Sam Houston & Self-Creation

Sam Houston

Here is a description of Sam Houston from William Freehling’s The Road To Disunion: Secessionists At Bay 1776-1854—-

Sam Houston had studied survival tactics with experts. In his youth, after a mysteriously awful brief marriage on the western frontier, a shattered Houston had …disappeared from whiteman’s society. He reappeared three years later, his old self-confidence restored, his new understanding of how to get along set for life. He had saved himself by savouring the forbidden. This white leader had lived with an Indian princess……His appearance signaled the way he operated and the persona he cherished. President Sam Houston marched around Houston City dressed like an Indian chief….The white chieftain’s red man’s garb proclaimed…a strategist not predictably of any color, not predictably anything at all.

I thought this was interesting. It shows the mix of circumstance and self-creation that helps form a personality.

While one has to be concerned with becoming a self-parody, Sam Houston here shows you can leave your more obvious identity behind and become what works best for you in life.

It’s always difficult to construct an identity and a personality that diverges from what seems most apparent. But it can be done.