History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 111
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IStiSTO, OF TEXAS.
period he served as clerk for one of thle trad- place] in jeopardy the independence of Texas.
ers, and also taught a country school. and because he scorned to resent with brute
In 1813 he enlisted as a private in the force the abuse that was heaped upon him
United States Army, and served under Gen- by political and personal enemies seeking
eral Jackson in his famous campaign against his blood.
the Creek Indians. He had so distinguished In October, 1836, our hero was inauguhimself
on several occasions that at the con- rated the first president of the new Repubclusion
of the war he had risen to the rank of lic of Texas, and afterward served as the
lieutenant, but on the return of peace he re- chief executive in this realm twice, besides
signed his commission in the army and be- acting in many other capacities. On the
gan the study of law at Nashville. His po- breaking out of the great Civil war he was a
litical career now commenced. After hold- strong Union man, but the excited Texans
ing several minor offices he was sent to Con- had nearly all espoused disunion principles,
gress from Tennessee in 1823, and continued and Houston was forced to retire from public
a member of the House until 1827, when life. He died July 25, 1863, at Huntsville,
he was elected governor of the State, but Walker county, Texas, after having witnessed
before the expiration of his term he resigned for some years, with a broken spirit, the wild
that office, in 1829, and went to Arkansas rush of the South for a goal that she could
and took up his abode among the Cherokees. not obtain, and suffering in his own person
Soon he became the agent of the tribe, to physical ailments and general declining
represent their interests at Washington. health. His last days were embittered by
On a first visit to Texas, just before the the fact that even his own son, Sam, had enelection
of delegates called here to form a listed early in the Confederate ranks, and had
constitution preparatory to the admission been wounded and was a prisoner.
of Texas into the Mexican Union, he was Houston was a remarkable man. This fact
unanimously chosen a delegate to that body. has frequently been illustrated in the foregoThe
constitution framed by that convention ing pages. He was a better and a more cawas
rejected by the Mexican government. pable man than George Washington. His
Santa Anna, president of the Mexican Con- greatest failings were vanity and its cornfederated
Republic, demanded of Texas a panion, jealousy. He also caused some ensurrender
of their arms. Resistance to this mity by his inclination to clothe himself and
demand was determined upon. A military his movements in a robe of mystery, but
force was organized, and Houston, under the whether this was a natural trait involuntarily
title of general, was soon appointed corn- exhibited or a habit intentionally exercised,
mander-in-chief. He conducted the war is itself a problem. Mistakes, of course, he
with great vigor, and brought it to a sue- made. The sun has its spots. But these
cessful termination by the battle of San Ja- mistakes were more in the direction of givcinto.
His enemies had accused him of ing offense to his opponents than in the adcowardice,
because he had the firmness not ministration of public affairs. All personto
yield to hot-headed individuals, who would ality was merged into altruistic patriotism.
have driven him, if they could, to engage HIe had hard men to deal with, and these
Santa Anna prematurely, and thereby have men, of course, "knew" they could do bet
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/116/?rotate=90: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .