The frontier of the Southwest looms large in the panorama of American history, mostly due to Sam Houston, having all the qualities of a frontier leader, strong physically standing six feet – six inches tall and strong mentally having a never quitting attitude. Just his presence in a room was often enough to quell opposition.
Sam Houston was the key figure in the province of Texas winning its freedom from Mexico, and becoming a Republic, eventually becoming a state of the Union. Houston had a gifted leadership ability to cause men to follow him into seemingly hopeless causes, of which the freedom of Texas was major. Houston was a farsighted statesman with spiritual integrity and took the unpopular sides of controversy. He was openly against 95 percent of the United States government’s scandalous policies towards Native Americans. He stood undeviatingly for honesty, decency, and justice towards the original occupants of American soil.
Houston To Texas
In 1832, Sam Houston left Washington with a commission from the War Department to hold talks with nomadic Native Americans, who roamed both the American and the Texas sides of the Red River, thought by many as a move by Jackson to get involved in the accusation of Texas.
On April 20, 1836, Sam Houston, with 800 men intercepted Santa Anna, with 1450, at a ferry over the San Jacinto River near the present city of Houston and won the independence of Texas from Mexico. Thus, the Republic of Texas with Sam Houston as President began its ten-year history.
During this time slavery became a troubling issue in the United States. Although Houston had gone to Texas to play a role in its annexation to the nation, because of the slavery issue being forced on Texas, things changed and Houston began to stand for the Republic of Texas to stand alone under its Lone Star Flag, wanting no part of slavery.
Once Houston obtained favorable treaties with England and France, treating them with more respect than he did the United States, President Tyler pushed hard for negotiations for the annexation of Texas, fearing Houston’s friendly relationships with England and France.
In a masterpiece of diplomacy Texas had turned the tables on the United States and Sam Houston got what he wanted. On February 16, 1846, the Lone Star Republic became a part of the United States of America as the great state of Texas.
Sam Houston U. S. Senate And Of Governor Of Texas
Sam Houston went to the U. S. Senate and stood firmly against slavery to the point that he was replaced as Senator, which then was in the hands of state legislatures. When Texas eventually seceded from the Union to the Confederacy, Sam Houston, as Governor, was so much against secession that when he was summoned before the secession convention to take the Confederate oath, he declined with these words:
“In the name of my own conscience and my own manhood I refuse to take this oath. It perhaps meet that my career should close thus. I have seen the patriots and statesmen of my youth one by one gathered to their fathers, and the government they reared rent in twain. I stand the last almost of my race, stricken down because I will not yield those principles I have fought for. The severest pang is that the blow comes in the name of Texas.”
In the midst of the Civil War, in 1863, Sam Houston died at the age of seventy without having sworn allegiance to the Confederacy, thus ended the career of a great frontiersman and great American.