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Sam Houston and the American Southwest, Book Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 579

Book Review

Introduction

In this book the author (Randolph B Scott) explores the remarkable life of Sam Houston and the important contribution that he made in the development of the Southwest.  Houston had a remarkable political career that included him being a Governor of two states and a US Senator for a period of over 13 years.  Houston was an extremely colourful character who will be remembered for such qualities as adventurism, pioneer and creating controversy.  He was a person of great conviction, courage and fortitude.  Houston was descended from a Scottish-Irish immigrant family who were originally from the Pennsylvania area.  His Grandfather established a plantation in Virginia. His father was in the army and achieved the rank of major.  The family later moved to Tennessee. Sam being of a rebellious nature ran away from his family and joined a band of Cherokee Indians.  The family later discovered Sam and sent him to law school.  He later was made a Colonel in the Tennessee militia and in 1819 became the Attorney General of the State.

Book Review

Chapter 1 discusses the background of Sam Houston from his parents to that of his appointment in the Tennessee Militia.  Chapter 2  discovers the rise of  Houston’s political career in Lebanon and Nashville Tennessee and his appointment of Attorney General to the State.  In 1823 he was elected to the House of Representatives after supporting Andrew Jackson’s successful presidential campaign.  Chapter 3 follows Houston’s trail to Arkansas where he supported the plight of the Cherokee Indians and represented their cause to Government.  Houston was admitted as a full member of the Cherokee nation.

Chapter 4  Examines the history behind the conflict of Texas and Mexico and the tensions gathering over territorial rights.  Chapter 5 provides the background from Sam Houston to Stephen Austin and the pending conflict with Mexico before the storming of the Alamo. Chapter 6 discusses the surrender and subsequent capture of Santa Anna before his release back to Mexico. In addition, the background to the presidential election campaign for Texas.  Chapter 7  Discusses Houston’s election to congress and his disappointment that the state capital was moved to Austin. He again became angry about the poor treatment of the Indians. Chapter 8  illustrates the political gambits played by Houston in trying to get Texas admitted into the Union.  Chapter 9 discusses the family life of Houston and his interests in Texas as opposed to running for a presidential campaign.  Chapter 10 concludes the book  it discusses the process of Texas and secession when Lincoln became President.

The book provides an excellent historical account of an important figure in American History and adds the backdrop of the development of the South Weestern states and the role Houston played particularly in the early development of the State of Texas.  Houston became the first President of the Republic of Texas. Later when Texas became a state in 1845 he was an elected Senator to the US Congress.  He served as the Governor of the State of Texas between 1859-1861 and was later removed from office because he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America. He retired to Huntsville where he died in 1863.  Houston predicted that the South would lose in the Civil War but he remained in Texas but was an unpopular figure because of his stance on slavery.  He predicted the assassination of Lincoln and he remained on his lecture circuit in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New England where he had strong popularity.

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