Sam Houston

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Fellow citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath.

Samuel "Sam" Houston (2 March 179326 July 1863) was an American politician and soldier, best known for his role in bringing Texas into the United States as a constituent state. His victory at the Battle of San Jacinto secured the independence of Texas from Mexico. The only American to be elected governor of two different States (as opposed to territories or indirect appointments), he was also the only Southern governor to oppose secession (which led to the outbreak of the American Civil War) and to refuse an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, a decision that led to his removal from office by the Texas secession convention.

Quotes[edit]

Texas is lost.
Our people are going to war to perpetuate slavery, but the war will be its death knell.
  • Texas will again lift its 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.

1860s[edit]

  • Whatever is calculated to weaken or impair the strength of Union, whether originating at the North or the South, whether arising from the incendiary violence of abolitionists, or from the coalition of nullifiers, will never meet with my unqualified approval.
    • As quoted in Sam Houston (2004), by James Haley, University of Oklahoma Press
  • Fellow citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas....I protest....against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void
    • As quoted in Sam Houston (2004), by James Haley, University of Oklahoma Press, pp. 390–91
  • Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South.
    • As quoted in Sam Houston (2004), by James Haley, University of Oklahoma Press, p. 397

Speech in Austin (1860)[edit]

Speech in Austin (1860).
  • Deprived of the protection of the Union, of the aegis of the Constitution, they would soon dwindle into petty States, to be again rent in twain by dissensions or through the ambition of selfish chieftains, and would become a prey to foreign powers. They gravely talk of holding treaties with Great Britain and other foreign powers, and the great advantages which would arise to the South from separation are discussed. Treaties with Great Britain! Alliance with foreign powers! Have these men forgotten history? Look at Spanish America! Look at the condition of every petty State, which by alliance with Great Britain is subject to continual aggression!
  • When rent in twain, British Abolition, which in fanaticism and sacrificial spirit, far exceeds that of the North (for it has been willing to pay for its fanaticism, a thing the North never will do), will have none of the impediments in its path, now to be found. England will no longer fear the power of the mighty nation which twice has humbled her, and whose giant arm would, so long as we are united, be stretched forth to protect the weakest State, or the most obscure citizen. The State that secedes, when pressed by insidious arts of abolition emissaries, supported by foreign powers, when cursed by internal disorders and insurrections, can lay no claim to that national flag, which when now unfurled, ensures the respect of all nations and strikes terror to the hearts of those who would invade our rights.
  • But if, through division in the ranks of those opposed to Mr. Lincoln, he should be elected, we have no excuse for dissolving the Union. The Union is worth more than Mr. Lincoln, and if the battle is to be fought for the Constitution, let us fight it in the Union and for the sake of the Union. With a majority of the people in favor of the Constitution, shall we desert the Government and leave it in the hands of the minority? A new obligation will be imposed upon us, to guard the Constitution and to see that no infraction of it is attempted or permitted. If Mr. Lincoln administers the Government in accordance with the Constitution, our rights must be respected. If he does not, the Constitution has provided a remedy.
  • No tyrant or usurper can ever invade our rights so long as we are united. Let Mr. Lincoln attempt it, and his party will scatter like chaff before the storm of popular indignation which will burst forth from one end of the country to the other. Secession or revolution will not be justified until legal and constitutional means of redress have been tried, and I can not believe that the time will ever come when these will prove inadequate.​

External links[edit]

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