Sam Houston's Rifle

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Physical Description
American made sliding breech block which is also called a harmonica lock. It is a 5 shot, pill ignition. Inscribed “Houston.”
Specific History
This rare Henry Gross rifle belonged to Sam Houston.
General History
One of the most colorful and controversial figures in Texas history, Sam Houston was born in Virginia on 2 March 1793 and spent much of his youth in the mountains of Tennessee. During the second war with England, Houston enlisted as a private but was made sergeant of a company. He excelled in the military. After receiving three near-mortal wounds at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, he rose to the rank of first lieutenant.
He practiced law in Lebanon, Tennessee before running for public office. He sought and won public office and was elected to the US Congress in 1823 and again in 1825. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee by a large majority. In 1832, he moved to Texas along with a few friends and emerged as a prominent player in the state's affairs.
Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas and took control of the Texas forces after the fall of the Alamo. On 21 April 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas independence. Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected Senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States.
associated person
Houston, Samuel
Place Made
United States
Associated Place
United States: Texas
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 52 in x 3 3/4 in; 21.59 cm x 132.08 cm x 9.525 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
related event
Mexican War
Expansion and Reform
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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