Sam Houston elected first president of the Republic of Texas
On this day in 1836, Sam Houston, the victor of San Jacinto, was elected president of the newly founded Republic of Texas. Candidates for the office had included Henry Smith, governor of the provisional government, and Stephen F. Austin. Houston became an active candidate just eleven days before the election. He received 5,119 votes, Smith 743, and Austin 587. Mirabeau B. Lamar, the "keenest blade" at San Jacinto, was elected vice president. Houston received strong support from the army and from those who believed that his election would ensure internal stability, hasten recognition by world powers, and bring about early annexation to the United States. He served two terms as president of the republic and was subsequently a United States senator and governor of the state of Texas.