In April of 1863, Sam Houston filed his last will and testament. The hero of San Jacinto would be dead within four months. The American Civil War, a conflict Sam had worked hard to prevent, had raged for two years with no end in sight.
Two years earlier, Texas Governor and staunch Unionist, Sam Houston had defiantly refused to pledge loyalty to the newly-created Confederate States of America, and was removed from office. Exiled and out of the spotlight (and out of favor with many of his former friends) the man who had served the United States, the Republic of Texas, and the Lone Star state, now had time to ponder the inevitable and plan accordingly.
Sam’s last Will and Testament is more than a legal instrument, the disposition of assets and the like. The document also reflects his values and beliefs. There’s no need for me to summarize nor explain its contents (it gives too much away!), except to say that Sam was a man of his time and his words reflect that era.
This hand-written copy of Houston’s Last Will and Testament found its way into the Texas General Land Office Archives ten years after his death, as evidence for a previous land claim. Now it’s ours to read, learn, and reflect on a remarkable life.
As always, your comments are warmly welcomed.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Sam Houston Photo