I watched a movie about Sam Houston starring Sam Elliott. A couple things were obvious. The real Sam Houston looks nothing like Sam Elliott and I’m not sure Elliott’s movie ‘stache is real. This movie underplayed Houston’s drinking and womanizing. Houston’s first marriage ended, according to the raw history, due to his drinking and infidelity. The movie says that the woman was in love with another man and never loved Houston. According to the version I watched, the marriage was never consummated and Houston released his wife, resigned his office in Tennessee and went to Texas a broken man.
Houston rebounded to become a major political force. His leadership defeated Santa Anna the Mexican “Napoleon of the West” and secured an independent Texas. Sam Houston was a war hero. He was twice elected president of the republic of Texas, served as United States Senator when Texas became a state and then voted in as governor twice. He refused to sign documents about allowing slavery in non-slave states. His integrity and concern for freedom caused his removal as governor. He remarried and was revered in Texas.
My attention was drifting at the end of the movie when the voice-over summed up Houston’s life after the battle at San Jacinto. The last phrase—that I heard—was that Houston died considering his life a failure.
Wait a minute. Back up the track. A failure? What did he want to accomplish that would have validated his life? And you? I have a header at the top of each page of my journal:
“A well designed life lived intentionally.”
©2014 D. Dean Benton
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