Sam Houston (First Term)

At his inauguration, Sam Houston turned away from war and started building a new Texas.

Houston first wanted to rid the country of the troublesome presence of Santa Anna, who was being held as a prisoner of war. In secret session, Houston convinced the Texas Senate to allow the Mexican general to depart for the United States to announce his support for Texas independence. Santa Anna left Texas in November 1836.

The most important issue for Houston was the annexation of Texas by the United States. Texas was bankrupt and weak. Houston also knew the Republic could not survive another attack from Mexico. Internationally, Texas was still seen as a rebelling Mexican province. If the United States moved to annex Texas, the step would cause an international uproar In addition, the northern states were opposed to adding another slave state. Houston did gain official recognition by the United States for Texas as an independent nation.

Houston sent representatives to England, where they negotiated a trade agreement. This was an important step in building an economy for the poor Republic.

Houston continued his efforts to keep the peace between Indians and whites. He was unable to win much support for his Indian policy. The Texas Senate refused to ratify the peace treaty he negotiated with the Cherokees in 1836.

The Texan army was out of control. Officers and men were stealing horses and killing cattle to feed hungry troops. Military officers were pushing to invade Mexico. Houston decided that the army was too much trouble and expensive, so he retired the entire army except for 600 men. The decision was unpopular. There were threats against Houston’s life.

In 1838, a crisis exploded at Nacogdoches, which had a large population of Mexican descent, many of whom resented the takeover by Anglo Americans. A local Hispanic leader, Vicente Córdova, formed an alliance between local rebels, agents of the Mexican government, and Cherokee Indians living nearby. They formed a combined force of about 400 men. Houston traveled to Nacogdoches to calm the situation. The Córdova Rebellion was easily stopped by Texas troops.

Source: Sam Houston (First Term)
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