we got up tuesday morning and did eat breakfast at a whataburger. i was able to try the honey-butter chicken biscuit, which is pretty good. while there, we learned two inmates had escaped the day before, killed one guard by hitting her and her horse with a pickup, and been loose for about 4 hours. interesting way to be introduced to a town.
from whataburger we drove over to the cemetery where sam houston is buried. his current tombstone is pretty big, but his burial back in the day wasn’t very well attended and his original tombstone was rather ordinary. in fact, he didn’t enjoy much popularity in the last days of his life. he was buried in a pretty simple casket that was built by some union prisoners of war he had befriended. but he did some amazing things for the country and state of Texas.
from there we headed over to the sam houston memorial museum. we started off watching a 20 minute movie in the building with the gift shop, walked the trail looking at his various houses and such, then went to main museum building.
to tell just one thing: houston was unpopular late in life due to his lack of desire for Texas to secede from the u.s. because of this, he refused to take an oath of allegience to the confederacy, so he was removed from his office as governor of Texas. when he moved back to huntsville, he didn’t have a lot of money or clout. (and supposedly no one wanted to rent or sell him a house.) a guy had built a house for his son and daughter-in-law, but they wouldn’t live in it because of its odd design…evidently people made fun of it. it’s called the steamboat house, and it looks like…well, a steamboat (without a big paddle). it’d been sitting there vacant for a few years, so that’s where sam houston spent the very end of his life. they have the steamboat house on their grounds.
overall, the museum has a pretty cool setup. sam houston was a very interesting character, so there’s plenty of stories to tell about him. they have some cool stuff that belonged to houston, including a few things he wore in pictures and paintings of him.
after we were done at the main museum, we headed back to the gift shop. i didn’t manage to not buy anything this time around. i bought two books:
- sam houston – james l. haley (university of oklahoma press)
- the Texas revolution – william c. binkley (Texas state historical association)
i also picked up a few old documents reproduced on antiqued parchment, created by the historical documents company. i’d seen some of these around and had been meaning to get some, just never had done it. here they are:
- * Texas decleration of independence (1836)
- * freemen of Texas to arms!!! to arms!!!
- * proclamation of sam houston (1834)
- * col. william travis letter of february 24, 1836
after leaving the museum we drove up the street a little and stopped at a wendy’s to make plans. my parents decided they should probably go ahead and start heading back toward austin and brady. so we parted ways, and i headed back to houston.