Samuel Houston was born to Major Sam Houston and Elizabeth Paxton Houston. He was the fifth of nine children. Born at Timber Ridge, Rockbridge County, in the Shenandoah Valley. At the age of thirteen, his father, Major Sam Houston, died suddenly at Dennis Callighan's Tavern near present-day Callaghan, Virginia in Alleghany County, 40 miles west of Timber Ridge while on militia inspections. Mrs. Elizabeth Houston took her nine children to a farm on Baker Creek in Tennessee. Samuel was unhappy with farming and storekeeping, so he ran away from home to live with the Cherokees on Hiwasee Island in the Tennessee River near present-day Dayton, Tennessee. At the age of seventeen, Sam returned to his family for a short period of time and then returned back to the Cherokees where, he was adopted by Chief Oo-Loo-Te-Ka and given the Indian name, "The Raven." Two years later, Sam returned to Maryville, Tennessee, where he opened a successful private school. On his twentieth birthday Sam Houston enlisted in the regular army as a private. Within the year, he was promoted to Third Lieutenant to the 39th Infantry Regiment where Houston was badly wounded twice at The Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the War of 1812. The battle took place on the Tallapoosa River near present-day Alexander City, Alabama. His courage in combat caught the attention of General Andrew Jackson who promoted him to Second Lieutenant. In 1816 Houston was named an Indian sub-agent in Tennessee and soon after was promoted to First Lieutenant. Houston led a delegation of Cherokees to Washington, D.C. to meet with Secretary of War John C. Calhoun and President James Monroe. While there, he was reprimanded by Secretary Calhoun for wearing Indian dress. Houston was a strong advocate for Native American rights. Surprisingly, Houston resigned his commission in the army over false accusations concerning his involvement in slave trading. Houston studied law in Judge James Trimble's law office in Nashville, Tennessee. Six months later he passed the bar and started a law practice in Lebanon, Tennessee where he was appointed Adjutant General of the state of Tennessee, with the military rank of Colonel. Next, he was nominated and won the office of Attorney General of the Nashville District in Tennessee. Sam later resigned to return to private law practice, but was soon elected by his fellow officers to the position of Major General in the Tennessee state militia. He had a history of bouncing back and forth between politics and the military. Nominated by Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party for the U.S. House of Representatives, Houston won the election by getting 100% of the votes. Not uncommon for politicians in the time period, Sam Houston badly wounded General William A. White in a duel fought 6 miles south of Franklin, Kentucky. Soon after, in 1827 Sam was elected Governor of Tennessee, replacing two-term Governor William Carrol. Two years later he married his first wife, Eliza Allen, an 18-year-old daughter of a plantation owner. Within two weeks of his marriage, Houston was announced as a candidate for re-election as Governor of Tennessee. Sam separated from his wife Eliza after less than four months of marriage. One week later he resigned as...
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