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Houston, Sam, 1793-1863 | University of Houston Libraries

Name: Houston, Sam, 1793-1863

Historical Note:

Samuel Houston, known as the Father of Texas, was born on March 2, 1793, in Virginia. His father, Samuel Houston, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Following his father's death in 1807, his mother, Elizabeth (Paxton) Houston moved the family to Tennessee. Sam Houston did not have a formal education, instead attending school when possible.

Sam Houston had an active political life. Trained in law, he was elected as district attorney for Nashville at the age of 25. Soon after, he was appointed adjutant general of Tennessee. He was elected to Congress from Tennessee in 1823 and again in 1825. In 1827 he was elected governor of Tennessee. He resigned from this position in 1829 and began working in Indian territory for the Cherokees. He was made a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Houston first traveled in Texas in 1832. He attended the Convention of 1833 as a delegate from Nacogdoches, although he does not appear to have been a long-term resident of the area until 1835. In November 1835 he was elected major general of the Texas Army. He signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. On April 21, 1836, he led the Texas Army to victory over the forces of General Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto.

On September 5, 1836, Houston was elected President of the Republic of Texas. September 6, 1841, he was elected again to that position, having served as a representative to the Texas Congress during Mirabeau Lamar's presidency. On February 21, 1846, Houston was elected to the U. S. Senate where he served almost 14 years. In 1859 he was elected as governor of Texas. Because he did not support the dissolution of the Union, he was removed from office in 1861.

Sam Houston died on July 26, 1863, on his farm near Huntsville, Texas.


Sue Flanagan. Sam Houston's Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964.

Sam Houston. Life of General Sam Houston: A Short Biography. Austin: Pemberton Press, 1964.

John Hoyt Williams. Sam Houston: A Biography of the Father of Texas. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

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