Sam Houston was a flamboyant leader of Texas independence, the first president of the Republic of Texas and the namesake of the city of Houston. As a member of the U.S. Army, Houston was wounded in the War of 1812 (catching the eye of Andrew Jackson, who became a lifelong friend). Houston later became Tennessee's congressman (1823-28) and governor (1828-29). He resigned as governor suddenly in 1829 after the end of his short, unhappy marriage to Eliza Allen. He lived among the Cherokee Indians, then moved to Texas in 1832; when Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1836, he was made Major General of the Army of Texas. After the Mexican victory at The Alamo the same year, Houston led his troops to a decisive victory over Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto. An instant hero, he became president of the Republic of Texas. When Texas joined the United States in 1845, Houston became a senator and served three terms, the last ending in 1859. The same year he was elected Texas governor. In 1861, as Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as president of the United States and the Civil War began, Texas seceded from the Union. Houston refused to pledge allegiance to the Confederate States of America and was discharged as governor. He died two years later in Huntsville, Texas.
As a boy in Tennessee, Sam Houston left his family to live with Cherokees, and throughout his life he remained a friend to and advocate for the tribe… The Cherokees gave him the Indian name of “The Raven”… In 1832, after Congressman William Stanbery of Ohio denounced Houston in a public newspaper, Sam Houston met Stanbery on the street and beat him with a cane… Sam Houston is the only person to date to serve as governor of two different states.