Houston, Samuel (1793-1863), an American soldier and politician, was born in Virginia, but removed to Tennessee at an early age, and was on familiar terms with the Cherokee Indians, among whom he lived for three years. From 1813-15 he served in the United States army, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He then studied law, and in 1823 represented Tennessee in Congress, and became governor of the State in 1827. In 1830 he joined the Cherokee Indians, and took their part at Washington against the agents who cheated them.
In 1832 he went to Texas, and during the war of independence he was commander of the Texas forces, and defeated Santa Anna's army. He was the first president of the new Texan republic, and when it became a state in 1845 he represented it in the Senate. He was made governor of Texas in 1859, but retired in 1861 upon the question of secession.