Samuel "Sam" Houston was a nineteenth-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He is best known for his leading role in bringing Texas into the United States.
He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator for Texas after it joined the United States, and finally as a governor of the state. He refused to swear loyalty to the Confederacy when Texas seceded from the Union in 1861 with the outbreak of the American Civil War, and was removed from office. To avoid bloodshed, he refused an offer of a Union army to put down the Confederate rebellion. Instead, he retired to Huntsville, Texas, where he died before the end of the Civil War.
His earlier life included migration to Tennessee from Virginia, time spent with the Cherokee Nation, military service in the War of 1812, and successful participation in Tennessee politics. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee as a Jacksonian. In 1829, Houston resigned as governor and relocated to Arkansas Territory. In 1832, Houston was involved in an altercation with a U.S. Congressman, followed by a high-profile trial.