Texas Historical Documents




It is with deep and heartfelt sorrow that we announce the death of Gen. Sam Houston. It took place at his residence in Huntsville, on the 26th inst, at a quarter past 6 P. M. A letter from his physician, says:

"He died after an illness of five weeks. At one time during his sickness, hopes were entertained of his recovery, but his improvement was only apparent and it soon became evident that the band of death was upon him. To his numerous friends it will doubtless be a matter of great satisfaction to care that in his last hours he was sustained by the christian's hope and that he died the death of the righteous."

Thus has passed away one of the great men of the age. Say what we may of General Houston, we can but accord to him the merit of having filled his full share of the history of the last forty years. His life has been a remarkable one. Whether as Governor of Tennessee, when he was but a little over thirty years of age, or as chief of the Cherokees, or as a hero of the Texas revolution, or still later in the political arena of these last past years, he has always occupied a high place in the public consideration. He has not always been right, nor has he always successful, but he has always left the impress of his mind upon the times in which he has acted.

What were the springs of action to his mind, who dare undertake to tell? What drove him when he was on the high road to fame, and the enjoyment of life, the governor of a great State, the idol of a great people, to cast himself loose from them all and plunge into the wilderness of the West, and become the companion of savages? What led him afterwards, restated in the paths of civilization, honored Senator of another great State, and the beloved idol of its people, to again cast himself loose from their convictions of right, and in defiance of their feelings yield his assent to the designs of their enemies? Who can tell? What ever it was, the ease with which he regained of his fellow citizens, in both these instances, are among the most remarkable incidents in history.

After being lost for years in the wilderness, he re-visited Tennessee, and was received with the most flattering attentions by the whole people. He entered Texas, and was made little less than dictator. After being repudiated by the people of Texas twenty years later, denied his seat in the Senate, cast off by many who had always before voted for him, he took the field against a powerful and well organized party, and again the people flocked to his support and made him Governor.

Such power over men is unquestionably the most remarkable trait of his character. There in lay the greatness of Sam Houston. It was not in his virtue, for in the course of his life he has passed through what would have been degradation to other men and from the couch of the debauchee he has risen to the throne of power, his faculties unimpaired and his authority unquestioned. It was not in his generosity of heart, for a man who is slow to forgive as was General Houston, is not a natural lover of his kind. But it was in the certain power of discovering the springs of human action, a knowledge of human nature, and an ability to use his knowledge which few men possess.

To write a history of the life of Sam Houston is not our part. His history is too well know to make it necessary. To picture his character is also a task that may well be left to the public at large, to whom he is as well know as to us. We pity the heart that could now conceive evil of him. His noble qualities are before the people.

Let us shed tears to his memory, due to one who has filled so much of our affections. Let the whole people bury with him whatever of unkindness they had for him. Let his monument be in the hearts of those who people the land, to which his latter years were devoted. Let his fame sacredly cherished by Texans, as a debt not less to his distinguished services than own honor, of which he was always so jealous and so proud.