The subject matter experts assembled here are the finest that have ever been brought together to discuss Sam Houston. Biographers, professors, authors, descendants, Native Americans, and governmental leaders who have held offices once occupied by Houston bring a variety of points of view to help understand this monumental figure of history.

Randolph B. Campbell

Ph.D., University of Virginia
Regents Professor
Department of History, University of North Texas
       Dr. Mike Campbell is the Chief Historian and past president of the Texas State Historical Association and Editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly . He has authored a number of books including Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State and An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas . Dr. Campbell also wrote a short biography of Sam Houston titled, Sam Houston and the American Southwest and has numerous scholarly articles to his credit. His many honors include the "Favorite Professor" award from the UNT Student Activities Union, the "Honor Professor" award from the UNT Student Government Association, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Jesus Francisco de la Teja

Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
State Historian of Texas, 2007-2009
Professor of History
Texas State University
       Dr. Frank de la Teja was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to be the State Historian of Texas in February of 2007. Dr. de la Teja is the Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies and Regents' Professor of history, and serves as director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University. He previously served as Director of Archives and Records at the Texas General Land Office and assisted novelist James A. Michener with research. He is the editor of A Revolution Remembered: The Memoirs and Selected Correspondence of Juan N. Seguin and the author of a catalog of books, journal and reference articles. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Gregg Cantrell

Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Erma and Ralph Lowe Chair in Texas History
Texas Christian University
       Dr. Gregg Cantrell taught at Sam Houston State University, Hardin-Simmons University, and the University of North Texas before joining the History Department faculty at TCU. He is the biographer of Stephen F. Austin and has written and edited a number of other books, including: The History of Texas; Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas; and Feeding the Wolf: John B. Rayner and the Politics of Race, 1850-1918. Dr. Cantrell is a Member of the Board of the Texas State Historical Association and a Member of the TCU Press Editorial Advisory Board.

Patrick Nolan

Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Director, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, 1992-2011
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
       Dr. Pat Nolan was the Director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum for 19 years and served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Council of Humanities. Established by the state in 1972 in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 21-member TCH board is charged with creating opportunities that "engage the people of Texas in critical reflection of their individual and collective lives." Prior to coming to Texas, Dr. Nolan taught history at the University of Delaware and was a professor of history at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where he served as the Director of the Center for the History of Early Flight and as Head of Archives and Special Collections. Among his many published works are two photographic histories of the Wright brothers' aviation exploits.

Sam Houston, IV

Great-Grandson of General Houston
       Mr. Houston is the grandson of Sam and Margaret Houston's youngest child, Temple Lea Houston. He is an active member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and a popular speaker on Texas History who dedicates a significant amount of his time toward educational efforts in public schools.

Madge Roberts

Great-great granddaughter of General Houston
       Ms. Roberts is the author of The Star of Destiny and the editor of The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston, a four-volume set of General Houston's letters and papers. She is active in the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and an authority on the domestic life of Sam and Margaret Lea Houston.

Elizabeth Crook

Author, The Raven's Bride
       Ms. Crook is a graduate of Rice University and the author of three novels, The Raven's Bride, Promised Lands, and The Night Journal. Her first novel, The Raven's Bride , is a work of historical fiction about Sam Houston's first marriage to Eliza Allen in Tennessee. She has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and The Southwestern Historical Quarterly and served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters. She is a member of Western Writers of America as well as The Texas Philosophical Society.

Rick Perry

47th Governor of Texas
       Gov. Perry is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up on a tenant farm along the rolling hills of West Texas. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and served four and a half years as a C-130 pilot in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Animal Science. He has served as a state representative, commissioner of agriculture, lieutenant governor, and now, first sworn in on December 21, 2000, is Texas' longest serving governor. He has a strong personal interest in Texas History.

Ann Richards

45th Governor of Texas
       A Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor University, Gov. Richards earned a teaching certificate from the University of Texas and taught government in junior high school before seeking elected office. She rose from Travis County Commissioner to State Treasurer of Texas and finally was elected as Governor in 1991. Gov. Richards was instrumental in building the film industry in Texas and strongly believed that a thorough knowledge of history is critical to understanding who we are as a people and for charting our direction into the future. She was diagnosed with esophageal cancer four months after her interview for this documentary and passed away on September 13, 2006.

Lamar Alexander

U.S. Senator from Tennessee
45th Governor of Tennessee
       A native of Sam Houston's hometown of Maryville, Tennessee, Senator Alexander grew up surrounded by the landscape that shaped Sam Houston's life. He married the former Leslee "Honey" Buhler from Victoria, TX, which was an important town in early Texas history. His knowledge of Sam Houston is well known and he considers Houston to be his favorite figure from American history. Senator Alexander graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University in 1962 and from the New York University School of Law in 1965. After serving as the Governor of Tennessee Alexander became the president of the University of Tennessee and then served as the U.S. Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush. He made two unsuccessful runs for President of the United States and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002.

John Cornyn

U.S. Senator from Texas
Current Holder of Sam Houston's Senate Seat
       Senator Cornyn is a graduate of St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio, TX where upon graduation he joined the firm of Groce, Locke & Hebdon. Elected as a state district judge at age thirty-two he served six years before rising to the Texas Supreme Court in 1990. He earned a Masters of Law from the University of Virginia in 1995 and was elected Texas Attorney General in 1997. In 2001 Mr. Cornyn was presented with the James Madison Award by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas for his efforts to promote open government, and he was elected to the United States Senate on November 5, 2002.

Kay Bailey Hutchison

U.S. Senator from Texas, 1993-2013
Direct Descendent of Charles S. Taylor
       Senator Hutchison grew up in La Marque, TX and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives and in 1990 was elected as Texas State Treasurer. In 1993 she was elected to be the first and only woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Thomas J. Rusk of Nacogdoches was the first Texan to hold the seat she currently occupies when he came to the Senate with Sam Houston in 1846. Senator Hutchison's great-great grandfather, Charles S. Taylor, was friends with both Rusk and Houston and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. He also funneled money to the Texas Army to purchase weapons during the Texas Revolution and his first four children died during the rigors of the Runaway Scrape. Senator Hutchison is the author of three books, Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate; American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped our Country;  and in October 2007 released her best seller, Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers.  She lives in Dallas with her husband, Ray, and their two children, Bailey and Houston.

Gene Pipes

Curator of Education, 2000-2009
Sam Houston Memorial Museum
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
       Mr. Pipes graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1967 and taught school for seven years in the Brazos port Independent School District. Upon returning to Huntsville he worked as an administrator for the city, ultimately serving as Huntsville's city manager for nineteen years. Passionate about Texas History, he has been the Curator of Education for the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville since the year 2000 and oversees its educational outreach to some 80,000 visitors each year. He portrays Huntsville's founder, Pleasant Gray, in the popular play Gone To Texas.

Clayton Sylestine

Chief of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, 1995-2013
       A retired Forest Service technician, Chief Clayton Marion Sylestine was inaugurated as the Chief of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe on January 1, 1995. In the early 1800s the Alabama Indians who relocated to Texas supported Texas Independence, and in gratitude Governor Sam Houston recommended that Texas purchase land for the tribe when their existing land was overtaken by settlers. They merged with the Coushatta to become the present day Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas and live on over 4,600 acres of beautiful forest land in eastern Polk County, Texas.

James L. Haley

Biographer of Sam Houston
      Mr. James Haley is an independent scholar living in Austin, TX. He is the author of several books, including The Buffalo War: The History of the Red River Indian Uprising of 1874; Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait; and most recently, a history of Texas titled Passionate Nation. He is the winner of numerous awards including the T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award from the Texas Historical Commission, the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize from the Texas State Historical Association, and the Spur Award for Biography from the Western Writers of America.

Major Funders

  • The Houston Endowment
  • Summerlee Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (A 'We The People' grant through Humanities Texas) 
  • Private contributions


  • Sam Houston Memorial Museum
  • Sam Houston State University
  • The University of Texas as Austin
  • San Jacinto Museum of History
  • Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
  • Friends of the Governor's Mansion
  • Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
  • Center for American History
  • George Ranch Historical Park
  • Gospel Lakes Ranch
  • Huntsville State Park
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • National Forest Service
  • McMinn County Historical Society
  • Cherokee Acres Ranch, New Waverly
  • National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
  • The Hermitage: Home of Andrew Jackson
  • Monticello: Home of Thomas Jefferson
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • The Library of Congress
  • National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
  • U.S. Senate Collection
  • Architect of the Capitol
  • Chase Bank, Houston
  • Ohio Historical Society
  • Washington & Lee University
  • Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, East Tennessee History Center
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Texas State Preservation Board
  • Cane Island Volunteers, Katy, TX
  • Tremont Temple, Boston, MA

Special Thanks to:

  • Dr. Patrick Nolan
  • Mac Woodward
  • Gene Pipes
  • Mike Sproat
  • Helen Belcher
  • Rebecca Lewis
  • JoAnn Purvis
  • Dr. James Gaertner
  • Frank Holmes
  • Lisa Struthers
  • Elizabeth Appleby
  • Terri Stuart
  • Wayne Mogelnecki
  • Paula Hankins
  • Otto Harrison
  • Bart Bartholomew
  • Jack and Sammie Walker
  • Dr. Robert Pinney
  • Murray Batt
  • Tim McCarthy
  • Bennie and Judy Hasha
  • Jonathan Hasha
  • Alan and Carolyn Bowman
  • Cora Walters
  • David Vann
  • Amy and Warren Janak
  • Allen and Sandra Smith
  • Robert Schaadt
  • Newton Warzecka
  • Gus Martinez
  • Adam Dominguez
  • Martin Vasquez
  • Erich Bauch
  • Jeremy Martin
  • Graham Weston
  • George Wilburn
  • Wendy Barnes
  • Matthew Barnes
  • Kraig White
  • Rhonda Porter
  • Paulette Jackson
  • David Barnes
  • Tim Summers Jr.
  • Melissa Hurt
  • Larry Heidbreder
  • Claudia Heidbreder
  • Jerry Tubbs
  • Jeffrey Bolich
  • Michael Bailey
  • Dennis Heckathorne
  • Laura Zimmerman
  • Matthew Myers
  • Connie Threadgill
  • Dusty Springfield
  • Kellie McKenney
  • Steve Jeter
  • Blackwolf Sanchez
  • Tony Two Hawks Molina
  • Wolf Ramirez
  • Luisa Molina
  • Ivan Velasco
  • Summer Blanton
  • Jordan Coppens
  • Ginger Griffin
  • Phillip White
  • Richard Ames
  • Patrick Robinson, Jr.
  • Harry Sturgeon
  • Lee Jamison
  • Kenneth Jack
  • Robert Patteson
  • J.D. Dickenson
  • Jack Kyle
  • Ann Nelson
  • Clint Linder
  • Dani Lovely
  • Paula Thornell
  • Dr. Susannah Ural
  • Dr. Caroline Crimm
  • Vickie Poynter
  • Robert Vann
  • Dr. Pat Nichol
  • Patsy Faltisek
  • Pam Speight
  • Linda Mills
  • Annette Toenjes
  • Beverly Tucker
  • Pam Stein
  • Barbara Cargill
  • Lisa Shugart
  • Gayle Woods
  • Joe Guy
  • Lisa McCown
  • Steve Cotham
  • Tony Teal
  • Vaughan Stanley
  • Margaret McKee
  • Donna Andert
  • Ron Lowery
  • Maria Markos
  • Kin Barker
  • Jim Dippel
  • Scott Leake
  • John and Mary Kirby
  • Darlene Mott
  • David Vickers
  • David Scott
  • Edward Teniente
  • Michael Thompson
  • Andrew Heilveil
  • Jake Rieder
  • Kathy Gregory
  • Tom Lundquist
  • Kenneth Welch
  • Lawrence Reuwer
  • Lester Reinecker
  • Lindsey Walston
  • Larry Jackson
  • Celeste Spivey
  • Bob Archer
  • Owen Hurt
  • Bronson Baker
  • Courtney Cole
  • Rebecca Duff
  • Denise Campbell
  • Barbara Krig
  • Randal Hankla
  • Jeanie McDonald
  • William Borski
  • Anita Howlett
  • Milton Scales
  • Crystal Miller
  • Alejandrea Escamilla
  • Diane Little Hawk
  • Bill Williams
  • Corie Clark
  • Jim Porter
  • Maynard Ripper
  • James Butler
  • Macy Griffin
  • Leslie Sproat
  • Linda Pease
  • Ralph Pease
  • Sharon Wegenhoft
  • Travis Wegenhoft
  • Dana Clipson
  • Courtney Clipson
  • Kara Massey
  • Faith Stanley
  • Shyann Coppens
  • Nathan Dutzel
  • William Makar
  • Joshua Miller
  • Rick Griffin
  • Matt and Sherry Harrison
  • Susan Hilliard
  • Jeff Dunn
  • Ed Blackburn
  • Gense Pearson
  • Jurden Bruce
  • John Homman
  • Linda Wright
  • Dr. Sherry Field
  • Amadeo Gonzales
  • Clint Wright
  • Beverly Fritsch
  • Clayton Fritsch
  • Alexander Deibert
  • Grace Stuart
  • Leslee Gupton
  • Aaron Falinowski
  • Robert Hurley
  • J.R. Thomas
  • Pat Haarhaus
  • Michael Poland
  • Dustin Erwin
  • Jamal Aljaafreh
  • Perry Smith
  • Caroline Moore
  • Greg Davidson
  • Joey Rieder
  • John Tyler
  • Austin Remmers
  • Robert Rendon
  • Rusty Daigh
  • Phillip Delaperc
  • Gerald Hoffpauir
  • Don Miller
  • Scott Griffin
  • Cecil Gibbs
  • Michael Bunch
  • Bill Caldwell
  • Jonathan Spivey
  • Hannah Spivey
  • Jim Lynch
  • Neal Frank
  • Caitlyn Cole
  • Alexandra Cole
  • Bobbie Reinecker
  • Sylvia Reuwer
  • Mark Sanders
  • Pam Scaggs
  • Steven Sodich
  • Tony Emmitte
  • John Lightfoot
  • Leslie Reinecker
  • Mary Escamilla
  • Santiago Escamilla
  • Victoria Maertz
  • Walking Storm Ramirez
  • Iva Molina Weiss
  • Casey Roon
  • Camille Thayer
  • Robert Prachar
  • Jacob Starkey
  • Carter Payne
  • Jerry Phillips
  • Brenda Nichols
  • Brelee Nichols
  • Brock Nichols
  • Brady Nichols
  • Barry Nichols
  • Luanne Zacek
  • Todd Applegate
  • Melinda Florian
  • Reginald Kinnard
  • Jim Lauderdale
  • Kathryn Shaffer
  • Matthew Shaffer
  • Charles Cardiff
  • Brenda Hurt

Production Credits:

  • Written by: James L. Haley
  • Director of Photography: Mike Huffine
  • Cinematography: Mike Huffine, Brian Falcon, Larry McKee, Al Klimas, Benjamin Smith, Jake Rutherford
  • Editor: Brian Falcon
  • Original Compositions and Arrangements by: Jordan Montgomery
  • Conductor: Dagang Chen
  • Guitar: Paul Chester
  • Sound Editing: Scott Eilers, Brian Falcon
  • Still Photography:  Brian Falcon, Denton Florian
  • Executive Producer: Denton Florian
  • Co-Directors: Mike Huffine, Denton Florian
  • Film Transfers: Video Post & Transfer, Inc.

Shooting Locations:

  • Monticello, The Home of Thomas Jefferson; Charlottesville, VA
  • Rockbridge County, VA
  • The Hermitage, The Home of Andrew Jackson; Nashville, TN
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
  • The Lea Home; Marion, AL
  • Caddo Lake State Park; Karnack, TX
  • The Governor's Mansion; Austin, TX
  • Texas State Capitol; Austin, TX
  • George Ranch Historical Park; Richmond, TX
  • Gospel Lakes Ranch; New Waverly, TX
  • Washington-On-The-Brazos, TX
  • Independence, TX
  • Raven Hill Ranch, Walker County, TX
  • San Jacinto Battleground, La Porte, TX
  • Rusk, TX
  • Barrington Living History Farm, Washington, TX
  • Stiver Ranch, Madisonville, TX
  • Tall Ship Elissa, Texas Seaport Museum, Galveston, TX
  • The Southern Empress Steamboat, Lake Conroe, TX
  • Sam Houston Memorial Museum; Huntsville, TX
  • Huntsville State Park; Huntsville, TX
  • Sam Houston National Forest, TX
  • Adolphus Sterne Home; Nacogdoches, TX
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area; Fredericksburg, TX
  • Quinault, WA
  • Presidio La Bahia; Goliad, TX
  • Port O'Connor, TX
  • Cherokee Acres Ranch, New Waverly, TX
  • Gibbs-Powell Home, Huntsville, TX
  • Nat Davis Museum, Montgomery, TX
  • Sam Houston Schoolhouse, Maryville, TN
  • Wegenhoft Ranch, Columbus, TX
  • Silver Rock Productions, The Woodlands, TX

What Others Are Saying:

"This documentary on Sam Houston's epic life merits the Texas State Historical Association's full support. I hope that we can be of assistance to you as you work to preserve the memory of this remarkable hero."
J.C. Martin, former Director
Texas State Historical Association

"Few men in our history have been witness to or were actively involved in so many epoch-making events, yet outside of students in Texas history classes, few people know very much about him. This documentary will fill that void and merits this Museum's full support."
Dr. Patrick Nolan, Director
Sam Houston Memorial Museum

"This film on the life of Sam Houston will be a wonderful teaching tool for school teachers everywhere. Focusing on a true American pioneer is not only interesting, but invaluable to teaching children about someone who gave so much to his state and his country. I hope you will join me in supporting this worthwhile project. It will be something that teachers, children and parents will appreciate for years to come."
Barbara Cargill, Member
Texas State Board of Education

"One of the reasons I'm so glad that this documentary is being done is that more Americans, more Texans, need to understand who this monumental individual was and how he impacted the world. --One of the most interesting people in American history. Certainly, without a doubt, the most influential, the most intriguing governor that Texas has produced, and I will suggest to you, ever will produce."
Rick Perry, Governor
State of Texas

"There is so much media that the kids are seeing everyday at home --from TV to cable to movies to MP3 players to iPods-- and we need a tool that's brand new and up-to-date that can show our kids who Sam Houston was in a relevant light that they can relate to."
Lisa Shugart, Texas History Teacher

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