Irion, Anna W. Raguet (1819–1883)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: February 1, 1995

Anna W. Raguet Irion, who was courted by Sam Houston and married Robert A. Irion, the eldest of eight children of Marcia (Mercy) Ann (Towers) and Henry Raguet, was born in Newtown, Pennsylvania, on January 25, 1819. The middle initial in her name is assumed to stand for Wynkoop, for her paternal grandmother, Anna (Wynkoop) Raguet, although examined documents bear only the initial. Anna was reared and educated in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she resided until she was brought to Texas by her father in the spring of 1833. Upon her arrival in Nacogdoches, she became acquainted with Sam Houston. He evidently contemplated marrying her, for in 1833 he engaged the services of Jonas Harrison to secure a divorce for him from his first wife, Eliza Allen. As divorces were not granted under Mexican law, nothing came of the application Harrison filed, but Houston's courtship continued. Soon after he became president of the Republic of Texas he issued a proclamation giving his authority to Judge Shelby Corzine to try his application for divorce in the district court of San Augustine County, although Congress was supposed to have exclusive jurisdiction of such matters. Houston's attorney, W. G. Anderson, used the same petition that had been drawn up by Jonas Harrison. The divorce was granted on April 8, 1837, but this proceeding did not satisfy the scruples of Anna Raguet, who apparently abandoned any plans she might have had for marrying Houston. Robert Irion, secretary of state under Houston, bore many messages between Anna and the president. When Irion learned of the final rift between the two, he persuaded her to marry him. The date of their marriage differs in printed sources, one saying March 29, 1840; another, March 30, 1840; and a third, April 9, 1840. The couple had five children. Anna Irion died in Overton on November 7, 1883, and was buried in the Raguet lot at Marshall.

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Evelyn M. Carrington, ed., Women in Early Texas (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1975). Carolyn Reeves Ericson, Nacogdoches, Gateway to Texas: A Biographical Directory (2 vols., Fort Worth: Arrow-Curtis Printing, 1974, 1987). Ever Thine Truly: Love Letters from Sam Houston to Anna Raguet (Austin: Jenkins Garret Press, 1975). Marquis James, The Raven: A Biography of Sam Houston (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1929; rpts., New York: Paperback Library, 1967, Atlanta: Mockingbird Books, 1977). Susan Miles, "A Famous Romance, 1833–1840," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 38 (1962). Raguet Family Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert Bruce Blake, “Irion, Anna W. Raguet,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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