Saturday, January 29, 2011

Huntsville, Texas

Until yesterday all we knew about Huntsville is that it had a 67 foot replica of Sam Houston visible from I-45 northbound for 6.5 miles. Huntsville is about 50 miles from where we are parked and if it were not for the fact that we were in search of a theater to see The King's Speech, we maybe would not have toured the Sam Houston Memorial Museum,  located in Huntsville.  After first stopping at Sam Houston's burial site, we drove to the museum, which is part of Sam Houston State University.  Until yesterday I had only a vague idea who Houston was as a statesman of our country. His museum in Huntsville does a wonderful and very complete job of presenting his life and accomplishments. Sam Houston was not only once governor of Texas and senator, but also governor and congressman of Tennessee. He initially, as a young man, won the admiration and respect of Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans ( which took place1815). As a side note here, it was around this time of his life that Houston got into a brawl with another man, wounding him. The lawyer who defended him was Francis Scott Keys, writer of our national anthem.
 We could not have ordered a better day for seeing the museum as well as for touring the grounds of what was once Houston's home and farm. Above is a picture of Houston's law office, which is near the Woodland home where he lived with his wife and eight children. The house where Houston died was moved to be near the Woodland home and his law office. The last years of his life were sad ones for Houston. In 1850, as Senator of Texas, he voted for the Compromise Act of 1850 and against the Missouri Kansas Act of 1854, rather treasonous acts by someone from a southern state. History has since looked more kindly on Sam Houston, he is now called a "Defender of the Union". Ironically he died in a house which was once called the joke of the community. The builder of the home gave it as a gift to his son who refused to live in it. Houston came to live there after resigning his governorship (he refused to sign a oath of loyalty to the confederacy) in 1861. He died in the Steamboat House in 1863. Before leaving Huntsville we did see the movie The King's Speech, quite an awesome movie. History can be very fascinating.

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