Heroic Hunk in History: Sam Houston’s Personal Life

Sam Houston lived an interesting personal life. In 1829 at 35 while Governor of Tennessee, he married 19-year-old Eliza Allen. Eliza left him shortly after their marriage and they never reconciled. Neither ever revealed the cause for their separation but rumor had it that she was in love with another. Houston wrote to her father  to “…publish in the Nashville papers that if any wretch ever dares to utter a word against the purity of Mrs. Houston I will come back and write the libel in his heart’s blood.”  Story also had it that in Nashville only months later, Houston was told that Eliza had reconsidered. This time HE refused.

That same year, Houston resigned as governor of Tennessee and went with the Cherokee into exile in the Arkansas Territory. He was adopted into the Cherokee Nation as the “Raven” and married Tiana Rogers who was of mixed blood in the Indian tradition, although still married to Eliza Allen Houston. They had at least one child together but she refused to accompany him to Texas in 1832.  In 1833, Houston became a Catholic so he could own property in Texas. He divorced Eliza in 1837. Tiana died of pneumonia in 1838.

The love of Houston’s early Texas years was Anna Raguet. Lying wounded after the battle of San Jacinto, he fashioned a garland of oak leaves which he sent her with the note, “To Miss Anna Raguet, Nacogdoches, Texas: These are laurels I send you from the battle field of San Jacinto. Thine. Houston.” Anna eventually married the man who carried Houston’s love letters to her, and named their first child Sam Houston Irion.

In 1839, Houston met 21-year-old Margaret Moffette Lea while on a horse-buying trip to Alabama. They were married the following year and lived at Cedar Pointe on Trinity Bay. The couple had eight children. Margaret managed to stop him from drinking and talk him into joining the Baptist Church.

Next Week, Leftovers     Rita Bay


5 Responses

  1. a few weeks ago I watched the movie “Houston: The Legend of Texas” with Sam Elliott as Sam Houston – covered a lot of the points you mentioned – was very interesting

    • Really interesting historical figure. Walked his own path for sure. Featured him this week because of the anniversary of Texas being admitted to the US. Check out ritabay.com for daily posts related to him for the whole week. Speculation was that he originally went to Texas because his mentor Andrew Jackson wanted Texas to rebel and join the US which is exactly what happened. Rita

  2. Sam Houston is one of my favorite heroes. He did a lot for his country and I admire him. Have you ever seen the HUGE statue of him near Hunstville Texas? It’s massive and quite impressive.

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