Samuel Maverick

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Samuel Augustus Maverick (July 23, 1803 - September 2, 1870) was a Texas cattleman who intentionally left the cattle in his herd unbranded. The term maverick, therefore, at first referred to an unbranded cow. Over time, the term acquired the additional meaning of an "unbranded" man, one without ties to community, a loner, someone whose style or activities depart significantly from the norm.

Born near Pendleton, South Carolina, he was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Anderson) Maverick. He received his B.A. from Yale College in 1825 then studied law in Winchester, Virginia. In 1829, having returned to South Carolina, he was admitted to the bar. He left South Carolina after a duel with a man who had criticized a speech his father made about the John C. Calhoun's stance on the Nullification Question. He arrived in Texas in 1835. In San Antonio when Stephen Austin laid siege to it, he was arrested by Mexican forces. They released him when he promised to return to the United States but he instead joined the Texas army under General Edward Burleson that attacked San Antonio on December 5, 1835. He was part of the garrison at the Alamo, but left before Santa Anna's attack to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

He left Texas to marry, returning in 1838. When Santa Anna invaded Texas in 1842, he was captured and imprisoned near Mexico City. During his captivity, he was elected and re-elected to the Texas Congress. He moved to Matagorda County, Texas in 1844 and was elected to the state legislature. After returning to San Antonio, he was again elected to the legislature. He supported Sam Houston in his call to support the union when others urged secession. Nevertheless, he voted for secession as a member of the convention .

He was not active in politics during the Civil War but afterward helped John H. Reagan to organize the Democratic party once more. He died in San Antonio.

Maverick County, Texas is named for him. He was the grandfather of congressman Maury Maverick.

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