Sam Houston - Pioneer of a Nation

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Sam Houston  (1793-1863)  American patriot and political leader who was governor of Tennessee (1827-29); president of the Republic of Texas (1836), and governor of Texas (1861).  Born in Rockbridge Co., Virginia, March 2, 1793.  At the death of his father, his family moved to Tennessee near the Cherokee territory and he spent his early years with the Indians, being adopted by one of them.  After serving in the 39th Infantry from July, 1813 to May, 1818 he resigned and studied law at Nashville, being admitted to the bar in a few months, and practiced at Lebanon.  He was elected to congress on 1823 and 1825, and in his last year fought a duel with General White, whom he wounded.  He was elected governor of Tenn. in 1827.  He fell into disfavor in 1829, partially die to a mysterious marriage that lasted only a few weeks.  Leaving the state, he made his way up the Arkansas, to the mouth of the Illinois, where he lived for three years with his former Cherokee father-by-adoption.  In 1832 he went to Texas where he was a member of the first convention, April 1, 1833, and was elected general of the militia.  On March 2, 1836 he was a member of the convention that declared absolute independence and named him commander-in-chief of the armed forces.  Following the slaughters at the Alamo and Goliad, Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto and took Santa Anna prisoner.  He was elected first president of the Republic of Texas, October 22, 1836, and even though his candidacy was announced only twelve days previously, he received 4,374 of the total 5,104 votes.  His term expired December 12, 1838.  He served again as president from December 12, 1841 to December 9, 1844.  He labored for the admission of Texas to the Union, which was accomplished Dec. 29, 1845; and in March, 1846 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving until 1859.  He was Governor of Texas from 1859 - 1861, but took no part in public affairs after that date. 

He received his degrees in Cumberland Lodge No. 8, Nashville, Tennessee April 19, June 20, and July 22nd, 1817.  He demitted from Cumberland Lodge, November 20, 1817, and reaffiliated June 21, 1821.  It is thought that during this period he was a charter member of Nashville Lodge No. 37.  He served as junior warden, and in 1824 attended grand lodge as a past master.  In one place he is recorded as having demitted from Cumberland Lodge, January 20, 1831; however, he is listed in the proceedings of 1828 (p.236) as suspended for unmasonic conduct!  He affiliated with Holland Lodge No. 36 of La. in 1837, and this became Holland Lodge No. 1 of Texas.  On December 20, 1837 he presided over the meeting which established the Grand Lodge of Texas.  He demitted from Holland Lodge July 14, 1842, and was next reported as a member of Forest Lodge No. 19, Huntsville, Texas, in 1851.  He was undoubtedly a Royal Arch Mason, for he was knighted in Washington Commandery No. 1, Washington, D.C., February 23, 1853.  He is recorded as a visitor to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in 1825 and the Grand Lodge of Alabama, December 6, 1849.  He was present at the dedication of Washington-Centennial Lodge No. 14, Washington D.C. on January 13, 1853.  He died July 1, 1863




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