Sam Houston in the Mexican American War

Categories: Mexican American War

In 1832, Sam Houston came to Texas, which was still under control of Mexico. Many American have settled in Texas at this time, and they disliked the ruling of Mexico. When Sam Houston came to Texas, he was elected to represent Texas at the Convention of 1833, which was called to petition Mexico for statehood. After the Texas Revolution broke out in 1835, Sam Houston was elected to the Consultation, a congregation of Texas leaders. The consultation named Houston as Major General and Top Officer of the Texan Army, although the appointment did not give him full power over the militia units that make up the Texan Army.

Houston helped to organize the 1836 Convention, where the Republic of Texas proclaimed independence from Mexico, and named him as Texas Army Commander-in-Chief. Houston took over a military force that was an army in name only. Historians are now questioning Houston's tactic of leading the army to an eastward withdrawal to Louisiana rather than directly engaging with Santa Anna's forces during the Alamo Campaign.

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Some people would never accept what they found to be cowardly, but Houston was adamant not to combat the enemy until he felt he could brush free.

The first order of Houston's company was to rid the world of Santa Anna's inflammatory existence, even being kept as a prisoner of war. Houston persuaded the Texas Senate in a closed session to allow Santa Anna to leave for the United States to meet with President Andrew Jackson and declare his support for Texas independence.

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With Santa Anna out of the way, Houston shifted his focus to the issue that was nearest to his heart: The United States annexing Texas. Texas was shattered and weak; Houston realized the Republic could not withstand another Mexican assault. An avid expansionist, Houston's old boss, President Jackson, would have wanted nothing more than annexing Texas. It will trigger an international crisis with the United States to make a bid with Texas, not just with Mexico but also with England and France. Moreover, the northern states resisted the creation of yet another slave society. Houston then continued with the task of establishing a sovereign country with annexation on lock. He sent delegates to Europe who signed a trade deal with England, an essential move for the poor nation to develop an economy.

Sam Houston was seen as a hero for many people in Texas after the victory in the San Jacinto War, which lead to him beating Stephen F. Austin and former Governor Henry Smith, winning the presidential election in Texas in 1836. Upon the resignation of acting president David G. Burnet, Houston took office on 22 October 1836. During his time in office, Sam Houston faced many challenges such as handling relations with Mexico, putting the country’s finances in order, and assembling a new government. Then, the Cordova Rebellion was passed, which allowed Mexico to take back Texas with the help of the Kickapoo Indians, after he went against with Congress over issues like a treaty with the Cherokee and a land- office act. Sam Houston then won the 1841 Texas presidential election, beating Burnet.

From December 12, 1841, until December 9, 1844, Houston succeeded Lamar to a second term as President. Houston emphasized budgetary restraint under this period, and dramatically reduced government offices and salaries. He and Congress also attempted to sell the Texas Navy four-ship; an attempt violently impeded by the Galveston men. Houston re-established relations with the Indians by forming settlements with bands that were already in Texas. While several Texans were clamoring for intervention, after the two Mexican invasions of 1842, President Houston deftly managed to avert war with Mexico. Houston ordered that the government archives be relocated from Austin after the first incursion, an order which eventually culminated in the 'Archive Battle,' in which Austin citizens forcefully resisted the relocation of the papers. Houston allowed a force under Gen. Alexander Somervell to fight the enemy toward the Rio Grande after the second invasion and invade Mexico if circumstances required.

In 1846, Sam Houston and Thomas Jefferson Rusk was elected by Texas legislature to become inaugural US senators of Texas, and Sam Houston joined the Demographic Party. Because of this, Sam Houston became the first person to serve as the governor of a state and elected to be US Senate of another state. He made many contributions during his time as US Senator. For example, he advocated for the annexation of Oregon Country, and after the Oregon Treaty was passed, Britain and United States agreed to split Oregon Country. Sam Houston After the Mexican American War, Sam Houston voted for the Oregon Bill of 1848, and also voted to create a territory that excluded slavery. Sam Houston also supported the Compromise of 1850, where the slave trade was prohibited in the District of Columbia and a stricter fugitive slave law was passed. Houston voted against the Kansas – Nebraska Act that was passed in 1854, which banned slavery in territories north of parallel 36 degrees 30’ north. This is because Native Americans will lose a large portion of their land if the act was passed. The act will also lead to more sectional tensions over slavery. Therefore, Sam Houston is supporter of anti-slavery. However, Sam Houston was departure from the Democratic Party because of his opposition to the Kansas – Nebraska act.

In 1859, Houston won the election and took office, capitalizing on Runnels' unpopularity over state issues such as Native American raids. Sam Houston and John Bell were the two contenders for presidency for the Constitutional Union Party, however, John Bell came out on top. His views on the survival of the union, however, were unpopular with the Texas legislature, and he was not re-elected on the eve of the — though he was again elected governor in 1859. During this time, he unsuccessfully tried to avoid the secession of his state during 1861, and in March he was declared deposed from office after his failure to pledge allegiance to the Confederacy.

At San Jacinto Houston displayed exceptional bravery. Riding ahead of the army, he put out a wonderful goal. He worked tirelessly to get Texas to join the Union. He stood true to his ideals and his country, and while he did not live to see it, his decision was confirmed by the crushing defeat of the Confederate States.

Houston tried to concern himself, as he had throughout his career, with maintaining the unity between Indians and whites. He believed the two races should coexist peacefully, a belief which painfully placed him out of step with the majority of white Texans. Houston tried to concern himself, as he had throughout his career, with maintaining the unity between Indians and whites. He believed the two races should coexist peacefully, a belief which painfully placed him out of step with the majority of white Texans.

The army had come close to lynching the President during the presidency of David Burnet. Both police and people were already out of reach when Houston took command. People protested that horses were captured by army officers and livestock were killed to feed starving soldiers without compensating the farmers. High-ranking officers called for an invasion of Mexico because they didn't fight each other. Though he was concerned about the continuing Mexican invasion, Houston concluded that it was more risk for the broken Republic than it was worth. He firmly resolved the issue, furloughing the whole army but 600 soldiers. The decision had not been famous. Houston was faced with Galveston and Velasco mutinies, and there was talk of an attack on the property of the President.

Houston began his political career as a United States Congressman, sitting from 1846 to 1860, after Texas achieved statehood in 1846. His obvious fondness for beer, women and brawling in Washington once again sparked intense outrage and introduced fresh chapters to his reputation. He was an ardent promoter of the Mexican American War in politics although he was saddened that it did not result with Mexico's annexation. Nevertheless, a slaveholder himself and an ardent critic of emancipation, he frequently voted against the extension of slavery into new lands and was a vocal foe of secession.

Anson Jones, whom the public recognized as a 'Houston Man,' succeeded Houston to the presidency. Sam Houston's name has become synonymous with Texas. Indeed, a conflict between Houston and anti-Houston forces had dominated Texas politics throughout the Revolution. Houston has always described himself as a Southern man for the Union and has resisted any possibility of disunity, whether from agitators in the North or South. He suffered the relentless wrath of forces of proslavery by endorsing the 1850 Compromise, a series of steps intended to maintain sectional unity. Sam Houston died in Huntsville, Texas in 1863, where he now stands a 67-foot-tall monument in his name. The case for which he is most well regarded after a lifetime of service to his country is his role in the independence of Texas

Works Cited

  1. “Sam Houston.” Sam Houston | TSLAC,
  2. Sam Houston 1793,
  4. The Generalship of Sam Houston,
  5. Houston, Sam, and Madge Thornall Roberts. The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 1996.
Updated: Dec 20, 2021
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Sam Houston in the Mexican American War. (2021, Dec 20). Retrieved from

Sam Houston in the Mexican American War essay
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