m. bef. 1819
Facts and Events
Margaret Lea Houston (April 11, 1819 – December 3, 1867) was married to Sam Houston in 1840; she was his third wife, marrying him during his term as a representative in the Texas Legislature. She became the First Lady of the Republic of Texas in 1841 during his second term as the President of the Republic of Texas. For thirteen years, Margaret remained in Texas while Sam was in Washington, D.C. serving in the United States Senate. She was First Lady of the state of Texas in 1859 when he was elected Governor of Texas after it had been annexed by the United States. In spite of her brother Henry Lea serving as a state Senator in Alabama, Margaret was reluctant to play the part of a political wife. She did so only sporadically. As the Governor's wife, she became a recluse in the unguarded Texas Governor's Mansion, partly because of her pregnancy and partly out of fears generated by a hostile political climate. Sam and Margaret had eight children together and were married 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.