Friday, January 27, 2012
Sam Houston’s Political Turmoil in 1834 Pt 2
J. Mark Lowe
We are beginning the election cycle for the 2012 Presidential Race. Looking back at history makes us realize that life in the political fishbowl has been tough at best. We join this series of article discussing the separation of former Governor Sam Houston and his wife, Eliza Allen.
Committee members: General William Hall; William L. Alexander, Esq; General Eastin Morris; Colonel Joseph C. Guild; Elijah Boddie, Esq.; Colonel Daniel Montgomery; Thomas Anderson, Esq.; Captain Alfred H. Douglass; Isaac Baker, Esq.; Mr. Robert M. Boyers; Major Charles Watkins; Joseph W. Baldridge, Esq.; George Crockett, Chairman.; Thos. Anderson, Secretary.
The committee have had placed in their hands, a letter from Governor Houston to Mr. Allen, written shortly after the separation, a copy of which they subjoin without comment
Mr. Allen, The most unpleasant and unhappy circumstance has just taken place in the family, and one that was entirely unnecessary at this time. Whatever had been my feelings or opinions in relation to Eliza at one time, I have been satisfied, and it is now ‘unfit’ that any thing should be adverted to.
Eliza will do me the justice to say that she believes I was really unhappy. That I was satisfied and believed her virtuous, I had assured her on last night and this morning. This however should have prevented the facts ever coming to your knowledge and that of Mrs. Allen. I would not for millions that it had ever been known to you. But one human being knew any thing of it from me, and that was by Eliza’s consent and wish. I would have perished first; and if mortal man had dared to charge my wife or say aught against her virtue, I would have slain him. That I have and do love Eliza none can doubt, that I have ever treated her with affection, she will admit – that she is the only early object dear to me, God will bear witness.
The only way this matter can now be overcome will be for us all to meet as though it had never occured, and this will keep the world, as it should ever be, ignorant that such thoughts ever were.
Eliza stands acquitted by me – I have received her as a virtuous and chaste wife, and as such I pray God I may ever regard her, and trust I ever shall.
She was cold to me; and I thought did not love me; she owns that such was one cause of my unhappiness. You can judge how unhappy I was to think that I was united to a woman who did not love me. That time is now past, and my future happiness can only exist in the assurance that Eliza and myself can be happy, and that Mrs. Allen and you will forget the past, forgive all, and find your lost peace – and you may rest assured that nothing on my past shall be wanting to restore it. Let me know what is to be done,
Your most obedient (9th April, 1829) Sam. Houston.
The report was unanimously accepted, and it was...
Resolved, That the editors of the Gallatin Journal, Nashville Republican, National Banner, and all other editors who feel any interest for the character of an injured female, be requested to give the foregoing report and proceedings an insertion in their respective papers.
And the meeting adjourned. Geo. Crockett, Chairman; Thos. Anderson, Secretary.
Let’s look at some other related correspondence.
Letter from Willoughby Williams titled - Refutation of wanton slander.
Nashville, April 22, 1878. To Col. Samuel D. Morgan, Hon. J. C. Guild, Gen. Samuel R. Anderson and Maj. John L. Brown—Dear Sirs: Referring to the recent communication in the American, over my signature, addressed to Hon. Jo. C. Guild, touching certain events in the life of Gen. Sam. Houston, I related, among other incidents, his marriage to Miss Allen, of Sumner county, and his separation from that lady. I was handed to-day a copy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, of a recent date, containing a biographical sketch of Gen. Sam. Houston, extracted from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and written by a Mr. Asa Jarman, of Houston, Texas. Mr. Jarman makes mention of having seen Houston, when a youth, at Nashville, in the company of Indians; that he was very expert in the use of the bow and arrow, and afforded amusement to the citizens here by shooting six pences from the end of a pole placed there to test his skill. In all this Mr. Jarman is wholly mistaken, for Houston never visited Nashville until after the close of the war with Great Britain, a fact well known by all of his friends in this country familiar with his early career. Mr. Jarman further says that Gen. Houston married "Miss Lucy Dickerson, the belle of Nashville;" that Gen. Houston, enraged with jealousy of a Mr. Nickerson, caused an abrupt separation, charging his wife with infidelity to him. I have addressed my letter to you for the reason that you have known Gen. Houston personally well from his youth to the time he became a voluntary exile from Tennessee, Col. Morgan's friendship with him dating back to 1810. You are all familiar with this remarkable man's career from youth to the grave. Above all, you are familiar with the sad story of this separation from his wife. You all know that he married Miss Allen, of Sumner, a most estimable lady, whose name has ever been without reproach in the land that gave her birth. You know that after her separation from Gen. Houston, she married a gentleman of the highest repute, Dr. Douglas, of Sumner county. I call upon you, then, to remove any false impressions this letter of Mr. Jarman may have made upon the public mind. I hand you herewith enclosed the article alluded to in the Cincinnati Enquirer and copied from the Globe-Democrat, of St. Louis. Respectfully yours, Willoughby Williams.
Sources: Nashville National Banner, 7 June 1834; Old Times in Tennessee (Guild)
Posted by J. Mark Lowe at 6:17 AM