November 1, 2019

A Noteable Nashvillian: Sam Houston

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the 4th largest city in the United States, behind only New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But did you know that Houston was named for a man who lived and worked in Nashville?

Sam Houston (1793 – 1863) had an amazing life. During his childhood years in East Tennessee, he was a big kid who sometimes ran away from home to live with a nearby band of Cherokee Indians. He joined the army in in 1813, where he served under a future United States president: Andrew Jackson. When Sam quit the army, he moved to Nashville to study law. Soon, he became the attourney general for Davidson County. With Andrew Jackson’s help, Houston was then elected to the United States House of Representatives. Next, he became governor of Tennessee.

Sam Houston’s life took many twists and turns, and he eventually moved to Texas before it became a state. After Texas became a state, he first became a congressman, and then he was elected to the United States Senate. After he served in the Senate, he became governor of Texas. With all these politcal victories, it’s no surprise that Sam becacme the most famous Texan of his day. So, it’s no wonder that when two real estate developers decided to build a new city near the Gulf of Mexico, they named it after the one and only Sam Houston, a man who once called Nashville his home town.

More About Sam Houston

It’s a Fact: Sam Houston was born near Lexington, Virginia and was raised with five brothers and three sisters.

It’s a Fact: As a young man, Sam sometimes chose to live with a band of Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee leader a man named Oo-Loo-Te-Ka, was like a father to Sam. He even taught Sam how to speak the Cherokee language.

It’s a Fact: Sam Houston held many political offices. He was a congressman from Tennessee, the Governor of Tennessee, the president of the Republic of Texas (before it became a state), a congressman from Texas, a United states senator from Texas, and the governor of Texas. Whew!

;t’s a Fact: In addition to the city that bears his name, many other places are named for Sam Houston. Here’s a partial list: Sam Houston State University; Houston County, Minnesota; Houston County, Tennessee; Sam Houston National Forest; Fort Sam Houston; and the USS Sam Houston (a nuclear submarine).

It’s a Fact: Sam campaigned to become president of the United Sates (just like his mentor, Andrew Jackson), but Houston’s campaign never gained national popularity. The Civil War was well under way when he died in 1863.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman: An American Hero

In 1820, Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. When she was 19, she used something called “the Underground Railroad” to escape to Pennsylvania, a state where slavery was illegal. Actually, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad at all. It was a string of hiding places where escaping slaves could stay as they moved north to states where slavery was outlawed.

After she had gained her freedom in Pennsylvania, Harriet Tubman wasn’t satisfied to stand by and do nothing while other people suffered. So she became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, thus helping others gain their freedom, too. No wonder she earned her place in the history books!

Bright Ideas

A Few Quotes by Harriet Tubman

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

“If you want to taste freedom, keep going.”

“Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

“I am at peace with God and all mankind.”

More Fun Facts
Fun Fact: Our sun is part of a huge collection of stars called the Milky Way Galaxy. A beam of light takes over 100,000 years to travel from one side of the Milky Way to the other.

Fun FactBetsy Ross sewed the first American flag (while she was in Philadelphia).

Fun Fact: The U. S. president during the Civil War was Abraham Lincoln.

Fun Fact: The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776. That’s why July 4th is an official American holiday.

Fun Fact: In The Mystery of the Disappearing Dogs, the Ryder family takes their train to California. To get there, the train must go over the Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountain range is located in the western United States and in Canada.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
Was Sam Houston the governor to Tennessee, or Texas, or both?

Both. First, he was the governor of Tennessee. Later, he became the governor of Texas.

Was Harriet Tubman a conductor on the Underground Railroad or the Underground Freeway?

The Underground Railroad, which wasn’t really a railroad at all. I was s string of safe houses used to hide slaves as they made their journey north to freedom.

Who was President of the United States during the Civil War? Was it Sam Houston or Abraham Lincoln?

During the civil War, the President of the United States was Abraham Lincoln.

What did Betsy Ross do?
She sewed the first American flag.
Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a riddle for you:
What kind of food do the ducks at Centennial Park like best?

Ritz quackers.

Go to the Mystery Ryders Web Site

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