“Here in all its emotional intensity was the real frontier experience of a literate, observant frontier woman” (Marks)

With the “earliest known post-battle view of the Alamo ruins”

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410. MAVERICK, Mary A[nn Adams]. Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick Arranged by Mary A. Maverick and Her Son Geo. Madison Maverick. Edited by Rena Maverick Green (Illustrated). San Antonio: Alamo Printing Co., 1921. 136 pp., title with portrait, 16 photographic plates (including frontispiece portrait of Mary and her children). 8vo (23 x 15 cm), original cream pictorial wrappers with illustration of the rose window at the Alamo. A fine and tight copy of a book difficult to find in acceptable condition.

     First edition, first issue, line 5 on p. 64 ending “of the blacksmith shop” and line 24 of page 69 beginning “in the yard.” Adams, Herd 1460: “Gives the history of her husband’s experiences in his cattle venture, and the true origin of the term ‘maverick’ as applied to unbranded cattle.” Basic Texas Books 140: “One of the most interesting and important narratives of life in Texas during the 1830s and 1840s.... The memoirs are engrossing and colorful.... Insights into the lives of famous Texans are numerous.” Campbell, p. 94. CBC 351. Dobie, pp. 57, 62: “Essential.” Eberstadt, Texas 162:529. Graff 2727. Howes M443: “First woman from the States to settle in San Antonio.” King, Women on the Cattle Trail, p. 17: “Good account of early days in the Austin and San Antonio area.” Schoelwer, Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience, pp. 28-29: “[Mary Ann Maverick’s] ca. 1838 drawing of the Alamo is the earliest known post-battle view of the Alamo ruins.” Tate, The Indians of Texas 2089: “Includes eyewitness account of the 1840 Council House Fight in San Antonio, description of the Tonkawas, and a Ranger fight with Comanches.” Winegarten, p. 40.

     Paula Mitchell Marks, Turn Your Eyes Toward Texas: Pioneers Sam and Mary Maverick (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1989), p. xi: “Mary Maverick’s published Memoirs first drew me into the story of the pioneer life she shared with her husband in frontier Texas. I had found many nineteenth-century American pioneer women’s accounts to be disappointing models of Victorian rectitude; a mother who had given birth in a covered wagon in the middle of the prairie would fail even to mention the event. By contrast, Mary Maverick’s memoirs had a freshness, an immediacy of detail, a relative frankness that brought me closer to her frontier experience.... Here in all its emotional intensity was the real frontier experience of a literate, observant frontier woman.”

     Paula Mitchell Marks, “MAVERICK, MARY ANN ADAMS,” Handbook of Texas Online (

Mary Maverick (1818-1898), pioneer and diarist, whose published memoirs chronicle her pioneer experiences in Texas, was born on March 16, 1818, in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, the daughter of William Lewis and Agatha Strother (Lewis) Adams. Adams was a lawyer. Mary grew up on the family plantation three miles north of Tuscaloosa, where she received schooling. On August 4, 1836, at her home, she married Samuel Augustus Maverick, who had participated in the Texas Revolution. After extended visits to relatives in Alabama and South Carolina, the couple moved to Texas at the beginning of 1838.

The Mavericks searched for years for a permanent home along the unsettled Texas frontier. They located first in San Antonio, where Sam wished to spend his time speculating in West Texas land; then, during the Runaway of ’42, an exodus of families from San Antonio at the news of approaching Mexican soldiers under Adrián Woll, they set up a home on the Colorado River near Gonzales. They moved to Decrows (Decros) Point on Matagorda Bay in 1844 and remained there until October 1847, when they returned to San Antonio.

Most of Mary Maverick’s energies during these early years in Texas went into the raising of her family. She bore ten children in twenty-one years; four died of illness before they reached the age of eight, leading their mother to seek solace in the spiritualism and alternative medical treatment so popular in mid-nineteenth-century America. As her surviving children grew up, she became increasingly active in the public sphere. During the Civil War, when she had four sons in the Confederate Army, she was active in San Antonio relief efforts. She also devoted much of her time to church work. A devout Episcopalian, she was instrumental in establishing and developing St. Mark’s Church in San Antonio and served as president of the Ladies’ Parish Aid Society for over twenty years.

After her husband’s death in 1870, as San Antonio grew and thrived, Mary Maverick made efforts to see that the pioneer past was not forgotten. She was a prominent member of the San Antonio Historical Society and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. She helped promote the annual Battle of Flowers celebration, and she served as president of the Alamo Monument Association for many years, during which she kept before the public the need for restoration of the historic site. Her watercolor sketch of the mission, completed during her first residence in San Antonio, is often referred to by historians, and in 1889 she wrote a brief account of the fall of the Alamo.

Mary had kept diaries of her frontier experiences, and in 1880 she shaped them into memoirs. Fifteen years later, with the help of her son George Madison Maverick, she published a limited number of copies. The memoirs have since been reprinted and provide a vivid picture of life on the Texas frontier. Mary Maverick’s work, particularly her eyewitness account of the Council House Fight in San Antonio in 1840, has often been cited in studies of Texas pioneer life. She died on February 24, 1898, and was buried beside her husband in City Cemetery No. 1, San Antonio.


Sold. Hammer: $100.00; Price Realized: $122.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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