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Texas Originals

Mary Maverick

Mary Maverick was a remarkable early settler in Texas, who documented the challenges of life on the frontier.

March 16, 1818–February 24, 1898


Mary Adams Maverick
Image credit: The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Photo ID:CN 3767


The memoirs of Mary Maverick paint a vivid picture of life on the Texas frontier.

Born in Alabama, Mary moved to San Antonio in 1838 after marrying Samuel Maverick, a veteran of the Texas Revolution.

Mary Maverick
Mary Maverick is shown with her children. Image courtesy of the Center for American History. Image credit: University of Texas.

Sam was a leading figure in the new Republic. He surveyed lands in the distant West and legislated in Austin. Because he was often away, Mary faced the challenges of raising a family alone. Only six of her ten children survived past the age of eight.

Mary chronicled her life in her diaries, which have become an important source for historians. She witnessed the bloody Council House Fight of 1840, a turning point in relations between Texians and the Comanche.

She also writes about Jack Hays, Juan Seguin, and Mirabeau Lamar; notable figures of Texas history appear in her pages not as distant monuments, but as friends and neighbors.

Mary Maverick worked in other ways to honor Texas history. She helped save the Alamo from development. She also promoted the Battle of Flowers —an annual parade still held in San Antonio commemorating the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto.

Maverick died in 1898. Three years before her death she compiled and edited her memoirs with the aid of her son, leaving us with a remarkable account of life in early Texas.


For more about Mary Maverick

The full text of the 1921 edition of The Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick is available online from the Internet Archive

Mary and Sam Maverick played instrumental roles in the creation of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. The loss of the Maverick children led Mary to become very involved in the Episcopal community of San Antonio. She was among the members who brought premier architect Richard Upjohn to design their new church. Construction began in the 1860s, and the congregation dedicated the church in 1875. The Mavericks donated the church’s original bell, forged from a cannon found near the Alamo.


Selected Bibliography

Gwynne, S.C. Empire of the Summer Moon. New York: Scribner, 2010.

Jenkins, John Holmes. Basic Texas Books: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works for a Research Library. Revised Edition. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1988.

Marks, Paula Mitchell. “Maverick, Mary Ann Adams.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed October 28, 2014.

Marks, Paula Mitchell. Turn Your Eyes Toward Texas: Pioneers Sam and Mary Maverick. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1989.

Maverick, Mary with George Madison Maverick. Memoirs of Mary Maverick: A Journal of Early Texas. San Antonio: Alamo Printing Company, 2010. 1921.

Simpson Jr., Mrs. Willard E. “Fiesta San Antonio.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed November 12, 2014.