ROBERTS, SAMUEL ALEXANDER (1809-1872) ~ Samuel Alexander Roberts was born to Willis and Asenath Alexander Roberts of Putnam County, Georgia on February 13, 1809. Roberts attended schools in Georgia and in Cahaba and Mobile, Alabama. He attended the United States Military Academy where he was classmates with Jefferson Davis.
In 1837, Roberts moved to Houston, Texas where he received his license to practice law. He came to Texas on the advice of an old family friend who co-owned a general mercantile store with Robert's father in Cahaba, Alabama. That family friend was Republic of Texas Vice-President Mirabeau B. Lamar.
After Lamar became president, Roberts received numerous appointments during the 1830s and 1840s. Roberts was appointed notary public of Harrisburg County on January 23, 1839, secretary of the Texas legation to the United States in March of 1839, acting secretary of state on May 25, 1841, and secretary of state on September 7, 1841.
On April 8, 1842, Roberts married Lucinda Mary Reed. Together they had four children. Lucinda had a son from a previous marriage and eventually the two would foster two other daughters. The family moved to Bonham, where Roberts entered a law partnership with future governor of Texas, James W. Throckmorton, and Thomas J. Brown. Roberts did well for himself and his family. By 1850, his real estate value was $3,000 and he owned two slaves. His house, named Three Groves, was recognized as a showplace.
Roberts was a Whig and served as a delegate to both the state and the national party conventions in 1852. Soon after, the issue of slavery increasingly arose and divided the nation. Opposition arose to abolitionist ideas. Fear of the abolitionist movement spread in Texas and in the South. Roberts gained notoriety as he spoke at a proslavery town meeting in Bonham. He served on a three-man local committee which drafted resolutions, ordering ministers associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church to cease any antislavery preaching or activity.
During the Civil War, the training camp for Confederate Soldiers at Bonham was named in honor of Roberts. Roberts died in Bonham on August 8, 1872, and was buried in the Inglish Cemetery.