The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986 Page: 166
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But the Hamilton-Houston hostility was more than a facet of the per-
sonal politics that characterized the Republic of Texas. Its roots lay in
political divisions in the United States, which in the second quarter of
the nineteenth century concerned banking, abolition, and the nature of
the Union, and hinged on the personality, actions, and reactions of An-
Before coming to Texas, Houston had been a proteg6 of Jackson, and
he generally supported Jacksonian measures and always shared Jack-
son's respect for the Union. Early in Houston's first administration as
president of the Republic, he had urged Jackson, then president of the
United States, to join Texas to the Union. Later Houston took credit for
the diplomatic maneuvering that brought about annexation, and in
185o and i 86o he sacrificed political capital on behalf of the Jacksonian
toast, "The Federal Union, it must be preserved."5
Hamilton, by contrast, was a close associate of his fellow South Caro-
linian John C. Calhoun, a circumstance that in itself excited Houston's
personal prejudices. As a young assistant Indian agent in 1818, Hous-
ton ran into trouble with Calhoun, then secretary of war. Calhoun hu-
miliated the younger man by chastizing him for wearing Indian dress
and compounded the insult by delaying payment of his accounts."
Houston never forgot the affair nor forgave Calhoun for it. But, as
with Hamilton, more than personal animosity colored his thinking. He
considered dangerous the theory of nullification propounded by Cal-
houn and nurtured in South Carolina. Houston first heard of the the-
ory as a freshman member of the House of Representatives in 1824, a
time during which he served on a committee chaired by James Hamil-
ton. "For the first time in my life I heard the idea suggested that there
might be secession, disunion, or resistance to the constitutional action
of the Federal Government," Houston said later. "When I heard it, I
was amazed. I could hardly think it possible that a representative of any
portion of the American people would have the fierce temerity to sug-
versity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1964), 377. Glenn's study is the most complete biogra-
phy of Hamilton.
5Houston to Andrew Jackson, Nov. 20o, 1836, Houston, Writings, I, 487-488; Address to
Constituents, Mar. 2, 1849, ibid., V, 88; Llerena Friend, Sam Houston, the Great Designer (Austin,
1954), 115-161, 195-202, 329-338.
6 Marquis James, The Raven: A Bzography of Sam Houston (New York, 1929), 44-45; Houston to
John C. Calhoun, July 6, 1822, Houston, Writings, I, 12; Reply to Reflections upon His Record
as Sub-Indian Agent, Sept. 9, 1850, ibid., V, 238.
7Opposing Re-Affirmation of the Compromise, Dec. 22, 1851, Houston, Writzngs, V, 331.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986, periodical, 1985/1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/m1/204/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.