Sam Houston’s Last Wishes
Text of Sam Houston’s Will
In the name of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I, Sam Houston of the county of Walker and State of Texas, being fully aware of the uncertainty of life and certainty of death, do ordain and declare this my last Will and Testament.
First: I will that all my just debts be paid out of my personal effects, as I think them sufficient, without disposing of any of the family servants.
Second: I bequeath by entire remaining estate to my beloved wife Margaret, and our children, and I desire that they may remain with her, so long as she may remain in widowhood; and should she at anytime remarry, I desire that my daughters, should be subject to her control so long as their minority lasts;
Third: My will is that my sons should receive solid and useful education, and that no portion of their time may be devoted to the study of abstract sciences. I greatly desire that they may possess a thorough knowledge of the English language with a good knowledge of the Latin language. I also request that they be instructed in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures; and next to these that they be rendered thorough in a knowledge of Geography and History. I wish my sons early taught an utter contempt for novels and light reading. In all that pertains to my sons I wish particular regard paid to their morals as well as character and morals of those whom they may be associated or instructed.
Fourth: I leave to my wife as Executrix and to the following gentlemen as my executors, Thomas Gibbs, Thomas Carothers, J. Carroll Smith and Anthony M. Branch, my much beloved friends, in whom I place my entire confidence, to make such disposition of my personal and real Estate as may seem to them best for the necessities and interests and welfare of my family.
Fifth: To my dearly beloved wife, Margaret, I confide the rearing, education and moral training of our sons and daughters.
Sixth. To my eldest son, Sam Houston, Jr., I bequeath my sword worn in the battle of San Jacinto, never to be drawn only in defense of the Constitution, the laws and Liberties of his Country. It any attempt should ever be made to assail one of these, I wish it to be used in its vindication.
Seventh: It is my will that my Library should be left at the disposition of my dear wife.
Eighth: To my dearly beloved wife, I bequeath my watch and all my jewelry, subject to her disposition.
Ninth: I hereby appoint my dearly beloved wife, Margaret, Testamentory guardian of my children, their Persons and Estates during minority; But should a wise Providence, through its inscrutable decrees see fit to deprive our offspring of both parents and make them orphans indeed, it is hereby delegated to my executors who are hereby confirmed. J. Carroll Smith, Thomas Carothers, Thomas Gibbs and Anthony M. Branch to make such disposition in regard to their welfare, as they may think best calculated to carry out the designs as expressed in this my last will and Testament.
Tenth: And I direct and enjoin my Executrix and Executors, that after the Probate and Registry of this my last will, and return of an Inventory of my Estate, the County, or other Court of Probate, have no further control over my Executors, or Testamentory Guardian, or of my Estate.
Done at Huntsville, the Second day of April 1863
Clerk’s Note: (This is our interpretation of the handwriting and therefore a more exacting examination may find discrepancies. Items in italics indicate that we were particularly uncertain of a particular word or name.)