THE RAVEN | TEACHER |
SOLDIER | INDIAN
CONGRESSMAN | GOVERNOR | BIG
One of Houston's most rewarding roles.
Houston spent much of his adolescence living with the Indians, learning
many skills as well as incurring debts at the local trading posts.
During visits to Maryville, he would purchase presents for the Indians,
including powder, shot, needles, and blankets. In order to repay
his debts, Houston decided to leave his beloved Cherokee life and
return to Maryville to work.
With very little formal education, Houston set his sights on becoming
a teacher. Houston hardly looked the part with his long hair and
hunting shirts, and most of the locals scoffed at his idea, but Houston
opened his school in the spring of 1812. He charged tuition of $8
per term, payable one-third in cash, one-third in corn, and one-third
in varicolored calico, the material of his shirts.
His school was a success. In fact, he earned enough money in one
six-month term to repay his debts. Years later, when discussing his
role as a teacher, Houston remarked that he "experienced
a higher feeling of dignity and self-satisfaction than from any office
honor which I have held since."
Randolph B. Campbell, Sam Houston and the American Southwest, ed.
Oscar Handlin (New York: Harper Collins, 1993).
The Sam Houston Memorial Museum, accessed June, 2003.
The Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June, 2003.
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