Sam Houston
Quotes


Education

"I would not be gotten into a schoolhouse until I was eight years old. Nor did I accomplish much after I started. I doubt if I had gone to school six months in all when my father died. I was fourteen at the time."

"It is a matter of great satisfaction to me to hope that my children will be in circumstances to receive a good education. Mine was defective and I feel the inconvenience, if not the misfortune of not receiving a classical education. Knowledge is the food of genius, and my son, let no opportunity escape you to treasure up knowledge."


Females

"Remember that whatever may be said by a lady or her friends, it is not part of conduct of a gallant or generous man to take up arms against a woman."


Indians

"I preferred measuring deer tracks, to tape-that I liked the wild liberty of the Red men better then the tyranny of my brothers".

"I am aware that in presenting myself as the advocate of the Indians and their rights, I shall stand very much alone".


Before the battle of San Jacinto

"We view ourselves on the eve of battle. We are nerved for the contest, and must conquer or perish. It is vain to look for present aid: none is at hand. We must now act or abandon all hope! Rally to the standard, and be no longer the scoff of mercenary tongues! Be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father's name."


Texas

"Texas will again lift it's head and stand among the nations. it ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages"

"All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, But Texas was absolutely overrun by such men."

"Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."


Annexation

"Now my venerated friend, you will perceive that Texas is presented to the union as a bride adorned for her espousal. But, if, now so confident of the union, she should be rejected, her mortification would be indescribable. She has sought the United States, and this is the third time she has consented. Were she now to be spurned it would forever terminate expectation on her part, and it would then not only be left for the United States to expect that she would seek some other friend, but all Christendom would justify her course dictated by necessity and sanctioned by wisdom."


Union

"I would lay down my life to defend any one of the States from aggression, which endangered peace or threatened its institutions. I could do more for the union, but I wish to do more; for the destruction of the union would be the destruction of all the States. A stab in the heart is worse then a cut in a limb, for this may be healed."

"This feeling has been impressed my heart by the instruction and example of the great man( Andrew Jackson) whom when I was a boy, I followed as a soldier".

"I beseech those whose piety will permit them reverently to petition, that they will pray for this union, and ask that He who buildeth up and pulleth down nations will, the mercy preserve and unite us. For a Nation divided against itself cannot stand. I wish, if this Union must be dissolved, that it's ruins may be the monument of my grave, and the graves of my family. I wish no epitaph to be written to tell that I survive the ruin of this glorious Union."


Political Philosophy

"I have ever been opposed to banks,--opposed to internal improvements by the general government,--opposed to distribution of public lands among the states,--opposed to taking the power from the hands of the people, --opposed to special monopolies,-- opposed to a protective tariff,--opposed to a latitudinal construction of the constitution, -- opposed to slavery agitation and disunion. This is my democracy. Point to a single act of my public career not in keeping with these principles."


Andrew Jackson

"Whether his policy was right or wrong, he built up the glory of the nation".

When Houston arrived at the Hermitage just hours after Jackson's death he took his son Sam Houston Jr. into Jackson's room and said" Always remember my son that you looked upon the face of Andrew Jackson."


Civil War

"To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country-the young men."

"In the name of the constitution of Texas, which has been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. I love Texas too well to bring civil strife and bloodshed upon her."

"I declare that civil war is inevitable and is near at hand. When it comes the descendants of the heros of Lexington and Bunker Hill will be found equal in patriotism, courage and heroic endurance with the descendants of the heroes of Cowpens and Yorktown. For this reason I predict the civil war which is now at hand will be stubborn and of long duration."


Humor

When Houston was challenged to a duel by David Burrnett who was Five foot One, Houston, who was well over six feet, said that" he did not fight downhill."

"Texas, to be respected must be polite. Santa Anna living, can be of incalculable benefit to Texas; Santa Anna dead, would just be another dead Mexican."

A Senator who, in criticizing Sam Houston on the Senate floor repeatedly spoke of Georgia, in a domineering way as "My State, My State" Houston drawled, "Well, sir, that may be all right. Georgie may have only one man in it for all I know. I haven't been there for two years."

Accusing a Senator of branding a man by the use of an innuendo, Houston gave an illustration:
"A manufacture of bologna sausage accused a man whom he had discharged of spreading a report that the manufacturer's sausage was made of dog meat."
"The accused man protested: I never said any such thing, but I will tell you what I did say. I said that where bologna sausages are plentiful, dogs are scarce".

The United States bought what is now New Mexico for ten million dollars. Sam Houston who helped negotiate the sale said" It was the best sale ever made of poor land and a disputed title".


Sam Houston was called a party onto himself

Houston answered "From that I rather derive some consolation because I know that I could not be in better company, and no differences can arise between myself and myself."

In Nacogdoches a man approached Margaret and in a loud voice asked if she had not been in Shelby County. Margaret replied that she had not. The man then told her she should go, for the general had a number of children over there-children, that is who were named for him. Houston admonished the jokester to try to keep his statements in better order thereafter.