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Updated by gabriell-kapllaj on Sep 17, 2019
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Project Curation- Sam Houston

Some primary sources and secondary sources concerning the incidents that led to Sam Houston's refusal to take the oath to confederacy and the subsequent ejection from office.

Why Sam Houston, Texas Hero, Opposed the Civil War | Flashback | OZY

Sam Houston was conflicted — he loved Texas, loved America and hated a Confederacy that he feared would lead the nation on a path to destruction.

Sam Houston (1793-1863)

One of the most colorful and controversial figures in Texas history, Sam Houston was born in Virginia on March 2, 1793. He spent much of his youth, however, in the mountains of Tennessee. There, young Houston became acquainted with the Cherokee Indians, and he spent much time with them, an activity which he much preferred over studies or working on the farm.

With the outbreak of the second war with England, Houston enlisted as a private soldier, and was made sergeant of a company. He excelled in the military and quickly won the admiration of his men and his superiors. After receiving three near-mortal wounds at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, he rose to the rank of first lieutenant before resigning in 1818 to study law.

After a short time, he was admitted to the bar and practiced in Lebonon, Tennessee before running for public office. He sought and won public office and was elected to the US Congress in 1823 and again in 1825. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee by a large majority.

While governor and after a brief marriage that ended unfavorably, Houston quietly resigned from Tennessee politics and returned to live with his longtime friends, the Cherokees. There, he remained until 1832 when he moved to Texas along with a few friends.

In Texas, Houston was elected delegate from Nacogdoches to the Convention of 1833 which met at San Felipe. From that time, Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. In 1835 he was appointed general of the military district east of the Trinity. He became a member of the Consultation of 1835, and of the Convention which met at Washington on the Brazos in 1836 to declare independence from Mexico. It was there that Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas.

Houston immediately took control of the Texas forces after the fall of the Alamo and Goliad, and conducted the retreat of the army to the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, where on April 21, 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas long sought independence.

In the fall of that year, Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. After serving his term as President, he served in the Congress of the Republic in 1839-40. Then in 1841, Houston was again voted by a large margin to the head of the Texas government.

After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected Senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States. Still later, in 1859, Houston was elected to serve as Governor of the State of Texas.

As Governor in 1861, Houston was strongly opposed to the secession of Texas from the Union. Because he was much in the minority on this issue, Houston was removed from office in March of 1861, ending his illustrious carrier in public service.

Houston retired to the privacy of his home at Huntsville, Texas, where died in July of 1863. He is buried in Huntsville's Oakwood Cemetery.

Today in Texas History: Gov. Sam Houston ousted - Texas on the Potomac

On this date in 1861, Sam Houston was ousted as governor of Texas for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederate States of America.

Fellow citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take ...

Sam Houston quote: Fellow citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas.... I protest.... against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void

“To Dissolve the Union Between the State of Texas and the…United States of America” | Inside the Gates

In February 1861, Texans put themselves on a path of separating from the United States and aligning their state with the Confederacy. While Texas shared many characteristics of other Southern states, historian Dale Baum writes in The Shattering of Texas Unionism that “the Lone Star State…was also distinctive [as] only Southern state with an international…

Texas Ordinance of Secession

The ordinance text is much less known and less accessible to the general public than the Texas Declaration of Independence. According to some historians, however, it ranks equally with the earlier document in its impact on Texas.


Sam Houston

Sam Houston

One of the more recognized portraits of Houston.


Letters from Sam Houston Picture

Letters from Sam Houston Picture

I have included this picture of a few letters Sam Houston had exchanged concerning his views on breaking off from the union, as we can see he was not very keen on the idea.


Sam Houston on the Battlefield

Sam Houston on the Battlefield

A photo of a statue of Sam Houston, who many considered a war hero.