Sam Houston, full-length portrait,
facing right. Salted paper print,
1856 or 1857.
Sam Houston (1793-1863) was one of the
most colorful and controversial figures
Texas history. As Commander-in-Chief
of the Texas Army in 1835, he was wounded
in the Battle of San Jacinto that secured
Texas independence from Mexico. When
Texas joined the Union, Houston served
as one of its senators. Later, Houston
was elected to serve as governor of Texas.
He died in 1863.
Portraits from life of Sam Houston are
rare. There are only two known full-length
portraits of Sam Houston--this unique
salted paper photograph and a daguerreotype
in the collection of the museum of Fine
Arts in Houston. Salted paper prints were
commercially produced for only a short
period of time in the 1850s.
This photograph was taken in 1856 or
1857, when Houston was a U.S. Senator.
The photographer is unknown and the image
has never been published. It makes a magnificent
addition to the Library's collections
of original photographs of famous Americans--images
perennially in high demand by researchers.
Acquisition of this photograph would
not have been possible without the generous
support of Madison
Council members, Nancy
Glanville Jewell, Ed Cox, Jay and Jean
Kislak, Kay and Tom Martin, John Garvey,
Caroline Rose Hunt, Ruth and Ken Altshuler,
Jane and Bud Smith, James Elkins, Jr.,
and Albert Small.