Raising the Curtain on Texas History

214-906-5792 or 1-800-759-0831 or Metro 214-906-5792

Newsletter No. 103 

Edited by Brenda Magee October


by Annette McMullen

The Story up to now: Sam Houston buys 13-year-old Jeff Hamilton, a slave boy, from an owner he feels is uncaring, and perhaps, abusive. The General takes quite a “shine” to Jeff and teaches him how to handle his horses which pull the buggy, eventually making Jeff his driver. Jeff’s life, though tragically still a slave, has changed: he is well-fed, well-treated, clothed properly, and is taught to read and cipher, as the Houstons encourage learning.

Sam has been elected governor of Texas, so the Houston family is moving to Ausin, with Jeff driving Sam in the buggy while the rest of the family rides in their yellow coach.)

As they ride along the road, Governor Sam asks Jeff to recite his ABCs and to read a few lines in a newspaper. When the young man (now 19 years of age) performs satisfactorily, the Governor comments that Jeff will be a learned man yet! Jeff is very proud.

At the Governor's Mansion, Jeff becomes eyewitness to many events - not all politically oriented. Some involve the Houston children.

When Jeff is not performing his chores, he often plays “stick horses” with Andrew Jackson Houston, the youngest of the Houston children. Andy, as he is called, is a favorite of Major E. W. Cave, Governor Houston’s Secretary of State, who offices next door to the Governor. Major Cave always gives Andy paper and pencils with which to draw and “write” when he visits.

One day during a visit, Major Cave speaks rather sharply to the five-year-old; Andy’s feelings are hurt. Angrily, Andy goes up the stairway to where the Senate is meeting and finds the sergeant-at-arms away from his usual post at the door. Seeing a key in the lock on the door, Andy turns the key, takes it out of the lock and proceeds back to the Mansion. Before entering the house, he throws the key into grass.

When the locked door is discovered, a frantic hour is spent trying to find a spare key but to no avail. At first, the Senators take being “prisoners” with good humor but finally become angry thinking some Houston sympathizer has played a joke on them. The Senators open a window and call for help, attracting an amused crowd. Poor Andy, someone “rats” on him, saying they saw him tampering with the key in the door to the chamber.

Continued on Page 4

Monthly Meeting
First Thursday of Each Month
7:00 PM
Center for Community Cooperation
2900 Live Oak, Dallas
Refreshments provided
(Venue occasionally changes, so call for details.)

For information call 214-906-5792

February 15
Dallas Historical Society Society, Hall of State
“Have A Heart” event

February 19 & 26
Kennedy Learning Center

February 28
Farmers Branch Historical Park
Campsite and performances for local schools

March 1
Farmers Branch Historical Park

March 7
chuckwagon campsite, Pershing Elementary

March 8
Sons of the Republic of Texas, Tyler

March 18
St. Andrews Episcopal School, Grand Prairie

March 20
ARCO Retirees, Dallas

March 28
chuckwagon campsite, Bayles Elementary

April 17
chuckwagon campsite, Wood Elementary

May 9
chuckwagon campsite
Dallas Historical Society, Hall of State

May 12-16
Grand Prairie ISD
Week-long campsite demonstrations


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