Margaret Lea Houston - Raven Hill and Woodland (Huntsville)

Raven Hill and Woodland (Huntsville)

In 1844, Sam acquired the Raven Hill plantation at Huntsville and built Margaret a new home. Sam Houston was appointed by the Texas legislature to represent the state in the United States Senate, and left for Washington, D.C. in March 1846. He took up temporary residence at a hotel in the nation's capital and returned to Texas when possible. Margaret had initially planned to go with him but had a change of plans when she found she was pregnant with their second child. Margaret stayed behind at Raven's Hill, and Nancy "Nannie" Elizabeth was born on September 6, 1846. Margaret required surgery and follow-up medical attention in 1846 for removal of a breast lump and recurring breast and abdominal swellings. Margaret's only anesthesia for the surgery was biting on a silver coin during the operation.

Sam swapped Raven Hill in 1847 to his overseer Captain Frank Hatch, in exchange for Hatch's property named Bermuda Spring. The Houstons renamed it Woodland Home. Their third child Margaret "Maggie" was born April 13, 1848 at the new residence. Margaret and her mother Nancy hosted many guests at the Woodland house, including various Indian tribes who came to visit and camp out on the land. On April 9, 1850, daughter Mary William was born. Their daughter Antoinette Power was born here on January 20, 1852. Son William Rogers was born in this house May 25, 1858. The family vacated the house after it had been sold to J. Carroll Smith on November 19, 1858, to pay Sam's campaign debts.

Margaret's best friend in Huntsville was Frances Creath, the wife of a local minister J.W.D. Creath who pastored the church Margaret and Sam attended. The Houston's overseer Thomas Gott was instructed to enlarge an area of the creek to accommodate baptisms, and the Houston home was made available for regular services.

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