There was always plenty of excitement around Timber Ridge Plantation in southern Virginia when Sam Houston was a boy. He was the youngest of six strapping brothers and they lived just after the Revolutionary War on the edge of the wilderness.
Their father was a captain in the Virginia Militia and it was his job to hunt deserters from the army camps along the frontier.
Sometimes the whole community had to guard against treacherous white men who smuggled guns to hostile Indians.
Sam had a part in both these adventures.
His playfellows were two plantation darkies, Lije and Bije, who were devoted to him and who gave him an admiring audience when he practiced his piece for school. But everyone liked to hear Sam recite for he was a natural orator.
Another friend was an Indian boy Ooloo, whom he helped to escape from slavery. Later on Ooloo returned this favor in a Cherokee village.
How Sam dealt with a supposed Tory, how he squared things with the preacher when the twins snored in church, how he taught a lesson to a city dandy—these things lead up to his great exploit when he discovers the secret of Blennerhasset Island and helps to uncover the treachery of Aaron Burr.
On the death of his father the Houston family settled down in Tennessee. Sam tried farming and storekeeping, but didn't like either. His brothers called him lazy, but he had just outgrown his strength. He ran away to live with the Cherokees, and while he was with them one thrilling thing after another happened.
Sam Houston's boyhood nurtured the bravery, resourcefulness, wisdom and patriotism which were to mark his career as soldier, orator, statesman, the idol of the Lone Star State.
Sam Houston spent part of his boyhood in a Cherokee village, lived in the chief's house, became a brave, and was called by an Indian name, the Raven. He lived the child's dream, and now he captures the child's imagination.
—from the dust jacket
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