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Sam Houston (1793–1863) was an American soldier and politician who played an integral role in U.S. western expansion during the nineteenth century. Houston led the fight for Texas's independence from Mexico, governed the [Page 387]Republic of Texas, and held political office following Texas statehood.
On March 2, 1793, Houston was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia. In 1807, the Houston family sought greater opportunity as they moved west to Maryville, Tennessee. During his youth, Houston attended school infrequently and showed little interest in academics. At sixteen, Houston continued to move west and lived among the Cherokee for three years. Houston's early interactions with the Cherokee led him to become an advocate of Indian rights.
In 1813, Houston enlisted in the U.S. Army as a result of the outbreak ...