Samuel Augustus Maverick was born 1803 in South Carolina. His maternal grandfather was General Robert Anderson who served in the Revolutionary War. He graduated from Yale and studied law in Virginia, and was admitted to practice at the bar of South Carolina in 1829. He traveled to Alabama and, hearing of the problems in Texas, resolved to go there. He arrived by ship at Velasco in 1835 and subsequently contracted malaria.
He surely heard of the general dissatisfaction of the Anglo-Americans in the various settlements scattered over Texas, especially the group headed by John A. Wharton of Brazoria who advocated calling a convention of elected delegates to secure “peace if it is to be secured on constitutional terms, and to prepare for war if war be inevitable.”
He learned that even Stephen F. Austin, the great “impressario,” had lost patience with existing conditions: the difficulty of transacting state business in the distant capital of Saltillo, the regulations controlling immigration, and the changeable Mexican government itself. Austin’s imprisonment in Mexico, after years of careful law enforcement and loyalty to Mexico in his colonization efforts, must have opened his eyes to the hopelessness of continuing to hold Texas as a territory or state of such a government. Finally, when the citizens of Gonzales called Austin to command their forces in the attack on General Perfecto de Cos, in command of Mexican forces in San Antonio, he consented to lead them in the siege.
Samuel had traveled to San Antonio to seek a better climate for his illness and arrived there September 8, 1835, shortly before the Siege of Béxar began.
Upon arriving in San Antonio, he stayed at the home of John W. Smith and entered into the life of the city, attending mass at the Cathedral with the soldiers, and hearing the military band. His journal mentions Comanche Indian raids — proving that life was not all idyllic in San Antonio.
General Cos, a brother-in-law of Santa Ana, arrived in San Antonio October 8 and placed a guard at Smith’s doors, making prisoners of Maverick, Smith, and Cox. Forces of Anglo-Americans under Austin, Burleson, Bowie, and others were gathering outside the town, and from time to time skirmishes took place between them and the Mexican soldiers. Through the help of a Mexican boy, Maverick exchanged messages with the various American leaders.
Maverick kept a diary that provides a vivid record of the siege (See The diary of Samuel Maverick).
He and Smith were released on December 1 and quickly made their way to the besiegers’ camp, where they urged an immediate attack. When an attack was finally made on December 5, Maverick guided Benjamin R. Milam’s division. He remained in San Antonio after the siege and in February was elected one of two delegates from the Alamo garrison to the independence convention scheduled for March 1, 1836, at Washington-on-the-Brazos. He left the embattled garrison on March 2 and arrived at the convention on March 5.
After the war ended, he met Mary Ann Adams and married her August 1836. She was 18, he was 33. He died on September 2, 1870, after a brief illness, leaving his wife and five children. He was buried in San Antonio’s City Cemetery Number 1.
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