[Daily article] April 11: Margaret Lea Houston

Margaret Lea Houston (April 11, 1819 – December 3, 1867) was First
Lady of the Republic of Texas, First Lady of the state of Texas, and a
founding member of Concord Baptist Church in Grand Cane. She was a poet
and an accomplished musician. Her influence on husband Sam Houston
persuaded him to give up alcohol and profane language. Margaret gave
birth inside the governor’s mansion to the youngest of their eight
children, as angry mobs gathered outside in response to her husband’s
opposition to Texas signing the Ordinance of Secession of the Civil War.
He was removed from office for refusing to swear loyalty to the
Confederacy. Their eldest son joined the Confederate army and was left
for dead on the battlefield at Shiloh, saved by a Union Army clergyman
who found a Bible from Margaret in his pocket. Sam Houston died of
illness before the end of the war, as Margaret sat by his bed reading to
him from the 23rd Psalm. She became the keeper of his legacy and opened
his records to a trusted biographer. When she died of yellow fever,
Margaret could not be buried with her husband in a public cemetery for
fear of contamination, and was instead interred on private family
property.

Read more:

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1544:

Italian War of 1542–46: French and Spanish forces fought a
massive pitched battle in the Piedmont region of Italy.

1814:

The Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed, ending the War of the
Sixth Coalition, and forcing Napoleon to abdicate as ruler of France and
sending him into exile on Elba.

1908:

Blücher, the last armored cruiser built by the Imperial German
Navy, was launched.

1921:

Emir Abdullah established the first centralised government in
the recently created British protectorate of Transjordan.

2002:

In a coup attempt, members of the Venezuelan military detained
President Hugo Chávez and demanded his resignation.

_____________________________
Wiktionary’s word of the day:

usufruct:
(law) The legal right to use and derive profit or benefit from property
that belongs to another person, as long as the property is not damaged.

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Jokes can be noble. Laughs are exactly as honorable as tears.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion, to
the futility of thinking and striving anymore. I myself prefer to laugh,
since there is less cleaning up to do afterward — and since I can
start thinking and striving again that much sooner.  
–Kurt Vonnegut

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