Star of Destiny: The Private Life of Sam and Margaret Houston

Star of Destiny: The Private Life of Sam and Margaret Houston

Star of Destiny: The Private Life of Sam and Margaret Houston

Star of Destiny: The Private Life of Sam and Margaret Houston

Excerpt

Throughout her lifetime, Margaret Lea Houston shunned publicity and attempted to stay in the shadow of the husband she adored. She and Sam Houston kept their private life separate from his political career. She shielded her eight children so successfully that most were grown before they knew who Houston's political enemies were.

When they were apart Houston wrote Margaret daily, and on some occasions twice in one day. Each carefully saved the other's letters to be reread many times. Possibly because of the way they were raised, the Houston children had a sense of family privacy which carried through to the next generation. While children and grandchildren usually co-operated with authors in historical matters, they rarely released family letters to the public. Historians knew very little about Margaret, but her story was kept alive within the family.

It is amazing to me that any letters still survive today. Toward the end of her life Margaret burned untold numbers of letters. When she died in 1867, her Independence home was purchased by her daughter and son-in-law, Maggie and Weston Williams, and the home remained filled with Houston artifacts. Santa Anna's saddle was in the upstairs hall, the San Jacinto sword hung over the mantle, and trunks of documents sat unattended in the barn for nearly forty years.

Maggie and Wes were my great-grandparents. My grandmother, Madge Williams Hearne was born and raised in this home along with her brothers, Houston, Franklin, and Royston, and her sister Marian. Around the turn of the century the home was sold and clean-up was begun for the new owners. Many papers went into the trash barrel to be burned. Franklin Williams and Madge Williams Hearne rescued as many of the Houston documents as they could.

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