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Sam Houston


Born in 1973, Sam Houston was the fifth of nine children. He was a descendant of Scottish-Irish immigrants in Pennsylvania. His mother moved to Tennessee in his children after his father died after becoming bankrupt from running his inherited Timber Ridge plantation company in Virginia.

Sam Houston had a rebellious childhood with little formal education. He little education of six months, Sam loved to read lots of books. At age 16, he ran from home and joined the Indian Cherokee tribe in the southwest of the State of Tennessee. He was adopted as a son by Chief John Jolly who had good relations with the whites. Sam learned and perfected in the local language.

At age 19 and bored of being a clerk, Sam joined the army to fight in the war against Britain. In 1814, Houston was wounded three times when he led an attack on the Creeks, allies of Britain, in Horseshoe Bend. General Andrew Jackson was so impressed by Houston’s performance that he became his mentor.

As a young officer, he was tasked to remove the Indians Cherokees from Tennessee to Arkansas in 1817 by Jackson who did not like the Indians. This task, he performed without making it tragic for the Indians. Houston left the army to join politics and he was elected by the people of Tennessee to Congress in 1822, when Jackson was at the same time a Senator. At the early years of 30, he was learning congressional debate from Henry Clay and Daniel Webster who were masters in the field. He also started writing the biography of Jackson.

Houston, with the help of Jackson, became the governor of Tennessee in 1827. He later resigned from office when his newly wed wife left him a few weeks after their marriage causing a big embarrassment. He later took for himself a wife from amongst the local Cherokee tribe and returned to Washington in 1830.

In April, 1836 Houston led 930 men to attack the Mexicans in Texas who had executed some Americans after the self-declaration of independence. This attack led to the execution of 630 Mexican army personnel and the capture of many including General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at Alamo.

Sam Houston was brave and courageous person who fought the unification of the American states. He paved the way for future political and civic rights through his contributions to politics and slavery during his time.

 

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