Sam Houston Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

In this lesson you will learn many important facts about Sam Houston. You will discover places he lived, worked, and fought. Read on to uncover interesting details about one of our nation's great heroes.

Who was Samuel Houston?

Samuel Houston was a brilliant man who was successful on the battlefield and in politics. He is also the only person to serve as governor of two different states.

The Raven, Sam Houston
Sam Houston


Samuel Houston was born on March 2, 1793, in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. His parents were Major Sam Houston and Elizabeth Paxton Houston. He was the fifth of his parents' nine children. When Houston was just 14 years old, his father died and his mother took her nine children to live on a farm in Tennessee. Houston did not enjoy the farm life, however, and he left to go live with the Cherokee Indians, who called him 'Raven'.


After about three years, Houston returned home and opened a successful private school but gave this up to enlist in the army, where he quickly was promoted to first lieutenant.

Houston gained the country's notice when he fought in the War of 1812 against the British and became an American hero during the battle of Horseshoe Bend. During the battle, Houston was hit in the thigh by an arrow and then shot twice by bullets. Despite his injuries, he continued to fight and was praised for being brave and strong. Before Andrew Jackson became the nation's seventh president, he noticed the brave Sam Houston. The two men became friends and worked in politics together.

This Sam Houston memorial is in Huntsville, Texas and stands over 65 feet tall.
Sam Houston

After the war, Houston moved to Lebanon, Tennessee and became a successful lawyer.


In 1823, Houston was elected to the Tennessee state government, where he served for two terms. Then, four years later, he was elected as the state's governor. A governor is a person who is the leader of the government of a state. During that time, he married his first wife, Eliza Allen, but they separated after only a brief time together.

Surprisingly, after serving fewer than two years, Houston stepped down as governor of Tennessee. He returned to live with the Cherokees and often traveled to Washington, D.C., to handle business for them. Houston also met and married his second wife, Tiana. This was another short marriage.

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