THE CHEROKEES| JACKSON| CALHOUN |
Eliza Allen, Sam Houston's first wife, was born to Laetitia and Colonel
John Allen, a wealthy Sumner county couple who believed that Houston
was an acceptable match for their daughter. After Houston and Eliza's
eleven-week marriage soured in 1829, Eliza went into seclusion
and Houston left Nashville to live with the Cherokees in Arkansas.
The couple never saw each other again.
Four years later, Eliza's mother died while giving birth to her
tenth child, and the following year, her father died after being
kicked in the abdomen by a horse. Eliza was left to care for her
Houston and Eliza were officially divorced in 1837, a year after
Houston became the president of the Republic of Texas. In 1840, Eliza
married Dr. Elmore Douglass of Gallatin, a widower with ten children.
She and Dr. Douglass added four more children to their family; only
two of the four survived to adulthood, but died before age 35, having
no families of their own.
On March 3, 1861, Eliza died of stomach cancer at age 51. She had
no descendants and tradition holds that before her death she requested
that all images of her be destroyed and her that personal papers
and letters be burned. She was buried in an unmarked grave in the
Gallatin cemetery, although a marker was placed on the grave a century
Elizabeth Crook, The Raven's Bride (New York: Doubleday, 1991).
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