The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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AH 1845 Sam NJ-oustoH tter
Edited by F. N. BONEY
AM HOUSTON WAS UNORTHODOX AND UNPREDICTABLE. IN 1840,
at the age of forty-seven, he married a twenty-year-old beau-
ty from Alabama, Margaret Moffette Lea. Some of his best
friends disapproved. They doubted that a rough-hewn, free-living
wanderer like Houston could ever settle peacefully and perma-
nently with any woman, particularly the pious, proper daughter
of a Baptist minister.
Pessimism was understandable. Houston's first marriage in 1829
ended less than three months later in a mysterious separation.
Refusing to discuss the tragic episode, Governor Houston aban-
doned a promising political career in Tennessee and sought refuge
and succor among the western Cherokees. There he again took a
woman, the beautiful Tiana Rogers. By Indian custom it was a
valid marriage, but by the law of the white man he remained
separated, not divorced from his first wife. The second union
lasted only a few years. Soon the restless Raven left his Indian
brothers and rode alone to his destiny in Texas.
The years of struggle passed swiftly, and by 1840 Texas was
free. So was Houston. Tiana was dead, and a formal divorce had
ended his first marriage. He had won his war and was then playing
the game of diplomacy with skill and cunning. Houston married
his Margaret and began a new life once again.
This marriage was more than just permanent. It was a happy
and fruitful union in which deep devotion overcame all handi-
caps. The Raven disappeared, and a steadfast husband and father
emerged. By the fall of 1845, Texas was firmly committed to the
Union; Houston's great work was completed. The last eighteen
years of his life would not be dull-thirteen years in the United
States Senate and the governorship of Texas during the secession
crisis still awaited. But the frantic pace did slacken somewhat.
The old wanderer settled down and even reminisced. Occa-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed May 26, 2015.