samuel augustus maverick

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Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870),

A Texas lawyer, politician, land baron, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Samuel Augustus Maverick was one of the wealthiest land barons of the mid 1800’s. One of his most notable business practices was that he never branded his own cattle, believing the process to be too painful for the animals.  He also had little interest in his heard as his wealth came from real estate and stock trading.  Thus he did little to keep track of his own herd and cared little if some may be reclaimed by other cattle herders.

As a result of Maverick’s cattle lacking brands, other cattleman and cowboys of the area began to call all unmarked cattle that did not belong to the heard “Mavericks”.  Over time, the term became popular across the country, referring to a person who is independently minded.