Scope and Contents
This collection contains government letters and documents written by Sam Houston, letters to Sam Houston from other government officials, and people seeking favors, and personal materials such as letters to and from family members, and bills. Government and military correspondents include Col. James W. Fannin, James Bowie, Anson Jones, Thomas Jefferson Rusk, James A. Hamilton, Gen. Memucan Hunt, Gen. Albert S. Johnston, Cherokee Chief Bowles, Edward Burleson, Gen. George W. Terrell, John C. Calhoun, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels (founder of New Braunfels), U.S. Sec. of War George W. Hockley, U.S. Sec. of State Daniel Webster, U.S. Sec. of State, James Buchanan (later Pres. of U.S.), Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels (founder of New Braunfels), and others.
While still in private hands, some of these letters were published in Marquis James' The Raven, published 1929, and in Eugene C. Barker's eight-volume set entitled, The Writings of Sam Houston, first volume of eight published in 1938. Where possible, it has been noted in this guide where letters appear in Barker's publication. Many items remain unpublished as of 2004, particularly those of Anson Jones and Thomas Jefferson Rusk.
Highlights include letters to Bowie and Fannin in December 1830 giving orders which were ignored, letters from American Indian scouts and from Cherokee Chief John Jolly (aka Oo-la-te-ka, Houston's adopted Cherokee father) regarding Houston's career and the land needs of the Cherokees, and the 1861 letter from Houston to his wife urging that she let their son Sam go on to war ("God can shield him as he has me,"), and Houston's own account of Andrew Jackson's death as related to James Buchanan, U.S. Sec. of State.
Permission to publish material from Sam Houston papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Samuel Houston (1793-1863) was born in Virginia and raised in Tennessee. After serving in the United States Army, he practiced law in Tennessee, was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and served as governor of Tennessee. Houston lived in the Cherokee nation for several years before he moved to Texas, where he became a leading figure in establishing Texas’ independence from Mexico. After Texas joined the United States, Houston represented Texas in the United States Senate from 1846-1859. He was elected governor of Texas in 1859, but was removed from office when he refused to sign a loyalty oath to the Confederate States of America.
Thomas H. Kreneck, "HOUSTON, SAMUEL," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fho73), accessed April 01, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.