Volume III of Sam Houston’s personal correspondence continues the projected four-volume series of previously unpublished personal letters to and from Sam Houston. This volume begins in the fall of 1848 as Houston returns to Washington for the Second Session of the Thirtieth Congress after the close of the Mexican War. His first focus was on settling the Texas boundary and other problems relating to the welfare of his state. Once these were solved he seriously considered resigning his senate seat. However, he sensed the coming Civil War and seemed to feel that he should do all in his power to prevent it.
Houston’s letters reflect the political activities as he struggled to maintain a strong Union stand against the radicals who favored secession. Intriguing new information comes to light on the plot to distract Houston, and perhaps get him out of the Senate, with an attack on Margaret’s character through their ward Virginia Thorne, resulting in Margaret’s indictment in 1850 on charges of assault and battery. His letters concerning the presidential election of 1852 are particularly interesting, as they are filled with colorful observations of the Washington social scene, as well as his thoughts concerning his own possible candidacy.
"This is a first-class research tool for those working in nineteenth-century Texas history."—Journal of American History
"The letters . . . reflect on the character of the man whose leadership made an independent Texas possible . . . Houston was a prolific correspondent, and the letters are a pleasure to read."—Amarillo Sunday News-Globe
"In addition to providing a better picture of a man whose life has been the subject of much controversy, the collection offers a revealing look at the customs of the time and at a marriage that was passionate and affectionate."—Judyth Rigler, Lone Star Library
"When completed, the series will be a major addition to the Texas bibliography and an invaluable research tool for years to come. It is a must acquisition for any library with a Texas collection."—Mike Cox, Austin American-Statesman
"The collection describes an affectionate marriage, geographic places, individuals, health matters, and events. In his letters he denounced military combat, sought to avoid liquor and swearing, and tried to become a better Christian . . . [S]ocial history, not political history, is the center of this collection."—Choice
"In collecting and editing these letters, Roberts has made an invaluable contribution to Texas history by unveiling the very ‘personal’ Houston which to a great degree was concealed by his public persona."—Roundup Magazine