Thomas J. Rusk was born on December 5, 1803 in South Carolina and grew up on the plantation of John C. Calhoun. He attended law school. Rusk came to Texas in 1833, on the trail of some men who had swindled him and some of his friends in a mining venture. He caught up with the men in Nacogdoches, liked the town and stayed. As a lifelong friend and advisor to Sam Houston, Rusk played a very important role In the Battle of San Jacinto. Rusk assumed command of the troops after General Houston’s ankle was wounded, and continued to lead until the defeat of Santa Anna’s Army. Rusk held nearly every office that could be held in the Republic of Texas: Congressman, Secretary of War, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Major General of the Militia. Rusk went on to become an outstanding U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C.