Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Personal Papers of Sam Houston

Manuscript Collection: MC027

Collection Summary

Creator: Houston, Sam, 1793-1863
Title: Personal papers of Sam Houston
Dates: 1832-1868
(Bulk: 1841-1863)
Abstract: Correspondence, reports, a few financial documents and one legal record comprise the Personal Papers of Sam Houston (1841-1868).
Identification: MC027
OCLC Record No.: 47109709
Quantity: 1 box (.3 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

One of the most influential men of Texas history, Sam Houston (1793-1863) was born March 2, 1793, in Virginia and when he was a boy, moved with his family to eastern Tennessee. Houston's performance at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, March 26, 1814, won him the lifelong admiration of Andrew Jackson, commander of the United States Army. Jackson's political patronage served Houston well over the next several years and helped him to attain several political and military offices of influence: Attorney General of the District of Nashville, two terms in the United States House of Representatives, colonel and adjutant general of the state militia of Tennessee, and eventually governor of Tennessee in 1827. On April 16, 1829, Houston separated from his wife, Eliza Allen, resigned the governorship and moved west to Indian Territory. For three years he lived with the Cherokees and took an Indian wife, Diana Rogers Gentry.

Houston arrived in Texas on December 2, 1832. A central figure in the politics of the rebellion against Mexico, he represented Nacogdoches at the San Felipe Convention in 1833 and was appointed major-general of the Texas Army at the Consultation of November 12, 1835. Sam Houston helped to secure a treaty with the Cherokee in February 1836. He also participated in the convention that declared the Independence of Texas March 2, 1836, at Washington on the Brazos. On March 4, 1836, he was granted command of the Republic's military forces. From Gonzalez he began a long controversial retreat from the advancing Mexican army. Under Houston's leadership, the Texas Army defeated the forces of Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto April 21, 1836.

Sam Houston served two non-consecutive terms as President of the Republic of Texas, 1836-1838 and 1841-1844. He married again on May 9, 1840, to Margaret Moffette Lea and fathered eight children. After the United States' accession of Texas, Sam Houston served as United States Senator from February 21, 1846, to March 4, 1859. Elected Texas governor in 1859, Houston would not swear a loyalty oath to the Confederate States of America and was removed from office by the Texas Convention on March 16, 1860. However, he refused Abraham Lincoln's offer of federal troops to maintain his office. Out of office, Sam Houston remained supportive of Texans who fought in the Civil War. He succumbed to pneumonia after several weeks of illness and died July 26, 1863.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, reports, a few financial documents and one legal record comprise the Personal Papers of Sam Houston (1841-1868). The papers are principally composed of correspondence received by Sam Houston during the last twenty years of his life, three letters sent by Houston, a receipt of deposit and brief account statement. Of four letters sent by him, two are autograph copies, and only one is signed. Correspondence received comes from several influential men of Texas history including Joseph L. Bennett (d. 1848), Eber Worthington Cave (1831-1904), John Forbes (1797-1880), James Hawkins (1813-1896), M. T. Johnson (1810-1866), Philip Martin (1800-1876), Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862), Thomas J. Rusk (1803-1857), Wiliam Read Scurry (1821-1864), Ashbel Smith (1805-1886) and William Stanhope (1819-1869). Many of these letters and other memoranda record first person accounts of the Battle of San Jacinto that are written in support of Sam Houston's honor. An August 28, 1857, newspaper clipping from the Galveston News records a contrary account of the battle by Capt. Jesse Billingsley. One report is a handwritten transcription of a speech made by a Comanche Chief. Typescripts of letters are separated from the originals and arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Typescripts of reports are also arranged in separate sub-series.


Organized into eight series; arrangement is alphabetical.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

Bennett, Joseph L., d. 1848
Billingsley, Jesse
Cave, Eber Worthington, 1831-1904
Forbes, John, 1797-1880
Hawkins, James, 1813-1896
Houston, Sam, 1793-1863--Archives
Johnson, M.T., 1810-1866
Martin, Philip, 1800-1876
McCulloch, Bemjamin, 1811-1862
Perry, James H., 1811-1862
Potter, Robert, 1799-1842
Rusk, Thomas J. (Thomas Jefferson), 1803-1857
Scurry, William Read, 1821-1864
Sherman, Sidney, 1805-1873
Smith, Ashbel, 1805-1886
Stanhope, William, 1819-1869
Texas. Army
Texas. Navy
San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836
Texas--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836
Texas--Politics and government--1846-1865

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], Personal Papers of Sam Houston, MC027, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Gift of Mrs. B. T. Baldwin, 1958.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd Michael Gilliom, 2001.


"Houston, Samuel." The Handbook of Texas Online.


Correspondence: Sent

box folder
29 1 General Burke (Photostat) 1837 July 11
2 Dr. Graham 1859 August 30
3 General Magruder 1863 January 3
4 Santa Anna 1844 December 10

Correspondence: Received

box folder
29 5 Joseph L. Bennett 1841 September 17
6 F. Biggers, Treasury Dept. 1858 March 27
7 Eber Worthington Cave 1861 January 25
8 John M. Crane 1857
9 G. W. Curtiss 1848 December 25
10 John W. Forbes 1858
11 James Hawkins 1856 January 2
12 M. T. Johnson 1860 May 16
13 C. Edward Lester 1860 October 18
14 Philip Martin 1857 November 2
15 John McCreary 1861 May 21
16 Ben McCulloch 1860 April 6
17 Cornelia O'Coner 1859 September 1
18 Charles Power 1861 April 16
19 Thomas J. Rusk 1843 February 28
20 W. Scurry 1844 February 8
21 Ashbel Smith 1862 April 16
22 Charles B. Snow 1858 April 2
23 William S. Taylor 1857 September 10
24 J.C. Walker 1861 May 4
25 James A. Wimbisk 1857 August 1
26 J.M. Worsham 1862 July 26
27 Unknown 1859 July 10

Correspondence: Third Party

box folder
29 28 J. Hazard Perry to Col. Potter 1836 April 9
29 Thomas J. Rusk to H. Stuart 1850


box folder
29 30 General 1861


box folder
29 31 Notice of Warrant in Bankruptcy 1868 October 3

Printed Materials

box folder
29 32 General: Newspaper Clipping; Pamphlet "The Case of Judge Watrous" 1857-1858


box folder
29 33 Unsigned Draft of Proclamation by South Carolina Citizens 1832
34 Talk of Santa Anna [made by a Comanche Chief] 1846
35 Statement by William B. Reynolds 1855
36 Memorandum by John Forbes 1858
37 Statement by Gen. Rusk undated: circa 1836-1857
38 Sam Houston, 1832-1836 undated: circa 1832-1836
39 Envelope Cover Sheets undated: circa 1832-1868


box folder
29 40 Correspondence: Sent 1844, 1855, 1863
41 Correspondence: Received 1842-1862
42 Reports: Third Party Correspondence 1836, 1850
43 Reports: Unsigned Draft of Proclamation 1832
44 Reports: Talk of Santa Anna 1846