Sam Houston (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Houston served as commanding general of the Texan army during the Texas Revolution. He later won election as president of the Republic of Texas, governor of the state of Texas, and United States senator.
Samuel Houston (always called “Sam” both formally and informally) was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on March 2, 1793. His father, Samuel Houston, Sr., was a farmer and veteran of the American Revolution. His mother, née Elizabeth Paxton, came from pioneer stock. Young Sam was the fifth of six sons in a family which also included three daughters. He attended school intermittently until his father’s death in 1807, when his formal education ended. The widow Houston moved her family to Marysville, Tennessee, where Sam spent the remainder of his youth. For a time, he worked in the village store, although this was not to his liking. In his teenage years, he sought escape and left home on several occasions to live with the Cherokee Indians. In total, he spent almost four years with them, mastering their language, customs, and culture. The Indians accepted him as one of their own, giving him the name “Raven.” He eventually returned home to live with his family.
Young Houston joined the army during the War of 1812, serving with distinction at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. His personal exploits attracted the attention of General Andrew Jackson, who promoted him to the...
(The entire section is 2139 words.)
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Sam Houston (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Houston’s victory over the Mexicans at San Jacinto in 1836 created the independent country of Texas (1836-1845) and expanded the American frontier.
After his father’s death, Sam Houston lived with the Cherokee for three years (1808-1811). Early in 1813, he joined the U.S. Army, serving under Andrew Jackson during the Creek phase of the War of 1812. The Creek rebellion was crushed at Horseshoe Bend (1814). Houston rose to the rank of lieutenant but resigned in 1818 after being reprimanded by Secretary of War John C. Calhoun for his close identification with Indian interests.
Elected U.S. senator (1823) and Tennessee governor (1827), he continued to serve as a major general of the state militia. He resigned the governorship in 1829, returning to the Cherokee, on whose behalf he negotiated with the federal government. In 1832, Jackson appointed him to negotiate with Texas tribes, and he became involved in local politics. He was appointed commander of the small Texan army in November, 1835, and served as a member of the convention that declared Texan independence on March 2, 1836.
On April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto, Houston led some 740 irregular troops to a decisive victory over a professional Mexican army of 1,600. Following the victory, Houston twice served as president of the Republic of Texas (1836-1838, 1841-1844). Elected governor of Texas (1859), he...
(The entire section is 319 words.)