DID YOU KNOW . . .? Walker County Press – Wade Thibodeaux
In 1832, when Sam Houston first arrived in Nacogdoches, the area of Texas was still part of the country of Mexico. Among the requirements for citizenship in the Mexican Republic, those applying for citizenship had to accept the Catholic religion and be baptized as Catholics. In order to become a Mexican citizen and be able to apply for his League (4,428 acres) and Labor (177 acres) an amount of land well worth switching sides for, Sam Houston agreed to become a Catholic. He was baptized by Father Michael Muldoon, an Irish Catholic priest, in the home of Adolphus Stearne, a wealthy German immigrant whose home is now a museum in Nacogdoches.
Sam remained a nominal Catholic until Texas gained its independence from Mexico and throughout his first term as president of the Republic of Texas. It wasn’t until he married Margaret Lea of Alabama (she was then 21, he was 47) in 1840 that he eventually gave up his drinking and the Catholic religion. At Margaret’s urging, he joined the Baptist Church in Washington. When he finally returned to Huntsville, he was baptized in 1854 in Rocky Creek near Independence, the home of his mother-in-law. He continued to attend the Baptist Church in Huntsville throughout the remainder of his time there as well as the year and a half he spent in Austin as governor of the new state of Texas.