The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Zetters from Sam I(Austo to
Albert Sidey JolkHstao#, 1836-1837
Edited by MARILYN McADAMS SIBLEY
A FTER SAM HOUSTON BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF
STexas in October, 1836, he appointed Albert Sidney John-
Sston to the position of commanding general of the army.
Houston's letters1 of instruction indicate, however, that he still
considered himself to be the military commander of Texas. John-
ston, a West Pointer who later became a general in the Confeder-
ate Army, considered Houston's instructions elementary and dur-
ing the first months of 1837 a bitter, lifelong enmity began be-
tween them. Houston's letter of March 1, 1837, took Johnston to
task for failing to send certain information. Johnston snapped
back that the information was in the files of the war department.
The President would find it there. Houston, who had previ-
ously written at length, replied briefly and thereafter was more
prone to communicate with his general through the secretary
of war.
Houston's letters before the estrangement are an interesting
commentary on his hopes and fears at a critical period in the his-
tory of the republic.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
COL. A. SIDNEY JOHNSON2 COLUMBIA 22 Dec. 1836.
SIR:
It is highly important both to your own and the interest of Texas,
that you return3 without delay; and assume your military duties
xMrs. Mason Barret Collection (MSS., Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane
University). The editor is indebted to Mrs. Rosa Barret Covington of Louisville,
Kentucky, for permission to publish the letters.
2Houston consistently spelled Johnston's name without the "t." This is only one
example of Houston's rather unconventional spelling, which has been retained
throughout.
sJohnston was in New Orleans where he had gone after being granted a furlough
of three months

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed February 1, 2015.