Star of Destiny: The Private Life of Sam and Margaret Houston is now available as a free e-book at the UNT Digital Library and The Portal to Texas History.
"In this story of a marriage, Roberts weaves the pieces of her great-grandmother’s life into a tapestry that is intricate in detail and rich in color . . . Unlike other biographies of the first governor of Texas and his wife, this is not Sam’s but Margaret Lea’s story, . . . [which contains] stories of love and praise for a woman whose life has until now been hidden from the public gaze."—Western American Literature
As the great-great-granddaughter of Sam Houston and Margaret Lea, Madge Thornall Roberts played in her great-grandparents' home in Independence, Texas, which had Santa Anna's saddle in the upstairs hall, the San Jacinto sword over the mantle, and where she kept her doll's clothes in an old chest of Margaret Lea's. Trunks of documents sat unattended in the barn. Some of those papers later were burned, and what remained were divided among descendants. Madge Roberts has gathered these documents together again and, along with other Houston letters and interviews, woven them into the story of the Houstons' marriage.
Much is known about Sam Houston's political and military career, but the influence of his wife and children on his life has been overlooked. The letters are astonishing in their emotional honesty, revealing a deep interdependency as well as a close and loving marital partnership.