On this day in 1836, Sam Houston was elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas. Like almost all of the presidents of the US we have looked at so far, Houston was born into the planter class of Virginia- his father, Major Samuel Houston, owned a plantation. The Major's grandfather "Gentleman John" Houston came from Ireland (Scots-Irish) and allegedly became the largest landholder in Virginia at a time, as well as contributing greatly to the founding of the schools and churches of the area. The Gentleman's father was born at Castle Stuart in Scotland (pictured below). The Houstons were the Lords and Ladies of Houston in Scotland dating back to Sir John Padraig "Patrick of that ilk" Houston in 1400 at least.
But the family migrated to Craig's Castle in Ireland at some point. The below is the castle rebuilt on the original site as it was listed for sale in 2015. The castle was set up like a house without large ballrooms etc.
We were unable to find any photos of the Houston plantations in Virginia. It is likely as with many plantations that they burned down. However we do, of course, have Sam Houston's house in Texas to look at. The house is located on the Sam Houston State University campus in Huntsville. The house dates back to the early half of the 19th century and is called Woodland.
The house is a "dogtrot" style which was common in the Old South. It was designed with a center breezeway in the floor plan to cool the house. Definitely something we need in the south! In the center of the breezeway is a winding staircase to the second floor. The house has a kitchen outbuilding and an additional cabin which Sam used as his office. Below is the second floor bedroom/loft.
Next are a living area and dining area in the house.
The shiplap walls and ceiling are whitewashed and ready for a modern farmhouse Chip & Jo style.
To finish off, we will show the "Mrs. Sam Houston House" where his widow lived in Independence, TX until she died. The house is privately owned still so we can only see the exterior, but it is a beautiful white house.
We loved looking at the history of the Houstons' houses as we are 8th/9th generation East Texans ourselves!