Sam Houston was born on a plantation in Virginia but later moved with his family to Tennessee where he became a general, congressman, and governor. He came to Texas in 1832 after a self-imposed exile among the Cherokees. In 1836, he was made commander of the Texas forces and traveled to Gonzales to gather the troops and prepare for battle with Santa Anna. The battle eventually occurred at San Jacinto. “Old Sam Jacinto,” Which he was often called, became the first president of the Republic of Texas.