At age 16, Sam Houston ran off to live with Cherokee Indians on the Tennessee River in 1809. His great, great-grandfather, Sir John Houston, had an estate in Scotland. His great-

grandfather, also named John Houston, emigrated from Scotland to Pennsylvania in 1735, then to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where he and other Scots-Irish settlers founded the Timber

Ridge Presbyterian Church. Sam Houston’s father fought in the American Revolution as a major in Morgan’s Rifle Brigade. He died moving his family to Tennessee in 1807.

Tennessee was recently admitted into the United States in 1796, during President George Washington’s administration. Tennessee’s 1796 Constitution stated:

“Article VIII, Section II: No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”

Running off to live with the Cherokee, 16-year-old Sam Houston was adopted by Chief Oolooteka and given the name “Raven.”

Three years later, Sam Houston returned to Knox County, Tennessee, and opened a one-room schoolhouse – the first school built in the State.

He joined the army and fought in the War of 1812.

“Red Stick” Creek Indians were supplied with arms from the British. They massacred over 500 men, women and children at Fort Mims, Alabama.

General Andrew Jackson was sent south in response.

Sam Houston fought under General Jackson against the Red Stick Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814.

An arrow struck Sam Houston near his upper thigh. He had the arrow removed, was bandaged, then returned to the fight.

He was struck again with bullets in his shoulder and arm.

General Andrew Jackson took notice of Sam Houston and began mentoring him.

In 1818, Sam Houston, wearing Indian dress, led a delegation of Cherokee to Washington, D.C., to meet with President James Monroe.

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