Samuel Houston (1793–1863) was an American politician who played a major role in the history of Texas. Raised in Virginia and Tennessee, Houston served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and later became a lawyer. He was elected to Congress in 1823 and elected governor of Tennessee in 1827. In 1832, Houston moved to the Mexican province of Texas. Thousands of other American settlers had recently arrived in Texas, and tensions over the province’s autonomy had grown between settlers and the Mexican government. In March 1836, Texas declared independence from Mexico in a document signed by Houston and others. Houston became commander of the Texas army and defeated Mexican forces under Santa Anna in April 1836. Houston served as president of the Republic of Texas between 1836 and 1838, and again between 1841 and 1844. In 1845 Texas was admitted to the United States. Houston served as a senator for the state from 1846 to 1859 and was elected governor in 1859. He was ousted from office in 1861 over his stance against secession and refusal to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.

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