Sam Houston is a Texas icon. General Houston signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on his 43rd birthday, and six weeks later he led the Texas Army to a spectacular victory at San Jacinto. "Old Sam Jacinto" twice was elected president of the Republic of Texas; he served thirteen years as U.S. Senator from the State of Texas; and he won election as governor of the Lone Star State.
Before he came to Texas, Houston twice lived with the Cherokee. As a young army officer he was severely wounded while leading charges at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and while still in his twenties Houston became major general of the Tennessee State Militia. In Tennessee he was elected to Congress and to the governorship, ultimately becoming the only man ever elected governor of two states. He knew and worked with fourteen consecutive U.S. presidents, from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln, as well as Jefferson Davis, who became president of the Confederacy.
Soldier, statesman, duelist, brawler, thrice married-Sam Houston lived a turbulent and controversial life filled with drama, conflict, and superlative achievements. From Houston's Virginia birthplace to his homes and grave in Huntsville, Texas, from Horseshoe Bend to San Jacinto, Bill O'Neal repeatedly has visited the sites of Sam Houston's life. O'Neal lectured about Houston for more than three decades in Texas history classes at Panola College, and the response to his public lecture on Houston as a leader at the Bob Bullock Museum inspired this book.