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Sam Houston and the American Southwest

“Sam Houston and the American Southwest”, is a book written by Randolph B. Campbell, this book is a perfectly written biography of Samuel Houston’s life, going in chorological order of his most significant contributions as a leader, warrior and mainly a politician in American history. Throughout the book, Campbell carefully and without bias, describes and explains what kind of man Houston was and emphasizes his many downfalls and personal victories. Campbell celebrates Houston through the time of the historical southwest and the hero’s journey.

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The book begins with Samuel Houston birth on March 2, 1793, in Rockbridge County, Virginia, Samuel was the fifth of nine children of Sam and Elizabeth Houston. But before Samuel is born, a short story is told about Robert Houston, Sam Houston’s grandfather, he settled in Rockbridge Country where he started Timber Ridge a plantation in which was later passed onto Sam Houston’s father. Sam Houston’s father loved the military life and everything about it, following his love he neglected the plantation and his family fell into financial troubles. As a solution Sam Houston’s father thought selling what was left of the plantation and to move west to Tennessee with his wife and nine children. The family moved to Tennessee in 1807, but unfortunately Sam Houston’s father died before the family made the move.

Young Houston was only fourteen when the family took their move west to Tennessee. Houston didn’t like any of the thing his family wanted him to do, he thought school was boring, and he hated doing farm work. So, when his family started a store, Houston was told to work there, but he despised clerical work far more than doing farm work, and not long after refusing to work at the store he ran away to live with the Cherokee Indians. He later told his family “wild liberty of the red man suited his nature far better than the restraints of the white settlements.” The Indian Chief was so fond of Houston, he gave him an Indian name and adopted him. He later became in debt by giving gift to his Indian friends and family, at the age of nineteen, he opened a school to make enough money to pay off his debts. Right after the War of 1812 began, at the of twenty years old, Houston enlisted in the United states army and this began his career as a soldier.

During his time in service, Sam Houston presented great character and keen sensibilities, it took his nearly a few weeks to be promoted to Sergeant. During the battle in Creek War, Houston was stabbed in the thigh by an arrow and again the right shoulder, but he continued to fight, even against the advice of his soon to be closest friend Andrew Jackson. After traveling the United States trying to heal his battle wounds, his wounds finally heal in New York where he can return to active duty, he was sent straight to Nashville where he was promoted to first lieutenant. Houston was also appointed a federal subagent, where he returned to his adopted Indian father’s island in Indian dress, trying to promote them to move father west. John C. Calhoun taunted Houston for wearing an Indian dress, Calhoun was the secretary of was, and less than a month later Houston resigned for the United States Army.

After resigning the Army in 1818, Houston decided he would study law and in just under six months, he had enough knowledge to help him pass the Tenneesse bar exam. After passing the bar he moved to Lebanon and opened up a practice private law office. Even as young as Houston was, he was excellent as a lawyer and within a year he opened his own law office and was soon elected Attorney General and moved back to Nashville. A few years later, Houston ran for United States of Representatives, with Andrew Jackson right by his side supporting him, and with any resistance, he won the election. Thus starting his long, passionate, and successful career in politics. He was often showing compassion to the American Indians and he constantly spoke on their behalf of their mistreatment.

He was the only indivisual in the United States to ever serve as governor of two different states. From 1827 to 1829 he served as governor of Tenneesse, he resigned because of controversy surrounding the office, as well as a drinking problem, and he went into a voluntary exile with his Indian family. Sam Houston lead the Texas Revolution in Coahuila y Tejas, known as the state Texas today. Ordering his soldiers to attack at San Jacinto, where they gained Texas’s indepence from Mexico. In 1836 Houston was elected President of the Republic of Texas. He served two sequential time as Presidnet of the Republic of Texas, he city of Houston was named after him. Houston was in support of the annexation of Texas to the United States and in 1846 Texas joined the Union. After the annexation, Houston wanted to end his political career but Texans voted him into the Texas Senate where he served as the Senator of Texas form 1846-1859. Houston was in favor of peace and unity, for this he was removed from the senate because he was a Unionist and he was against the spread of slavery. He loved the United States and was a supporter of the Union and the constitution. Some people wanted Texas to leave the Union, but Houston wasn’t one of those people, he believed leaving the United States through secession would cause caos and civil war to Texas. Texas wanted to leave the Union and join the Confederacy, Houston tried to convince Texans that they would be a better state if they chose to be independent instead of being a part of the the Confederacy. However, when Texas went throught with the secession and they joined the Confederacy, Houston stayed loyal to his state chose to stand by his state and could only wish for the best outcome.
Even with all his experience behind him and a promising career in politics, he still longed for a family, someone he can love and cherish until the end of his days and on June 22, 1829, Houston and Eliza Allen were married. Eliza didn’t want to marry Houston, but her father insisted, shortly after they were married, she left him and went back home to her parents. With the seperation weighing on his mind and heart Houston resigned as the governor of Tenneesse and returned back to the Indians. While with the Indians he met Tiana Rogers, and with the Indian law they were married, even though he was still legally married by civil law to Eliza. When Houston decided that he wanted to move back to Texas, Tiana protested the move and she decided she didn’t want to go with him, the couple divorsed. Houston and Eliza offically divoreved in 1837. On May 9, 1840, Houston finally got the loved he had been waiting for, he married twenty-one-year-old Margaret Lea. They adorned on another, she got him to stop drinking and go him to convert to Baptist, they had eight children together. Sam Houston died in his home on July 26, 1863 in Huntsville, Texas, right by his wife’s side as she was reading the bible.

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