Sam Houston was one of the most colourful and controversial figures in Texas history. He spent much of his youth, in the mountains of Tennessee where he became acquainted with the Cherokee Indians, with whom he spent a lot of his time.
With the outbreak of the second war with England, Houston enlisted as a private soldier, and was made sergeant of a company. He excelled in the military, and quickly won the admiration of his men and his superiors.
Houston dabbled in law and politics, and was elected delegate from Nacogdoches to the Convention of 1833 which met at San Felipe. From that time onwards, Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. Later, Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas, and immediately took control of the Texas forces. On April 21st, 1836, his forces managed to secure long sought independence for Texas.
In the fall of that year, Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas became a state in 1845, Houston was elected Senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States- and then, in 1859, Houston was elected to serve as Governor of the State of Texas. Houston died at his home in Huntsville on July 26th, 1863. The city of Houston, Texas, was named after him.