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Featured Acquisition: Portrait of Sam Houston

Sam Houston, full-length portrait, facing right
Sam Houston, full-length portrait, facing right. Salted paper print, 1856 or 1857.
LC-DIG-ppmsca-09599

Sam Houston (1793-1863) was one of the most colorful and controversial figures in Texas history. As Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army in 1835, he was wounded in the Battle of San Jacinto that secured Texas independence from Mexico. When Texas joined the Union, Houston served as one of its senators. Later, Houston was elected to serve as governor of Texas. He died in 1863.

Portraits from life of Sam Houston are rare. There are only two known full-length portraits of Sam Houston--this unique salted paper photograph and a daguerreotype in the collection of the museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Salted paper prints were commercially produced for only a short period of time in the 1850s.

This photograph was taken in 1856 or 1857, when Houston was a U.S. Senator. The photographer is unknown and the image has never been published. It makes a magnificent addition to the Library's collections of original photographs of famous Americans--images perennially in high demand by researchers.

Acquisition of this photograph would not have been possible without the generous support of Madison Council members, Nancy Glanville Jewell, Ed Cox, Jay and Jean Kislak, Kay and Tom Martin, John Garvey, Caroline Rose Hunt, Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Jane and Bud Smith, James Elkins, Jr., and Albert Small.

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  Home >> Featured Acquisition
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  October 22, 2010
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