Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sept 5, 1836: Sam Houston elected as president of Texas

Sam Houston, one of history's colorful and interesting characters.

On this day in 1836, Sam Houston is elected as president of the Republic of Texas, which had just earned its independence from Mexico in a successful military rebellion.

Born in Virginia in 1793. As a teenager, he ran away and lived for several years with the Cherokee tribe. Houston served in the War of 1812. He practiced law in Nashville and from 1823 to1827 served as a U.S. congressman before being elected governor of Tennessee in 1827.

A brief, failed marriage led Houston to resign from office and live again with the Cherokee. Officially adopted by the tribe, he traveled to Washington to protest governmental treatment of Native Americans. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent him to Texas (then a Mexican province) to negotiate treaties with local Native Americans for protection of border traders. Houston arrived in Texas during a time of rising tensions between U.S. settlers and Mexican authorities, and soon emerged as a leader among the settlers. In 1835, Texans formed a provisional government, which issued a declaration of independence from Mexico the following year. Houston was appointed military commander of the Texas army.

Though the rebellion suffered a crushing blow at the Alamo in early 1836, Houston was soon able to turn his army's fortunes around. On April 21, he led some 800 Texans in a surprise defeat of 1,500 Mexican soldiers under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the San Jacinto River. Santa Anna was captured and brought to Houston, where he was forced to sign an armistice that would grant Texas its freedom. Houston was wounded in the battle and after receiving medical treatment for his wounds in New Orleans, Houston returned to win election as president of the Republic of Texas on September 5. In victory, Houston declared that "Texas will again lift its head and stand among the nations....It ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages."

Houston served as the republic's president until 1838, then again from 1841 to 1844. Despite plans for retirement, Houston helped Texas win admission to the United States in 1845 and was elected as one of the state's first two senators. He served three terms in the Senate and ran successfully for Texas' governorship in 1859. As the Civil War loomed, Houston argued unsuccessfully against secession, and was deposed from office in March 1861 after refusing to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. He died of pneumonia in 1863.

====================================  Also on this date in 1964 a favorite tune of mine hit the top of the charts. Do you remember it?

Gary's Relecfion for the day:
Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
Live Long and Prosper...

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