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Sam Houston And The American Southwest

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Sam Houston was born at Timber Ridge, Rockbridge County, in the Shenandoah Valley. Sam was born on March 2, 1793, to the parentage of Major Sam Houston and Elizabeth Paxton Houston. Sam had eight siblings and he was the fifth child to be born to his parents. Due to financial issues, Major Houston sold what was left of Timber Ridge, took care of his unsettled debts, and purchased land in Tennessee to make a fresh start. However, when Sam was in his early teen years, his father became ill and passed away before the move took place. Sam’s mother took her children and moved to a farm in Tennessee in 1807. Sam ran away from home to live with the Cherokee tribe because farming made him sad. Sam picked up their language very fast and felt that living with them was very gratifying as well as comforting for him. The Cherokees gave Sam the Indian name, “Colonneh” which in translation means “The Raven”. After a being with the Indians for only a couple of years, Sam went home to his mother in 1810 for a short stay.

In 1812, Houston returned to the tribe, became a teacher and started a school near Maryville. A year later, Sam joined the United States Army at the age of twenty years old and trained in Knoxville. Houston was quickly promoted from sergeant to third lieutenant because he caught on to the drills fast and he was friendly. Sam was injured in his leg and right shoulder during the Creek War in 1814. During his recovery, he went to Lexington, Virginia and stayed there until 1815. In 1816, he was ordered to see army physicians in New York because his condition wasn’t improving even after surgery. The courage of Houston at Horseshoe Bend did not go unnoticed by Andrew Jackson. In 1817, General Jackson promoted Houston to the rank of first lieutenant and the two became good friends. It was 1818 when Sam left the army and went Nashville to pursue the study of law with a family friend, Judge James Trimble. It only took Houston six months to learn the basic law books and pass the bar exam.

After this, Sam started a law practice in Lebanon, Tennessee, which turn out to be very successful. In 1819, he was voted as the Attorney General by people of the Davidson County judicial district. Sam eventually left this position and went back to practicing law. Houston had a repetitive cycle of going from politics to the military and vice versa. He succeeded William Carrol as Governor of Tennessee in 1827. Later he was proclaimed as a nominee to be re-elected as Governor of Tennessee, which followed the marriage to his first wife, Eliza Allen. In less than four months, Sam and Eliza were separated and finally divorced in 1837. Sam reunites with his adopted Indian father, becomes a Cherokee citizen and goes to Washington as a representative for the Cherokee Nation by protesting against the way Indians were being treated. Houston and his second wife (Tiana Rogers) were married during an Indian ceremony. Sam wrote a newspaper article that concerned defending the position of Indians which was put in the Arkansas Gazette.

He also had go-getting character which encouraged him and some of his entourage to buy the Grand Saline and the terrain that bordered around it. Sam went back to Tennessee and was with close by his mother when she passed away. In a letter that was written to William Stanberry, Sam inquired about a description of dishonest statements that had been made by the Congressman. Sam and William meet up together while in Washington, D.C. where William is whipped with a cane by Sam. Houston’s case went before the House of Representatives and Sam represented his own self before the House and was reproved by the House of Representatives for his actions taken against William Stanberry. In Nashville, Tennessee Sam got together with his good buddy, Andrew Jackson at The Hermitage. Andrew supposedly loaned money to Sam so that he could get to Texas during this encounter. In 1836, Texas acknowledged its freedom from Mexico and Sam was chosen to be the commander in chief of the Texas Armies. In this same year, Houston was selected as the first President of the Republic of Texas. About four years after this, he entered into his third marriage to Margaret Moffett Lea.

Sam and Martha stayed married to each other for the rest of Sam’s life and the two of them had a total of eight children together. In 1845, Sam operated in the position of Senator in the U.S. Senate, and was elected as Governor of the State of Texas about 14 years later. When Sam became Governor, he declined in taking the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America, which caused him to be thrown out of the Governor’s role. Sam went back to practicing law again and established his business in Nacogdoches and became affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Sam Houston was appointed as a major general in the Texas Army and talks to his troops while at Goliad. He then gives out for Jim Bowie’s return to San Antonio and bombing of The Alamo. He was allowed a leave of absence from the Texas Army so that he could journey to an Indian parlay. While he was here, he got together with Chief Bowl to set up an agreement that would safeguard the Cherokee and white inhabitants of north Texas.

Houston finds out that The Alamo had been destroyed and those who made an attempt to defend it lost their lives. Sam’s Army of 800 was triumphant against Santa Anna’s army of 1400, giving him the victory of the decisive Battle of San Jacinto. When Santa Anna was apprehended, Houston signed endorsed a peace agreement. Sam was chosen to be President of the Republic of Texas over Henry Smith and Stephen Austin. Two years later, he gave over the Presidency to then Vice President Mirabeau Lamar. Sam talks favorably of Texas being added to the United States. Houston spoke in support of President James K. Polk on the Oregon question as well as the Oregon bill. This bill banned slavery in the Oregon terrain. He won by a massive vote against Hardin Runnels in the race for governor and was established as Governor of Texas. When Sam was seventy years old, a case of pneumonia proved to be fatal for him.

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