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This Day In History: 09/05/1836 – Sam Houston Elected President of Texas

Russ Mitchell recaps the major historical events that occurred on September five in this movie clip from This Day In History. The nation’s very first Labor Day Parade was held in Fresh York City on September Five, and the novel On the Road was published. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme pointed a gun at president Gerald Ford, and was later sentenced to life in prison. Samuel Houston was elected the very first president on the Republic of Texas, before it became a Confederate state.

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Sam Houston elected as president of Texas

Sam Houston elected as president of Texas


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Sam Houston elected as president of Texas

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September 05, 2017


On this day in 1836, Sam Houston is elected as president of the Republic of Texas, which earned its independence from Mexico in a successful military rebellion.

Born in Virginia in 1793, Houston moved with his family to rural Tennessee after his father’s death; as a teenager, he ran away and lived for several years with the Cherokee tribe. Houston served in the War of one thousand eight hundred twelve and was later appointed by the U.S. government to manage the removal of the Cherokee from Tennessee to a reservation in Arkansas Territory. He practiced law in Nashville and from one thousand eight hundred twenty three to1827 served as a U.S. congressman before being elected governor of Tennessee in 1827.

A brief, failed marriage led Houston to resign from office and live again with the Cherokee. Officially adopted by the tribe, he traveled to Washington to protest governmental treatment of Native Americans. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent him to Texas (then a Mexican province) to negotiate treaties with local Native Americans for protection of border traders. Houston arrived in Texas during a time of rising tensions inbetween U.S. settlers and Mexican authorities, and soon emerged as a leader among the settlers. In 1835, Texans formed a provisional government, which issued a declaration of independence from Mexico the following year. At that time, Houston was appointed military commander of the Texas army.

However the rebellion suffered a crushing gargle at the Alamo in early 1836, Houston was soon able to turn his army’s fortunes around. On April 21, he led some eight hundred Texans in a surprise defeat of 1,500 Mexican soldiers under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the San Jacinto Sea. Santa Anna was captured and brought to Houston, where he was coerced to sign an armistice that would grant Texas its freedom. After receiving medical treatment for his war wounds in Fresh Orleans, Houston returned to win election as president of the Republic of Texas on September Five. In victory, Houston announced that “Texas will again lift its head and stand among the nations….It ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages.”

Houston served as the republic’s president until 1838, then again from one thousand eight hundred forty one to 1844. Despite plans for retirement, Houston helped Texas win admission to the United States in one thousand eight hundred forty five and was elected as one of the state’s very first two senators. He served three terms in the Senate and ran successfully for Texas’ governorship in 1859. As the Civil War loomed, Houston argued unsuccessfully against secession, and was deposed from office in March one thousand eight hundred sixty one after refusing to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. He died of pneumonia in 1863.

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