Sam Houston
PHOTO: Library of Congress

SAM HOUSTON

Sam Houston was a big, strong man, but many of his biographies say that he was afraid of the dark. He also became governor of two American states even though he seemed to prefer Native American culture over white culture.  

Houston was born in 1793 and grew up in Maryville. When he was a teenager, he ran away from home to live with the Cherokee Indians on Hiwassee Island, located in Meigs County. He stayed there for about three years and was given the name “The Raven” by a Cherokee chief. Young Sam later came back to white society and then, in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, became a hero when he fought on despite an arrow wound in his thigh.


Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Click here to read more about the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.


Houston later moved to Lebanon, became a lawyer, and then was elected to Congress. With Andrew Jackson’s backing, he became governor of Tennessee. But then, in one of the most shocking things ever to happen in Tennessee politics, Houston resigned as governor and went back to live with the Cherokees. Then, Houston moved to Texas to fight for the independence of that state. He later became governor of that state also.