The Greek Revival house was built in 1856 and every Texas governor since has lived in the mansion. President Abraham Lincoln reputedly offered Gov. Sam Houston Federal military assistance during the secession crisis to keep Texas in the Union. Houston may have burned Lincoln's letter in a mansion fireplace. He left office in March 1861 after refusing to sign an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and was replaced by Lt. Gov. Edward Clark. Clark was succeeded by Gov. Francis R. Lubbock, who later resigned his office to join the Confederate army, becoming an aide-de-camp to Jefferson Davis.