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Today in History - March 2, 1793

Use this mini unit study on Samuel Houston as a stand alone project or as part of a larger Texas unit study. At the end of the page you will find some fun activities and links to worksheets and coloring pages that will enhance your unit on Sam Houston.

Samuel Houston is Born - First President of Texas

Samuel Houston (March 2, 1793–July 26, 1863) was a 19th century American statesman, politician and soldier. The Virginia-born Houston was a key figure in the history of Texas, including periods as President of the Republic of Texas, Senator for Texas after it joined the Union, and finally as governor. Although a slave-owner and opponent of abolitionism, his unionist convictions meant he refused to swear loyalty to the Confederacy when Texas seceded from the Union, bringing his governorship to an end. To avoid bloodshed, he refused an offer of an army to put down the rebellion, and instead retired to Huntsville, Texas, where he died before the end of the Civil War.

His earlier life included encouraging emigration to Tennessee, time spent with the Cherokee Nation (into which he was adopted and later married into), military service in the War of 1812, and subsequent successful involvement in Tennessee politics. Indeed, as of 2007, Houston has been the only person in U.S. history to have been the governor of two different states, Tennessee and Texas (although others have been governors of multiple American colonies). A fight with a Congressman, followed by a high profile trial, led to his emigration to Mexican Texas, where he soon became a leader of the Texas Revolution. He supported annexation by the United States rather than seeking long term independence and expansion for Texas. The city of Houston was named after him during this period. Houston's reputation survived his death: posthumous commemoration has included a memorial museum, a U.S. Army base, an historical park, a university, and the largest statue of an American hero.

Extending the Lesson:

  • Research Sam Houston and write about him. Use the worksheet here.
  • Read a book on Sam Houston or Texas.
  • Add Sam Houston to your timeline.
  • Color and label a map of Texas and Mexico.
  • Make a poster on the Alamo.
  • Write a letter to a friend, pretending you were at the Alamo.
  • Make a salt dough map of Texas.
  • Have Mexican food for dinner.
  • Build a model of the Alamo.
  • Check out our Texas worksheet and symbols page.
  • Color a picture of the state bird and flower.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of the information on this page was brought to you by the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia or other sources in the public domain. The activities, worksheets and other printables were created by Belinda J Mooney. They may not be published elsewhere without permission.

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