The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 92
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
genealogy, but I always neglected it, until her death. Now I know
only my Grand Father Houston['s] name, if it was Robert. I wish
you to let me know all the information, which you have, on the
subject of our family. When and why they left Scotland, and how
long they staid in Ireland, and where they originated? Who my
grand Fathers married, and how the Davidsons are related to us?
Who Grand Mother Houston was, and where the old stock orig-
inated in Scotland. I am equally ignorant, of my mother's stock,
and can only trace back by the Mother to my maternal Grand
Mother, (a Blair) .1 You can let me know much, if you have not
become lazy. Cousin John can write down, your recollections, and
you can send them to me, with all the news of your family. I see
with pleasure, that Cousin John, is a man of fine promise, and a
clever fellow.2 To day, or last night rather, I had the pleasure to
receive a letter from John, by my Cousin John A. Paxton, and Mr.
Jordan.s They are clever fellows, I have no doubt, and if it is in
my power, I will be happy to serve them.
I would be happy to see many Virginians in Texas. Cousin Paxton,
has given me all the news, that I have received, from Rockbridge
for years. It is my intention if I should ever again cross the Sabine,
to see my relations once more, in the Old Dominion. Tell Cousin
Jno. to write to me, and Cousin William Davidson. Give my love
and that of my dear Maggy, to Cousin Betsy,4 and all the family,
and to both of our clans. The Houstons and Paxtons. Write soon,
and address to the "City of Houston Texas". The letter will soon
be sent to my residences Thank Cousin John for his letter. Thy
friend and Cousin truly Sam Houston
Mr. Wm. H. Letcher
1Sam Houston's grandfather was Robert Houston. He came to America from
Ireland with his parents in the 173o's, and settled with them in Rockbridge
County, Virginia. Robert's sister Isabelle married William Gillespie (or Gillespy).
Robert married Margaret Davidson, the daughter of a prominent Rockbridge
family. One of their children was Samuel Houston who served as a captain in the
Continental Army. Samuel married Elizabeth Paxton, the daughter of John Paxton,
one of the wealthiest men in Rockbridge County. The fifth child of this union
was Sam Houston, the Raven.
2John Letcher was William Houston Letcher's eldest son. In 1845, young
Letcher was already a power in the Democratic Party in the Valley of Virginia. He
was a member of Congress from 1851 until he was elected governor of Virginia
in 1859. Like Houston, Letcher was a Southern governor during the secession
crisis. Unlike Houston, he was a staunch Confederate once the war began. When
his term of office ended on December 31, 1863, Letcher retired to Rockbridge
County and continued to support the rebel war effort as a private citizen. After
the war he practiced law until his death in 1884.
SProbably one of the dozen sons of Colonel John Jordan of Rockbridge County.
4Elizabeth Davidson Letcher was the wife of William Houston Letcher.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/116/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.