Margaret Moffette Lea Houston

Margaret Lea Houston

Timeline

Apr. 11, 1819 Birth
Marion, AL
May 9, 1840 Married Sam Houston
Marion, AL
Dec. 3, 1867 Death

Links

Margaret Lea Houston was the third wife of Sam Houston, who she married in 1840

Margaret was the sixth child and second daughter of Temple and Nancy Lea. She became the First Lady of the Republic of Texas in 1841 during Sam's second term as the President of the Republic of Texas. Margaret remained in Texas while Sam was in Washington, D.C. serving in the United States Senate (1846-59). She was First Lady of the state of Texas (1859-61) when Sam was Governor of Texas.

Margaret Houston acted as a tempering influence on her much older husband and even convinced him to stop drinking. The two had eight children together and were married until his death in 1863.

She died during a yellow fever epidemic; she and her mother are buried together in the Houston-Lea Family Cemetery in Independence.

In April, 1959 SH Museum Director Grace Longino began the Margaret Houston Birthday Party, a chance for Huntsville citizens and students to celebrate Margaret's life and influence. The museum-wide celebrations were held as late as 1972, revived for 1983-86, before being discontinued. Parties resumed in 2012.

Two residences - the current Sigma Sigma Sigma House and Houston House on Sorority Hill - have been named in her honor. The June 2009 assembly of the Board of Regents approved the renaming of Academic Building Two to honor Houston for her "contributions to our state and her family's legacy, and...as one of the most significant women in Texas history."


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