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Sam Houston Hearne collection

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00099

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily documents Sam Houston's relationship with his family, his military career as Commander-in-chief of the Texas Army, and his political career as U.S. Senator from Texas. Materials bulk with correspondence between Sam Houston and family, friends, and political associates, and primarily date from the 1830s through the 1850s. The collection includes a small amount of legal and financial documents, broadsides, pamphlets, and newsclippings. The materials are numbered individually and arranged both by correspondent and chronology. Sizeable bodies of letters by a particular correspondent have been kept together, then ordered chronologically. Individual letters are arranged by chronology.

The listing of each letter is based on that used in the calendars in The Writings of Sam Houston.8 vols. (Edited by Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker. Austin and New York: Jenkins Publishing Company, 1970.) The sender and receiver of each letter is followed by a brief description of content, place of origin, date, and document number.

Transcriptions are provided for the first 71 documents, and thereafter for those letters written by Sam Houston. Transcriptions that arrived with the collection were checked for accuracy and corrections were added in brackets when necessary. All transcriptions include exact renderings of the originals, including misspellings and errors in grammar and punctuation. Endorsements added on the letters' reverse sides by the senders were included in the transcriptions. Words or names that could not be deciphered are indicated by "[?]".

A cursory comparison of letters in this collection to those in The Writings of Sam Houston revealed that this collection was not included in that compilation. Two exceptions are a letter from Sam Houston to Guy M. Bryan, dated November 15, 1852, in which Houston reviews his relations with Stephen F. Austin (Vol. 5), and a letter from Houston to John Hancock discussing politics and political parties, July 21, 1856 (Vol. 6).

Photocopies of documents and transcriptions must be serviced for routine use by patrons. The photocopies are arranged in the same order as the original documents and are located in 3N198. Permission to view the original materials must be obtained from the repository.


  • Creation: 1820 - 1929


Conditions Governing Access

For preservation concerns, original materials are restricted. A photocopy or microfilm copy is provided for patron use.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Sam Houston's colorful public life began with his heroic action during the War of 1812. He served as congressman and governor of Tennessee, spent years among the Indians, was commander-in-chief of the Texas army in the Texas Revolution, then president of the Republic of Texas, and later Texas senator and governor.

Chronology of Sam Houston's Life and Career

  • March 2, 1793 Houston's birth to Samuel and Elizabeth (Paxton) Houston in Rockbridge County, Virginia
  • 1813 Enlisted in the United States Army
  • May 1818 Resigned from the Army as a first lieutenant, to begin the study of law
  • October 1818 Elected district attorney of Nashville, Tennesse, district
  • ca. 1819 Appointed adjutant general of the Tennessee state militia with rank of colonel
  • 1821 Elected major general of the state militia
  • 1823 Elected to U.S. House of Representatives as delegate from Tennessee
  • 1825 Re-elected to U.S. Congress
  • 1827 Elected governor of Tennessee
  • 1829 Married and separated from Eliza H. Allen of Gallatin, Tennessee
  • 1829 Resigned as governor of Tennessee
  • 1829-1835 Served as business and diplomatic agent for the Cherokees in the Indian Territory
  • 1832 Houston's probable first trip into Texas
  • 1833 Returned to Texas to attend the Convention of 1833 as a representative of Nacogdoches
  • 1835 Elected delegate to the Consultation, and the General Council elected him major general of the Texas Army
  • 1836 Elected delegate to the Convention of 1836; elected commander-in-chief of the Texas Army; led army to victory at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21
  • 1836-1838 Elected and served as President of the Republic of Texas
  • 1839-1841 Elected and served as representative from San Augustine County to the Fourth and Fifth Congresses
  • 1840 Married Margaret Moffette Lea in Marion, Alabama
  • 1841-1844 Elected and served second term as President of the Republic of Texas
  • 1845 Elected delegate from Montgomery County to the Convention of 1845
  • 1846-1859 Elected by the Texas Legislature to the U.S. Senate
  • 1856 Discussed as possible presidential candidate for the Know-Nothing Party
  • 1857 Defeated in election for governor of Texas
  • 1859 Elected governor of Texas
  • 1860 Discussed as possible presidential candidate for the Constitutional Union Party
  • 1861 Declined to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and was ousted as governor by the Secession Convention
  • July 26, 1863 Died at his home in Huntsville, Texas


11 inches

Language of Materials



Collection of Sam Houston Hearne, great-grandson of Sam Houston, consists primarily of Houston family correspondence, letters sent and received by Houston during and directly after the Texas Revolution and during his Texas presidency, and correspondence between Houston and Guy M. Bryan concerning Stephen F. Austin.


Correspondence, financial and legal documents, newspaper clippings, poems, broadsides, and pamphlets arranged by subject and chronologically.

Related Materials

Sam Houston's papers were divided among various members of the family and now make up several collections in various locations.

See also:

Sam Houston Papers, 1814-1957

James R. and Ewing B. Irion: Houston - Anna Raguet Papers

Henry Raguet Family Papers, 1786-1935

OCLC Number



Sam Houston Hearne Collection, 1820-1929
Ready To Publish
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Revision Statements

  • August 14, 2002: Edited with XMetaL 2 by Kristy Sorensen, according to instructions in <title xmlns:xlink="" xlink:type="simple" xlink:href="">Editing TARO EAD XML Finding Aids with XMetaL</title>.
  • Tue Jul 22 15:27:12 CDT 2003: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00099 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (20030505).
  • 3/2005: Revised by Evan Hocker

Repository Details

Part of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History Repository

2300 Red River Street
Austin TX 78712