From Slave to Statesman (Paperback)

The Legacy of Joshua Houston, Servant to Sam Houston

By Patricia Smith Prather, Jane Clements Monday, Dan Rather (Introduction by)

University of North Texas Press, 9780929398877, 296pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 1995

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/1/1993)

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"A fascinating . . . account of the life and legacy of . . . a slave . . . who became . . . one of the first black city aldermen and property owners during Reconstruction . . . A good example of history from the bottom up."Library Journal

"Imaginative biography . . . Of particular interest is the authors' ingenious research: they assembled Joshua's story from Margaret and Sam Houston's correspondence and from the family stories of Joshua's descendants."Booklist

This is the story of the "other" Houston, Joshua, the slave of Margaret Lea until she married Sam Houston and moved to Texas in 1840. Joshua was unique among slaves: he was taught to read and write, and was allowed to keep money he earned. The story is set in a background of historical details about southern social history before, during, and after the Civil War.

Sources include slave autobiographies and biographies; Houston family letters; oral histories of descendants of both Houston families; birth, marriage and death records; land records and deeds; church and school records.

"Joshua Houston's story is absorbing and instructive by itself, but this book is more than the biography of one man . . . It provides nothing less than a detailed account of the emergence of a Black middle class . . . after the Civil War."Texas Review

About the Author

PATRICIA SMITH PRATHER is a freelance writer, co-editor of the Texas Trailblazer series, a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and a second-generation Tuskegee graduate. She is executive director of the Houston Place Association.

JANE CLEMENTS MONDAY is a former regent of the Texas State University board and past mayor of Huntsville, Texas. She holds a degree from the University of Texas at Austin.