Sam Houston was born on March 2, 1793, in Rockbridge County, Virginia. When he was thirteen years old, his father died and a few months later his family moved to Tennessee. At the age of sixteen, Houston ran away from home to dwell among the Cherokees, who lived across the Tennessee River. For three years he sojourned with the band of Chief Oolooteka, who adopted him and gave him the Cherokee name of Colonneh, or “the Raven.” He henceforth maintained great sympathy and love towards Native Americans. In 1833, President Andrew Jackson, his lifelong friend, sent Houston to Texas, which was then part of Mexico, to try to find out how to acquire the territory. His leadership during the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March 1836 helped to establish the legitimacy of Texas’ fight against Mexico, giving legality and credence to the young Republic’s first steps. The result was a formal Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. He earned the title “Savior of Texas” when he led 900 men to victory at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Houston was elected President of Texas twice, and during both terms worked closely with Andrew Jackson to make Texas one of the states in the Union. This finally happened in 1845. In 1846, he was elected U.S. Senator from Texas, and he served until 1859. He ran for governor, with the promise that he would keep Texas in the Union, and he won the election. However, he could not stop his state from seceding in 1861. He refused to take an oath of loyalty supporting the Confederate States of America and was removed from the governorship. Texas fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, despite Houston’s best efforts.