m. bef. 1819
Facts and Events
Margaret Lea Houston (April 11, 1819 – December 3, 1867) was the third wife of politician Sam Houston of Texas. They married in 1840 when she was 21, during his term as a representative in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. When he was elected to a second term as the President of the Republic of Texas, in 1841 Margaret became the First Lady of the Republic of Texas.
Disliking politics, for thirteen years Margaret remained in Texas while Sam Houston was in Washington, D.C. serving in the United States Senate. After Texas was annexed by the United States, Houston was elected governor in 1858. Margaret became First Lady of the state of Texas. Margaret became a near recluse when Houston was governor. She was pregnant and was fearful due to the hostile political climate at the time. Sam and Margaret had a total of eight children and were together until his death in 1863.
Margaret came from a strong, close-knit family in Alabama. The Lea family, some of whom had preceded Margaret in moving to Texas, provided a family nucleus that had not been a part of Sam Houston's life since his years among the Cherokees. Her mother Nancy Lea was a constant in their lives, alternately providing the Houstons with temporary housing, or moving in with Margaret and Sam to manage their household. It was Nancy's foundation as much as Margaret's that converted Sam to the Baptist faith, twenty-one years after he had been baptized a Catholic in Nacogdoches. Margaret and Nancy are buried together.