Age of Jackson
Jackson TN to TX 01 David Crockett Jackson TN to TX 02 Sam Houston Jackson TN to TX 03 Battle of the Alamo Jackson TN to TX 04 Santa Anna Jackson TN to TX 05 James K Polk Jackson TN to TX 06 Republic of TX Jackson TN to TX07 Crockett correct likeness

Tennesseans to Texas

During the early 1800s, Tennessee and Texas had many key ties. Some of the most important early Texas leaders and legendary figures moved there from Tennessee. 

Sam Houston was a prominent Tennessee Democratic politician. He was one of Andrew Jackson’s political allies. Houston was elected governor of Tennessee in 1827. 

In 1829, he married a much younger woman named Eliza Allen. She was a member of a wealthy and powerful Middle Tennessee family. Eliza left Sam Houston after only a few months of marriage. This created a great scandal. Houston quickly resigned his office and fled the state, eventually settling in Texas.

Famous Tennessee frontiersman and former U.S. Representative David Crockett also decided to move to Texas after experiencing a loss.

When Crockett was defeated for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, he declared that he was moving to Texas. He was there searching for a new home for his family when he became caught up in the Texas Revolution.

During the Texas Revolutionary War, both Houston and Crockett fought for the Texans’ cause. One of the most famous events of this conflict was the battle at the Alamo. One of the Texas fighters defending the Alamo was David Crockett. He died as a result of this battle.

Read more about David Crockett. 

Houston helped lead the new republic’s fight against the Mexican army. At the Battle of San Jacinto, Houston’s men defeated the Mexican troops and captured General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. When the war ended, Houston was chosen as the first president of the Republic of Texas. 

Read more about Sam Houston. 

One of the biggest issues during the presidential campaign of 1844 was Texas joining the United States. Tennessean Democrat James K. Polk’s main competitor for the presidency was Whig Henry Clay. Polk strongly favored annexing Texas while Clay did not. This helped Polk win the election. 

Polk also proved willing to fight against Mexico in part to defend Texas’s claim that its boundary extended to the Rio Grande River. The Mexico refused to accept this, and in 1846 the two nations went to war.

Read selections from the diary of a Tennessean who served in the Republic of Texas army.

Picture Credits:
  • Portrait of David Crockett. This painting was made by Lorine Goodwin in 1911. It is based upon an earlier painting created in the 1820s by an unknown artist. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 76.31.
  • Portrait of Sam Houston. This painting was made by Washington B. Cooper sometime before 1880. Tennessee State Museum Collection, OA2006.44.2.
  • Print entitled, “Battle of the Alamo.” This print was made by Percy Moran in 1912 and depicts the famous 1836 battle that took place during the Texas Revolution. Library of Congress.
  • Painting entitled, “Surrender of Santa Ana.” This painting was created by Henry Huddle on April 22, 1836. It shows the defeated Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna standing before a wounded Texas General Sam Houston, who is shown sitting in front of an oak tree after the battle of San Jacinito. Texas State Preservation Board.
  • Portrait of James K. Polk. This painting was made by George P. A. Healy in 1858. White House Historical Association.
  • Map entitled, “The Republic of Texas.” This map shows the boundaries of the Republic of Texas from 1836 – 1845 in yellow and green. Wikipedia.
  • A print of David Crockett done by S.S. Osgood.  Reportedly Crockett signed the print "I am happy to acknowledge this to be the only correct likeness that has been taken of me." signed David Crockett.  Courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives

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