Margaret Lea Houston - Ben Lomond and Grand Cane

Ben Lomond and Grand Cane

The new bride spent the next several months shuttling between her mother's house and Sam Houston's 2-room dog trot cabin at Cedar Point in Chambers County. Houston had purchased the property from Tabitha Ijams Harris in 1837 during his first term as the Republic's president. It became the first home of the new couple in 1840. Margaret named the house Ben Lomond, after a Scottish locale she had read about in a Walter Scott work Margaret delegated management of the household to her mother Nancy. Sam kept Ben Lomond for the rest of his life, retreating there with his family in 1861 after he was forced out of office and in financial straits.

Grand Cane in Liberty County was 23 miles (37 km) north of Ben Lomond and a communal gathering point for the Lea family. Margaret's sister Antoinette and her husband William Bledsoe lived in a three-room pine log cabin there while attempting to establish a sugar plantation. Nancy Lea used her funds to pay any debts the Bledsoes were unable to meet. Vernal and Mary Lea moved to Grand Cane in 1841. The first Grand Cane post office was established in 1846, with Vernal as postmaster. Margaret and Sam would visit her family members at Grand Cane, and Margaret often retreated there when Sam was traveling. Because the Bledsoes were so often in a financial bind, the property had been transferred to Nancy's name. One time the property had been transferred to Sam, although his ownership was in name only, on paper to help the Bledsoes avoid creditors. In 1845, Margaret, Antoinette and Nancy were co-founders of the Concord Baptist Church at Grand Cane. William Bledsoe died that year and was followed in death a few months later by Vernal's wife Mary. The in-laws were buried side-by-side at Grand Cane. The next year, Antoinette married wealthy merchant Charles Powers and moved to Matagorda Bay. In 1849, Vernal married Catherine Davis, and the two moved into the Bledsoe cabin. Vernal died in 1852, and Catherine remained in the house the rest of her life.

Read more about this topic:  Margaret Lea Houston

Famous quotes containing the words cane, grand and/or ben:

    But a blind man’s cane poking, however clumsily, into the inmost corners of the house.
    John Ashbery (b. 1927)

    What do you do in the Grand Hotel? Eat, sleep, loaf around, flirt a little, dance a little. A hundred doors leading to one hall. No one knows anything about the person next to them. And when you leave, someone occupies your room, lies in your bed. That’s the end.
    William A. Drake (1900–1965)

    When long ago I saw her ride
    Under Ben Bulben to the meet,
    The beauty of her country-side
    With all youth’s lonely wildness stirred,
    She seemed to have grown clean and sweet
    Like any rock-bred, sea-borne bird....
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)