Today in Texas History – September 5

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From the Annals of the Republic – In 1836, Sam Houston was elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas. Mirabeau B. Lamar was elected as vice president.  Houston defeated Stephen F. Austin and Henry Smith with 79% of the vote.  Austin was initially the front-runner in the race over Smith, who had been provisional governor and a delegate at Washington-on-the-Brazos when Texas declared its independence.  Despite his renown today, Austin was not widely known across Texas and his reputation had been sullied by connections to land speculator Samuel May Williams.  Houston did not declare his candidacy until eleven days before the election, but once he did, victory was all but inevitable. Houston was inaugurated on October 22, 1836, replacing interim president David G. Burnet.  After annexation, Houston would later serve as Texas’ senator and governor.  He was the only person to have been elected governor of two different U.S. states, as well as the only state governor to have been a foreign head of state.

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