1836 Republic of Texas presidential election

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1836 Republic of Texas presidential election
Flag of the Republic of Texas (1836–1839).svg
September 5, 1836 1838 →
  Thomas Flintoff - Sam Houston - Google Art Project.jpg Henry Smith TX.png Stephen f austin.jpg
Nominee Sam Houston Henry Smith Stephen F. Austin
Party Nonpartisan Wharton Austin
Popular vote 4,374 743 587
Percentage 76.7% 13.0% 10.3%

President before election

David G. Burnet (interim)

Elected President

Samuel Houston

The 1836 Republic of Texas presidential election was the first such election in the newly established Republic of Texas. Popular war hero Samuel Houston was elected in a decisive victory over Henry Smith and Stephen F. Austin. Houston was inaugurated on October 22, 1836, replacing interim president David G. Burnet.


  • Stephen F. Austin, Texan Commissioner to the United States
  • Samuel Houston, Commander-in-Chief of the Texian Army
  • Henry Smith, Governor of the Provisional Government


Prior to Houston's entrance into the race, Stephen F. Austin considered himself to be the front-runner in the election to become the first president of Texas. His opponent in the race was Henry Smith, who had been governor of the Provisional Government and a delegate to the convention that declared the independence of the Republic of Texas. Others, however, had doubts about his qualifications. Austin was not widely known to most Texans, and his connections to land speculator Samuel May Williams had soiled his public reputation. When, eleven days before the election, Houston declared his candidacy, Austin's hopes of winning the presidency were sunk. [1]


Houston won the election in a landslide, carrying 77% of the vote to Smith's 13% and Austin's 10%. Mirabeau Lamar was elected vice president by a majority of 2,699 votes.