American Engravers

Peter Maverick and His Family - No. 3, Crown Street  ·  The Early Mavericks  ·  The Young Engraver  ·  The Independent Engraver  ·  Country Squire and Teacher  ·  Maverick and Durand  ·  Maverick's Last Years  ·  The Maverick Name and Engraving


Any serious student concerned with American history from the latter part of the 18th century through the first quarter of the 19th century is bound to run across the name of Maverick, either in connection with book illustrations, book plates, maps, certificates, portraits, trade cards or on occasion a town view. This book, in a systematic way, presents the many members of the Maverick family who were actively engaged in various forms of engraving and lithography: Peter Rushton Maverick, 1755-1811; his son, Peter, 1780-1831, by far the most productive member of the family; Peter's brother Samuel, 1789-1845; and finally Peter, Jr., 1809-1845, lithographer, to mention a few of the better known members of the family. Among the minor print-making members of the family were the four daughters of Peter, as well as Ann, the daughter of Dr. Alexander Anderson, who married Andrew, son of the printmaking Andrew, brother of Peter and Samuel. The text covering eighty pages is smoothly written although it is rather dull. It is based on vital statistics cemented together by a mixture of historical background and a great amount of surmise.

To sum up the book, it may be said that Mr. Stephens, who is a professor of English at Rutgers University, has painstakingly expanded Stauffer and that the author's chief concern in preparing the catalogue, with its great bulk of ephemera, is in the ephemera itself. What then, may be asked, is Mr. Stephens' contribution to the history of American art? The answer apparently is that Mr. Stephens has failed to prove that any member of the family made any important mark. Peter Maverick, despite his great excellence in bank note engraving, to judge from the examples illustrated in this book, hardly would be noticed in the overall picture when a good comprehensive history of American art is written. Not that the author has failed to do a good job of research, for he has. But in his searching and studying of the many Maverick prints, he has not given us any assurance or proof that the Maverick contribution was actually worthy of such an effort as he has put into this present volume.

Smith College Museum of Art


No. 3, Crown Street

Liberty Street in lower Manhattan Island in the late eighteenth century—before the new American consciousness had turned to the task of purging the nation of inappropriate geographical terms—was named in proper loyalty Crown Street. At No. 3, near the eastern end where it meets Maiden Lane, soon after these newly united states had set up their first offices and installed their first president in the refitted municipal building on Wall Street a few blocks south, a nine-year-old boy was busy in the shop of his father. Before him on his bench was a printing block. To it had been transferred a drawing—a small simple drawing of a tree and a serpent and a man and a woman, the age-old picture of Adam and Eve. Under the boy's hand was an engraver's burin, a steel tool with a point like a tiny plow, which can turn up a curl of soft metal or end-grain wood in strokes light or heavy as the engraver's hand and wrist may direct. With this tool the boy was at work preparing the block for printing, cutting from its surface all that which should be white in the final picture, and leaving untouched the other parts, the lines and dots and dark areas which should press the ink upon the paper in the final printing.

The proprietor of the shop came from time to time to encourage his son, leaving for a moment the copperplate which he himself was preparing. Copperplate work, with which the shop was chiefly concerned, involved a quite different process from that in which the boy was destined to make his fame. Sometimes, too, the father's assistant, perhaps a relative [The U.S. census of 1790 records one man as a member of the household who was not listed as an employee nor as a member of the immediate family.], or an apprentice who had been indentured for training in the craft of engraving or silversmithing, would look with half condescension and half awe at this child whose hand seemed already almost skillful, whose discrimination seemed already almost sure.

It was a good shop. Here were to be found copperplates and type-metal blocks, and burins and supplies of all sorts for professional or amateur engravers. To this shop, after studying art in the studios of Europe, had come the actor and painter, William Dunlap, to learn the "theory and practice of etching," and to etch and print the frontpiece for a dramatic publication then occupying his mind. Years later this versatile artist made special mention of the adequacy of the shop, and his opinion was that of a discriminating judge. Here too, to echo newspaper announcements of the owner, men came to have their coats of arms engraved, and women to have their tea-table silver decorated, and all would be done as well, said the shopmaster in his enthusiasm for the new nation, as could be done in Europe. With what pride the maker of that boast must have received, the year before, the order from James Duane to provide a silver seal for the new United States District Court and to engrave on it the figure of Liberty, or the order from a neighboring institution of learning to remove the name of King's College from its seal and inlay a plate with the name Colombia.

The boy had already cut carefully around the outline of his design and had routed out enough of his large white areas to know which of the remaining areas were trees and hills and figures. The large central tree offered an attractive task. Holding the tool with a light steady pressure, he moved tool and block in a circular movement to outline the apples, and then, as his father had instructed him, he covered the curved surfaces of the apples with short rounded strokes, varying the direction that the apples might not seem to blend too much with the foliage. The foliage itself was easy, for after the edge of the area had been cut like the edge of a saw, he had merely to repeat over and over again the quick curved stroke that suggested leaf shapes. In the part of the tree above Eve he seems to have become careless, or perhaps his hands became tired of repeating the same stroke, but just above Adam his burin again moved with sureness, for the lines are clean and firm. Let us hope that his father praised him a little for that spot of clean cutting! [It is, of course, possible that it was the father who cut the spot in showing the boy how to do it.]

But the tree trunk and the serpent were left, and both were cylindrical objects. So the boy, according to his instructions, cut strokes across each, strokes with a slight curve to suggest the surface, strokes minutely drawn from the top of the trunk to the spreading root, from the head of the snake to the curiously broken tip of its tail. But what happened to that tail? Did a routing tool slip while the white area was being cleared, and thus suddenly change the tail's direction?

The background demanded only variations of the techniques required for the tree; the strokes for the foliage, of course, were smaller and lighter. When the effect seemed too much like that of a single tree on each side of the central group, a few vertical strokes of the burin separated the trees and moved them back to where they belonged. To keep them there, the boy accentuated the rolling hills in front of the woods, varying the direction of the curving strokes to mark each rise. But Adam and Eve are standing on no such varied surfaces; here the strokes are straight, with a change of their direction as the foreground approaches the eye of the spectator.

Of course the boy did not learn how to do all this as he cut this particular block. Under his father's direction he had been drawing pictures and cutting blocks for a long time, studying especially how to establish this or that effect with black pencil lines on white paper. In this engraving he treated the hills and the foreground in much the same way as he had learned to produce such an effect with a pencil; as long as he was dealing with close parallel lines, it mattered little whether he drew the black lines or cut out the white ones.

But the human figures presented problems. Here his tool must leave the black surface untouched, and the strokes of its cutting edge must be made where the final picture was to be white. The surfaces on body and limbs and face which were in shadow had to be left untouched, the areas in full light had to be cut away. The boy took no chances with the faces; except for suggesting a little stubble on Adam's cheek and chin, he shows the features in outline only, and in the noses of Adam and Eve the outline reaches a minimum which might be called perfection. The boy's hand must have moved carefully to leave these shaped dots untouched on the surface.

But he was not satisfied to make of the whole picture a mere outline drawing; after clearly marking off bodies and arms and legs (notice the knees) he worked for highlights and shadows. With Eve he adopted the traditional source of light, a point above and to the left of the picture, and he shaded consistently. With Adam, however, his sense of symmetry and balance must have overcome his feeling for the source of light, and he shaded as if the light or—as some of the devout who were shocked by his father's religious views might have been glad to say—from the serpent. Whatever the source, Adam's right leg, from the knee down, is unrecipient to that light, and has a source of its own somewhere over at the left.

With these problems met, and the shadows softened with light strokes to relieve their blackness, the bowknots of fig leaves—or whatever their substance is—were carefully cut. One speculates as to where the boy found a model for those garments, for they are strangely reminiscent of the garments worn by two figures in a bookplate which his father had recently made for P. J. Van Berckell.

On an untouched strip which remained at the bottom, the boy cut the signature which he was later to learn to cut with confidence and skill in plates of many kinds. On the straight lines he cut boldly, varying the broad and the narrow strokes according to intention. The intial P is accomplished, the M is well passed, the A is fumbled a little at the top but the V redeems it, and the E deserves special praise. The R demanded curves, however, and although they are executed with a fine sweep, the lines are weak; perhaps he decided not to fatten them and risk a worse flaw. The I and C and K go swimmingly, although the curves of C appear to have presented some hazards. But on the small Sct., written as his father wrote it with the t raised above the line, his boldness evidently waned; the curves are cut with a hesitant hand, with the surface of the block scratched scarcely enough to show in the print.

Confidence seems to have returned with the capital letters in the linked Æ and to remain with him for the most part in the word YEARS, carrying him fairly well through the curves of R but failing him on the tricky S at the end. But immediately above the Æ (which his father had explained was the abbreviation of the Latin for aged, as Sct. was for engraved), in cutting the figure 9 his confidence deserted him completely; he seems first to have scratched in a hasty figure, and then to have tried to correct it by scratching again, as if stricken with a sudden shock at his own presumption in preparing a cut for publication at such an age.

But it was published. With an ornamental border of type and with an explanatory quotation from Genesis below it, it had the place of honor as the frontpiece of The Holy Bible Abridged, published by Hodge, Allen, and Campbell in New York in 1790. We have evidence that the father and master of the shop, Peter Rushton Maverick, was proud of his promising son and pupil. The boy's mother had died three years before, but his new stepmother, his mother's sister, probably also approved the youngster's progress and wished the like, or better, for her own baby Samuel. Seven-year-old Andrew and five-year-old Maria perhaps realized little what the excitement meant, but big sisters Sarah and Rebecca and Ann could have appreciated his work and given the oldest of their brothers the praise that was due him, for there are many evidences of close and friendly family ties.

It was a humble family, and none of its members recorded for posterity its thoughts, opinions, or deeds. The very few letters that exist today were kept chiefly because they were written to prominent people, not because they were from people that were worth remembering. The only record of their births was in the family Bible and perhaps in the baptismal record of some church. When they married, the Bible and the civil and church records again recorded the fact. At their deaths the newspapers ran no obituary, but listed as briefly as possible the age, the cause of death, and the hour and place of the funeral services. They were businessmen and craftsmen in a large city which did not find in an industrious worker in his craft a person of special importance.

But the family was proud of itself and kept a record of its members. Moreover, these members left records when they bought land and sold it, or gave mortgages and had them foreclosed. They qualified as freemen of the city and served in the militia. They joined churches and lodges and reform and mutual-aid societies; they signed petitions; they made contracts and wills; they testified in court proceedings. And they made engravings—for all kinds of purposes—to which they proudly attached their signatures. These engravings, hundreds of them, tell a story of the development of an American family and its craftsmanship which is as valid as if documented throughout by contemporary written opinion.

It was from such source materials as these that this biographical sketch has been built, and from them we know that between October 22, 1789, and the same date in 1790, the childhood triumph related above took place at No. 3, Crown Street.

The Early Mavericks

Peter Maverick bore a surname which had long been a part of America's history, although there is little reason to believe that he was aware of the fact. His children and nephews a generation later apparently had a vague and completely erroneous idea that their grandfather Maverick had come "to this country from England, about the year 1774, when but eight or ten years of age." They suspected that the New York Mavericks had some connection with the Boston Mavericks but they could not establish the link, even when they understood that a legacy in the Bank of England was somehow at stake.

Sometime later, in 1894, a report in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register proved their suspicions to be correct; records published by the same journal in 1942 and 1943 for the first time made generally available the genealogical ramifications of the Massachusetts Maverick family.

The known genealogical line begins with a certain Robert Maverick of Devonshire who had a son Peter, a clergyman who flourished in the early years of Elizabeth's reign. Among his children was a Reverend John Maverick, baptized November 28, 1578, who went to Exeter College at Oxford in 1595, receiving his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1599 and Master of Arts in 1603.

He served his church in Devonshire for years, and then in 1630 sailed with several of his family for Massachusetts, arriving at Hull on May 30 and proceeding thence to Dorchester. A year later he took the freeman's oath, and he lived as a colonist and leader of his church until his death in 1637, to be followed in that leadership by Richard, the first of Mathers.

Although Reverend John Maverick was the founder of the family in America, he was not the first of that family to arrive in this country. His young son Samuel had left England six years earlier and had settled on an island in Massachusetts Bay. In the new country he began a stormy career as a defender of the British crown against colonial discontent, a career which gave him the title of Loyalist, brought him an appointment as King's Commissioner, and earned him finally a royal gift of a house and lot at what is now 50 Broadway in New York.

There may have been another son of John, bearing his father's name, who went to the Barbadoes and later in life to the colony of Carolina, there to found the American family of Mavericks who have long been prominent in the South. That this John was a son of Reverend John, and a brother of Samuel the Loyalist, is entirely plausible, but careful genealogists seem unwilling to say that the link is established.

But our chief concern is with Elias, another son of Reverend John. Elias' marriage to Anne Harris in 1633 brought him five sons and six daughters. Paul, one of these children, married Jemimah, the daughter of Lieutenant John Smith. Paul and Jemimah were the parents of the John Maverick who became an importer of hard woods in Middle (now Hanover) Street in Boston, at the sign of the Cabinet and Chest of Drawers. Probably the most famous Boston Maverick was Samuel, the grandson of this John, who as a boy was killed in the Boston massacre. But it is John's son Andrew, the father of Peter Rushton Maverick, who attracts our particular attention.

Andrew was born in Boston February 4, 1729, and baptized five days later. How and where he spent the first twenty-four years of his life is unknown, but in 1753 we find him in New York City, where on July 17 he was admitted as a freeman. On March 28 of the following year he married eighteen-year-old Sarah Rushton, the daughter of the prosperous mason Peter Rushton, and four years later, on March 13, 1759, he joined Captain Tobias Van Zandt's company of New York militia. His occupation has been given by one writer as "painter," by another as "artist," but when he was admitted as a freeman and when he joined the militia, he himself designated his occupation as "painter." Except for a self-portrait which has been mentioned as his work, there appears to be little reason to consider him a worker in the fine arts.

There is one more record of Andrew before he slips from view in the obscurity of the scarce and poorly kept pre-Revolutionary records. In 1760, after George the Second died in England, the American colony elected a new assembly to represent the people to his young successor, George the Third. In New York City, there were six candidates, two of whom, James DeLancey and William Bayard, were eager to give the young king the same loyalty that they had given so profitably to his predecessor, while the other four, who were of the Whig or Patriot Party, represented the fast-growing national sentiment that was to bring revolt fifteen years later. During the three days of polling, in February of 1761, Andrew Maverick recorded his vote for the Patriots, Philip Livingston, William Cruger, John M. Scott, and Leonard Lispenard. Although Andrew did not live to see his only son, Peter Rushton Maverick, grow up, he left him this and other examples of independent thinking which the son was to follow energetically.

The early years of Peter Rushton Maverick are little illuminated by records, beyond that of his birth on April 11, 1755, and the death of his mother four years later. When the boy was ten, his grandfather Rushton made a will in which he left all his estate, including "houses, lands, bonds, slaves," to his wife Bethiah during her widowhood, but after her death the whole was to go to "my grandson Peter Rushton Maverick." From this and other provisions in the will it appears that Peter was not only an only child of his parents but also an only grandchild of the Rushtons, and the fact that no mention was made of Andrew may be the basis for the belief that he died before Peter's tenth birthday.

Two years after making this will the grandfather died. Bethiah lived on for twenty-three years longer, to see her grandson well established as an engraver and her great-grandson beginning his young apprenticeship. There appears to be no further record of the transfer of the family property to Maverick. Years afterward, however, when he sold the Rushton Liberty Street lot to the Quakers for a meeting house, he claimed his title to it as the "grandson and only heir" of Peter Rushton.

On July 4, 1772, the day not yet being a national holiday, seventeen-year-old Peter Rushton Maverick and nineteen-year-old Ann Reynolds posted bond with the secretary of the Province of New York and received a license to wed. Three years later, on Sunday, April 23, 1775, word of the battles of Concord and Lexington reached New York late in the day. Within forty-eight hours the royal arsenal had been sacked by the revolutionary mob and arms distributed among the revolutionary citizens. Peter, now a father as well as a husband, received a firelock, bayonet, belt, and other equipment; when he signed the receipt he wrote, as if in realization of the importance of the occasion, his full name, "Peter Rushton Maverick."

By midsummer, apparently to equip an organized body of militia, the weapons issued to the willing young men were recalled; and Maverick, described as a silversmith of Batteau (Dey) Street, was credited with Musket No. 543. This record gives us two bits of knowledge. It gives us Maverick's address nine years before the announcement in 1784 of his business in Crown Street. More important, it proves that Maverick was already established in his craft before the Revolution. The knowledge is not surprising, for an apt young man was scarcely likely to have been untrained at twenty, and he was, moreover, a man of family — baby Sarah was now a year and a half old, and another child was expected in the approaching winter.

Nearly a century ago the story was first recorded in print, without documentation, that by August of 1775 he was an ensign in Captain M. Minthorn's company of John Jay's Second Regiment of New York Militia, but there appears to be no official record. However, in 1789 after the Revolution had ended and the new nation had begun, the somewhat more mature Peter Rushton Maverick was listed as an ensign in Lieutenant Colonel James Alner's regiment, and four years later, in 1793, his title had become lieutenant.

When Rebecca, the second daughter of the Peter Rushton Mavericks, was born on January 8, 1776, New York was in constant threat of attack by the British. By 1778, the city was in the hands of the British Army, and about half of the population had fled to the Jerseys or to that part of New York above the Harlem River. Some of those who remained in the city stayed because they could not get away; many others stayed because their sympathies were with the established government. Did the Mavericks flee from New York at the threat of British attack? No record tells us, but, with a wife and two children to care for, it is hardly likely that Maverick would remain and risk British captivity.

Although three children were born to the Mavericks before the British evacuated New York in 1783, their places of birth are not recorded, and thus we have little or no clue as to the whereabouts of the family. We do know that a girl Ann was born on December 3, 1778, and a boy Peter was born October 22, 1780, and another boy Andrew on May 26, 1782. If the Mavericks were among the refugees from New York, then they must have returned very soon after the British left; the birthplace of a sixth child, Maria, who was born on January 14, 1784, can probably be assigned with reasonable certainty to that city.

The Young Engraver

One small indication that Peter Maverick was recognized as an engraver in his own right very soon after the publication of his Adam and Eve engraving is to be found in his father's change in signature about this time. In his early work in the 1780's, Peter Rushton Maverick most commonly signed his engravings merely "Maverick," but in the dated work of the 1790's we frequently find "P. R." or "Peter R. Maverick," as if he had begun to recognize that he should leave the simple "Peter Maverick" for the son who had no middle name. The same tendency to include the use of his middle initial is also evident in early city directories and in advertisements. From the first directory in 1786 to that of 1792, he uses the signature "Peter Maverick," but from 1793 to his death he added his middle initial. The intent seems clear: a recognition that his twelve-year-old son should have the distinction of a separate nomenclatural niche.

The work of young Peter in the Adam and Eve picture was quite different from the type of work which was to make him famous; the early work was a relief block, in which the surface not intended for printing was carved away, but his fame as a craftsman depends on his intaglio work, where the design to be printed was cut on a polished copperplate, and the parts to be white in the finished print were left untouched. Since the Maverick shop was not seriously concerned with relief blocks, we may be sure that a nine-year-old boy so familiar with the burin must have begun very early to work on copper.

Probably one of the first tasks undertaken by Peter was that of polishing plates. Perhaps no better training could be devised to impress the beginner with a respect for the prepared plate than to require him to prepare his own. Not only must the polisher rub the plate with pumice or a fine abrasive until it is clear, shiny, and mirror-like, he must make it so smooth that not the slightest bit of sticky oily ink can resist being wiped away, so smooth that uncut parts of the plate, after inking and wiping, will not soil white paper. Occasional dabblers in engraving would have this done by a silversmith's assistant who did polishing in his spare time. One such man, mentioned in Alexander Anderson's diary and known to us only as "a Swede," received $1.15 for the labor alone of polishing a plate about six inches square, and $1.35 for one slightly larger. Considering the price of labor at that time, it must have been slow, tedious work to command such amounts. But considering also the type of father Peter had, we can scarcely believe that the boy did not polish many plates before he had an assistant to do it for him.

When the plate was properly polished, it was ready for the transfer of the design and for cutting. The burin (in one of its various forms) which was used in cutting the relief block was also used to produce the intaglio plate, but in the case of the relief block it was used to cut away all but the lines of the design, whereas in the case of the intaglio plate it was used to cut the lines; for it is the furrow which the tiny plow cuts, or which the acid eats, that is printed in this latter method, not the metal between. Peter also had to learn that in intaglio work he could not print a black surface as he had in the background of his signature in the Adam and Eve print. In line engraving there is no such thing as a plain black surface; if an area of metal were to be cut away, the ink would fill it but the wiping would empty it, and the print would show only the edges. So Peter had to learn to think of his dark areas in the picture as lines—lines spaced very close and yet not merging, or lines crossed at various angles—and his lighter areas as lighter lines or more widely spaced lines, or both. [Some of these statements do not apply to stipple work, which Peter did masterfully, but the nature of engraving will perhaps be better understood if one process is considered at a time.] The control of these factors, the spacing of the lines and the thickness of the line itself, continued to be a part of Peter's learning during his whole career. Though mechanical devices were later developed to make this control more exact, yet his eye and hand, and the brain where even manual skill resides, never surrendered to a machine.

We may be sure that Peter also learned very early to print his plates, for this shop was equipped to do so, though it was the custom for some engravers to employ other shops for their printing, or simply to furnish the plate to the customer, who would then find his own printer. The process of printing is essentially simple, but like many other simple processes demands that much be mastered before an expert product results. Peter had to learn how to spread an oily ink over the whole surface with a dauber, which must then be wiped off—at least all that would wipe off—first with a cloth and then with the whiting-covered palm of the hand, leaving ink only in the lines cut into the polished surface. He then had to warm the plate sufficiently to ensure the softening of the ink in all the lines, place it face up on the bed of his press, place over it a sheet of paper (dampened so that pressure would force it down into the grooves to receive the ink), and squeeze paper and plate under powerful rollers turned by long spoke-like handles. To turn the wheel, if the press was tight or the padding over the plate was thick, the boy must have had to climb those spokes like a monkey. [This type of press is shown on the Samuel Maverick trade card engraved (1813-1817) by Peter.] But when the powerful pressure had pushed the softened paper into every channel of ink, no matter how delicate the line, the sheet of paper which Peter peeled off the copper surface must have seemed worth the labor. Something, at least, must have kept him at it through years of drudgery, and the skill which his first signed work shows, ten years later, would indicate that one force that kept him at work was his own successful progress.

The engraving of the shop during this period of Peter's youth continued to be various, and it appears that at about this time a new type of work was added which was to become of great importance. This was bank-note engraving. Early paper money was commonly printed from type, and depended commonly for its safety upon the rarity of printing equipment, upon elaborate type designs, and upon such warnings as "Death to counterfeit" printed upon it. But as printing presses and capable printers became more common, and the threat of death proved too weak a deterrent, a premium was placed on devices to make harder the task of the unauthorized reproducer of currency. The skillful engraver had a powerful device in his own skill, of course, and as time went on he added elements to his pattern to increase the challenge to the copyist. We find these elements in the earliest notes bearing the Maverick name. These early notes contained, in their simplest form, the elaborately lettered promise of the bank to pay either a stated amount or an amount to be inserted in ink, spaces for signatures, and pictorial designs related to the history or the location or the name of the bank. In some also we find the early use of panels containing the engraved or inserted figures for the denomination of the note. These panels were blocks of parallel lines, serving much the same purpose as devices for check protection serve today. As machine controls were created, the lines were more accurately spaced, or the variations in spacing achieved an effect resembling moire silk.

But a craftsman's shop was not only a business establishment, it was also a training school. At No. 3 Crown Street and at No. 65 Liberty Street [The name Crown Street finally gave way to the new name Liberty Street. Tradition persists that the elder Maverick was a chief factor in the change of name, that he even offered to pay out of his own pocket the expense of changing the street signs.], where the Mavericks moved in 1794, Peter must have been in daily contact with many whose names were to become important ones in the graphic arts. One of these was William Dunlap, painter, theatrical producer, and historian of both arts, who in 1787-88 put himself under Peter Rushton Maverick's tutelage to learn "the theory and practice of etching." [I have avoided, throughout this volume, the use of the word "etching," since it is perhaps best reserved for the complete wax-and-acid methods. Alexander Anderson, in the 1790's, records the following formula for etching varnish: "wax, black pitch, and Burgundy pitch," and that of one of the Tiebouts as "wax and rosin." Although Peter Maverick used acid for stipple and for etching in the rotary lathe engraving processes developed by him and the Durands in Newark, the inventory of his richly stocked shop at the time of his death shows no wax, acid, or other material that would indicate his use of acid for cutting line.] Many persons consider it also likely that Benjamin R. Tanner, later prominent in Philadelphia, learned his engraving under Maverick. Francis Kearny, who was to follow Tanner to Philadelphia after beginning his famous career in New York, is recorded as Maverick's apprentice from 1798 on. Kearny was near Peter Maverick's age, and the two young men worked together for years. And there must have been many others whose training, or partial training, touched this shop in Crown or Liberty Street. In the next quarter of a century five copperplate printers by the name of Reynolds were in New York at various times; it would be strange if some of them were not maternal relatives of Peter's who had learned the trade in the elder Maverick's shop.

A more important possibility flickers enticingly through the mist of a century and a half: Alexander Anderson may well have got his start as an engraver from his contacts with Maverick; a formal apprenticeship seems unlikely, for he was first apprenticed, against his will, to a doctor. In his old age, Anderson said that in the procession to honor the adoption of the new federal constitution, on July 23, 1788, he walked with the elder Maverick, and that Maverick was then the only engraver in New York. This is a long-remembered detail; it is incorrect at least in respect to Maverick's uniqueness in the field, but it may point to an early Maverick inspiration if not specific instruction. Anderson was thirteen at the time; seven years later he was a licensed physician in charge of Bellevue Hospital during a yellow-fever epidemic, but shortly afterward he renounced medicine for the stronger claim of engraving, an art which was to bring him a long career and the title of America's first engraver in wood.

Another influence which was strong in this decade in the Maverick shop and residence was Peter Rushton Maverick's ardor for the new nation and for the opportunity it gave for new freedom of thought. Very early, however, and probably from the beginning, his enthusiasm was not of a piece with that of some of the new American aristocrats who brought him their coats of arms to engrave. It went further than theirs, and embraced the hopes of the group calling themselves Republicans, who shortly accepted the leadership of Thomas Jefferson, refused to take too seriously the many loud and sweeping denunciations of the French Revolution, looked to reason as a worthy source of enlightenment, and fought everything, fundamental or trivial, that smacked of aristocracy and monarchy. For the Republican Society of this time Maverick made a bookplate, and its motto, "Mutual Improvement," epitomizes this new belief that the mass of mankind could lift itself by its own collective bootstraps instead of waiting until someone might think to throw down a rope.

Peter R. Maverick's espousal of this attitude in political matters was only a moderately bold act, but in respect to religious questions he went still further, as he sought to find the answers in intellect and reason. His most public manifestation of this quest was in his association with the poet Freneau and with John Lamb in the interests of deism. When this group sponsored an address by Elihu Palmer, the deist leader, and petitioned the Common Council for the use of the City Hall courtroom on July 4, 1797, the petition was rejected, and alongside Palmer's name a clerk inserted the label "infidel." Three years later the group gave support to a short-lived weekly The Temple of Reason, which stirred the opposition of the devout and which embarrassed Jefferson's Republicans by forcing them to defend themselves against charges of enmity to religion.

Maverick's position in respect to political and religious thinking brought him into contact with the aged Thomas Paine, when that patriot, after defending humanity's cause as a citizen in three great nations, came back to die in the land of his last remaining citizenship, only to see that citizenship revoked and the masses for whom he had labored turn against him. A letter pasted in a scrapbook by Maverick's grandson nearly a century ago and recently discovered by two great-great-granddaughters gives evidence of Thomas Paine's straits, and of Peter Rushton Maverick's attempts to help. It reads:
Friend Maverick
     I send the dollar I owe you and am much obliged to you. I will return your bed and pillows. They are both on my cot. John sleeps on my own bed in the passage. I did not know that the straw bed was destroyed. When I fixed up my cot, the straw bed made it too high which was the reason it was put away and no care, I find, was taken of it.
Thomas Paine
I am going tomorrow to look at some rooms at Mr. Jervis [sic] the painter as Hitt's rooms are not yet ready.

[Paine, after leaving William Carver's on November 3, went to live with John Wesley Jarvis in early November of 1806, and the letter was apparently written just before this time. Hitt is probably John Hitt, the baker in Broome Street from whom Paine later rented a room. As to John who slept in the passage, I know of no clues that warrant anything weightier than a guess, but it is a pleasant guess that friendly John Fellows had given temporary shelter in his own lodgings to the old Patriot, and that Maverick had aided in the emergency with the loan of his pillows and mattresses, and the dollar.]
But where young Peter stood on these matters of politics and religion we cannot say, for he held himself close to his engraving business. His name is not to be found tied to any causes; he is not listed in church or lodge records. His father and later his two brothers were active as volunteer firemen; his grandfather, father, and his brother Andrew joined the militia; and his father, brother, and nephew were members of the Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen. But Peter's name does not appear in connection with any of these organizations; it would seem that he was only interested in those directly connected with his professional life.

We know little of Peter's own mother, Ann Maverick, who died in 1787. Her place was taken the next year by her sister, Rebecca, who lived long and has left a fairly clear impression of what she must have been like as a mother to Samuel and stepmother to Sarah, Rebecca, Ann, Peter, Andrew, and Maria. [Elizabeth, Ann's seventh child, apparently did not survive infancy.] She it was who during the British occupation of New York City was pursued across Kingsbridge by Tory guerrillas. From her later business career as a widow she seems to have been shrewd, practical, and somewhat domineering. She dressed smartly and, so her children and grandchildren sometimes thought, a little garishly. She was "always a very devout person," said one who knew her from the beginning of her widowhood. The most educated, perhaps, of all the people of her acquaintance considered her "a person not endowed with a very high order of intellect," but several less literate observers spoke of her brilliance, her keen interest in history and current happenings, her ability to converse about literature. She must have been a force in the family during her husband's life, for she obviously held the reins in her hands through her long widowhood, in spite of the fact that she could read only a little and could not write even her name.

The first of the children to leave home was Sarah, who on May 10, 1792, at the age of eighteen, married Benjamin Montanye, son of Peter Montanye, in the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of New York City. On May 27, five years later, in the same church, Rebecca, aged twenty-one, married James Woodham, and Ann, aged eighteen, became the wife of Patrick Munn. Peter was now the oldest child left at home with Andrew and Maria and his half-brother Samuel. Andrew was old enough to be helping in the shop, and Samuel was probably around the shop as something less than a help.

Soon after these marriages, the family was again forced to flee for refuge outside the city, this time before a force more terrible than the invading British Army, the deadly yellow fever. Several times during the 1790's it struck; at one time a crude quarantine was enforced by a board fence across the island of Manhattan on the line of Liberty Street. Pedlars drove through the streets crying their wares, "Coffins! All sizes of coffins!" All who could escape from the pest-ridden city did so, and many a shop was left in charge of a single employee to serve what little business there was.

At 65 Liberty Street one young man was so left in the great epidemic which began in the summer of 1798. Carrying on the work of the shop, he also helped nurse a sick friend, only to be stricken with the fever himself and to lie sick and alone. Many years later, Grant Thorburn, brother of the sick friend, told of making the rounds of all the young men who had fallen ill while befriending his brother. He reported that all of these men, stricken in late August, "had got better or died" by September 22, but he gave no clue as to which fate befell the young man at 65 Liberty Street, or who the young man was. He may have been a hired employee, perhaps the anonymous "male adult" listed as a member of the household in the 1790 census. Or he may have been a member of the immediate family, and, if so, he may have been the eldest boy, Peter, a competent workman and manager by this time.

Though the toll of yellow fever was heavy, all the Mavericks appear to have escaped its fatal consequences. The work of the shop flourished once again, and in 1802, at the age of twenty-one, Peter married Mary Griffin, daughter of Timothy and Catherine Griffin of New Providence, New Jersey. Mary's maternal grandfather, Isaac Sayre, had moved out to Jersey from Southampton, Long Island, long before the Revolution, and later, in the tavern he kept at Summit, Isaac had been host to George Washington. Mary was nineteen when she married Peter on May 15; they moved to a new home a few blocks north of Liberty Street at 68 Beekman Street and established their own shop there. Marriage not only marked the beginning of Peter's independent personal life, it also marked the end of his professional preparation. Although he continued his association with his father's shop, the period of apprenticeship had given way to the beginning of his independent career as an engraver.

The Independent Engraver

Though Peter Maverick's independent career as an engraver may be justifiably dated from the time of his marriage and his departure from home, he had produced some signed and dated work a year or two before his marriage, and some of his signed but undated engravings may have been done then also. There exists a trade card of "Peter Maverick, 65 Liberty Street," which is quite likely that of the young engraver, indicating his ability to take independent commissions; of course it is conceivable that this was the card of the elder Peter, but from the time the shop moved to 65 Liberty Street the latter consistently included his middle initial in his signature. Engraving partnerships of the time were often generously loose, even among workers with no ties of kinship; furthermore, the elder Maverick's relations with all his sons give no suggestion that he ever tried to exploit them.

The new shop and home must have soon become a busy place. Peter was aggressive and industrious; moreover he was a good engraver. Some of his father's business must have come to him in natural course, and since it seems likely that the father, though only in his forties, was failing in health, the transfer of business was perhaps greater for that reason. The variety of work continued in accordance with the needs of the trade for pictorial reproduction. Bookplates seem to have been a smaller part of Peter's work than of his father's; perhaps a bookplate was becoming less the thing to have, perhaps those who wanted their coats of arms engraved had already been served. Those bookplates which Peter did, however, he did well, eschewing the festoons and the posies and the landscapes, and cutting the arms and formal designs with a distinction of which his father was scarcely capable.

But bookplates were not his chief product. An important part of a good engraver's work was the copying of engravings in foreign books which were being reproduced in America for the American trade. Since American copyright laws offered little protection to foreign publishers, popular foreign books were reproduced freely in America; the sheets of the text were sent to the printer to be set in type and the illustrations to the engraver to be reproduced in new plates. It is sometimes said that certain publishers voluntarily paid royalties to the foreign author; but whether or not the foreign illustrator was ever paid seems not a matter of record. The American publishers were not infrequently accused of piracy, but Peter Maverick was not acting as a publisher; he was simply a craftsman who had been engaged by the publisher to use his skill in reproducing a work of graphic art. An engraver may be an artist in a very real sense and still not be guilty of plagiarism when he uses his skill to reproduce the art signed by another. To suggest that he is guilty is like suggesting that the actor playing Hamlet is plagiarizing Shakespeare.

In this work Peter's skill showed itself sometimes superior to that of the original foreign engraver, and sometimes it did not, for he was pitted against eminent workmen. In respect to design, he held his work close to the original—so close that some of the crudities of drawing sometimes attributed to him are merely the results of his truthfulness to his copy. But his handling of the line that achieved his effect shows his mastery. In the original, the lines of shading may be blotched and merging; Peter Maverick drew them clear and separate, and yet by infinitely small gradations he gives us an interesting play of light over the surface. An original may be flat and pale, but in Maverick's copy the high lights are kept clean, and the shadows are graded deeper. With nothing but black lines on white paper he struggled to reproduce the texture of a linen tablecloth, the streaks of light and shadow on the surface of a quiet lake, the play of subdued light over a face, the curl and froth of a breaking wave, or the dim form of a distant hill.

In addition to book illustration, he was also early called upon to engrave maps. A little work with maps had been done in his father's shop, but Peter's clean line and his accurate transfer of the originals served quickly to build his reputation. The maps were of various kinds: a private map of a large tract of land in Pennsylvania, a mariners' map of Long Island Sound, a map of Caracas, two maps of New York City, and several simple charts for books of travels. Peter was beginning to be known.

In spite of the demands of his work, Peter and Mary did not remain long at any one address: during seven years we have seven different recorded addresses, the first on Beekman Street, the last on Frankfort Street, and the others on Nassau. Presumably shop and family moved together. Why they moved so frequently is not clear; perhaps the cause was simply restlessness, perhaps it was the rapidly increasing size of his family. The long list of Peter's children began a few weeks before the first wedding anniversary with the birth of Emily on April 3, 1803. Two days after Emily's first birthday a boy was born and named William Munn, the middle name being surely a salute to Sister Ann's husband. William lived less than a year, but two months after his death Maria Ann was born on her parents' third wedding anniversary. In the spring of 1806, on April 28, another boy was born and named William Henry. He, too, did not survive infancy; he died in June of the next year, shortly after the birth of a sister Lavinia on May 4. The next year, on May 26, a sixth child Cornelia was born. Exactly a year and five months later a third boy, the only boy who was to survive his mother, was born and called Peter.

During this period the rest of the Mavericks were growing up, or growing old. Although old Peter was to live four years longer, in 1807 he made his will. He began it with the invocation "In the Name of God, Amen," a manner of speaking which was not inconsistent with his deism, but which would have surprised those who ten years before had classed him with infidels.

Andrew, only two years Peter's junior, married on June 2, 1804 and moved from his father's home, where he had already begun his life's work of copperplate printing. He took his bride, who had been Catherine Dow, to his new home on Fair (now Fulton) Street, and the next year established his independent printing shop.

Samuel seemed destined for a trade unrelated to copperplate when on June 5, 1804, his fifteenth birthday, he was apprenticed for six years to his brother-in-law, James Woodham, to "learn the art, trade, and mystery of a mariner." How long he followed this art, trade, and mystery is not known [Stauffer says he began as copperplate printer in 1805, but gives no documentation for the date.], but his marriage to Mary Howell, daughter of the merchant Aaron Howell, on October 8, 1808, gives evidence that the apprenticeship was not completed, and suggests the reason. In the following year he was listed in the city directory at his father's address, and in 1810 he had a copperplate establishment of his own.

Peter's sister Rebecca died on July 4, 1809, and her husband James took as his second wife the remaining unmarried sister, Maria.

More and more the work of the elder Maverick receded into the background as his place in the craft was taken over by his three sons. In 1809 there were three Maverick establishments in Liberty Street, but in the fall of that year Peter moved his family and shop to a farm in New Jersey which he had purchased from a New York coachmaker. Perhaps he was prompted to make this move because of his realization of the profits in taking apprentices—profits to be derived both from their fees and the benefits of their work. The prospect of establishing a shop and training school where the cost of board and lodging could be kept low might well have been very attractive to the ambitious Peter. But this was scarcely his sole motive; the desire to own land of his own and to give his family the benefits of country living may well have influenced the decision which brought the family to the little farm near Newark between the Newark-Belleville road and the Passaic River.

Country Squire and Teacher

Newark in 1809 was a busy and optimistic town of eight thousand people situated between the swamps called the Newark Meadows and the hills called the Newark Mountains. A traveler went there from New York by a plank road across the cedar swamps to what is now Bridge Street, or by boat through the bay and up the Passaic River to the public dock. The town clustered around the old common which had been used as a military training ground during the Revolution, and around the intersection of Broad and Market Streets. At the north end of the common was Trinity Church, just being rebuilt around the sixty-year-old spire of the first structure. South along Broad Street were the homes and shops of townsfolk, some of them with the names of the original settlers who had come by boat from Connecticut and landed a century and a half before at a point on the Passaic banks not far from Trinity. Intersecting Broad Street was Market, which ran west up the hill toward Orange and east into the marshes. From Newark's center a walk of only a few minutes in any direction brought one to the woods and open fields.

But Peter Maverick had not come to Newark to live in town. A mile and a half north of Trinity Church were Peter's twenty acres; on the east side of the road to Belleville were fourteen acres of fertile land, stretching level from the road until it descended sharply to the Passaid, and on the west side of the road were six acres of woodlot. [The farm extended from the Belleville Road, now Broadway, east to the river, the south boundary being along an extension of the present line of Oriental Place (between Mt. Pleasant and Ogden), and the north boundary running about fifty yards north of the present southern line of Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. The woodlot was across the Belleville Road and extended to "the Long Hill Road" to Bloomfield. This old Bloomfield Road turned to the west from the present junction of Second Avenue and Broadway, bent north through Mt. Prospect Place and along Mt. Prospect Avenue for about a quarter of a mile, and thence veered to the left, along a route no longer existing, to Franklin Street and into Bloomfield.] An occasional cart passed on the road, and an occasional boat on the river. Cattle wandered freely and grazed on the roadside; violets grew on the river bank for the girls to pick in the spring.

Now, nearly a century and a half later, Maverick's name is not among those attached to the land. A few rods south of the site of the farm is Gouverneur Street, commemorating Samuel Gouverneur. The nearby Kemble estate, originally the property of Gouverneur, was occupied in Maverick's time by his grandson, Gouverneur Kemble. It was here that Kemble entertained Washington Irving during the summer months, and it was Irving who named the house Cockloft Hall. To the north of Peter's farm a little gully ran to the river, and along it a lane called Gully Road (now Herbert Place). Years after Maverick had left New Jersey, the eccentric Henry William Herbert was to make his home at the lower end of the road and to write books under his own name and his pen name of Frank Forester. Just north of Gully Road, descending the hill to the river, there was once, so it is said, a block-long street named Maverick Place, because in the late nineteenth century the elder inhabitants had a vague memory of the first settler who was "a Maverick." The name is gone now, and the street has apparently gone also. It is likely, however, that the location marks one of the three homes which the restless Maverick seems to have had in Newark.

There can be little doubt that Peter's early years in Newark were years of busy progress, whatever his later difficulties may have been. He paid $3125 for his home and some twenty acres of farm land and woodland, and in the next five years he invested nearly as much more in various pieces of land north and west of his first homestead. In acknowledging receipt of a payment for engraving work in 1812 he commented that he was busy purchasing and building far beyond his current income. In 1813 he advertised for rent a two-story residence near Belleville with ten acres of land, garden, orchard, and outbuildings. In the spring of 1813 he advertised for apprentices to the copperplate printing business, though we know that he already had some apprentices in his shop at the time.

Another venture of Peter's illustrates his ambition to make himself a country squire in his estate on the banks of the Passaic. A decade earlier David Humphreys, American minister to Spain, had brought to America the first merino sheep, and had been honored by American agriculturists for this contribution to the national wealth. Humphreys engaged Maverick to engrave a reproduction of one of the medals awarded to him. Perhaps Humphreys paid for the engraving in sheep, or perhaps the engraving called Peter's attention to the merino breed, but whatever the stimulus, it appears that Peter boldly plunged into the currently popular business of raising sheep. Perhaps he plunged too far, and was trying to get out of his venture when he advertised for sale, in repeated issues of the Newark Centinel of Freedom during the fall of 1812, five pure-bred merino rams and nine others that were seven-eights or half merino. With fourteen rams to sell, Maverick must have had a large flock, and his acres along the Passaic must have been well grazed.

But, in spite of farming and ventures in real estate, his engraving business continued, and in variety as before. On a few bookplates we find the Newark address accompanying his signature. The bank-note business continued in ever-increasing amounts, and there were commissions for magazine illustrations and for title pages of books, and many orders for book illustrations. He made several important maps, and in his spare time, or that of his apprentices, he launched some little publishing ventures of his own.

One of the contracts which must have kept many workers busy for a long period was that for the American issue of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible. The promoter of an English edition of this work, who had engraved or directed the engraving of many plates for it, followed this promotion by publishing an edition in America. He turned over to Maverick about forty of the original engravings for him to copy, which Maverick did with fidelity that was not always praiseworthy, for the originals were sometimes crude. Much of the work of this contract, however, was well within the ability of learners, and we know, both by inference and by testimony, that many hands worked on the Calmet plates.

In studying Maverick's work, it must be kept constantly in mind that the apprentices in his shop were not only learning under him, they were also working for him, and that many of the lines on plates signed by him were cut by their hands. Sometimes these subordinates were given credit in the signature, as in the Caracas plate of 1806, where we find the inscription "Water by R. Tanner" (though "the water" is only parallel ruling which filled the space beyond the line of the shore); more often their work is not identified. Nor is there any record of their names. We do know that Asher Brown Durand was one of them, but his subsequent relationship with Peter gave him an importance deserving a fuller consideration a little later in this volume. Dunlap reports that one Robert C. Bruen was an apprentice of Maverick's along with Durand. There were Bruens among the founders of Newark and it seems reasonable to suspect that Robert was a local boy. His premature death ended a life of great early promise.

Another boy, Samuel Dodd of Bloomfield, was also very likely Maverick's apprentice, and since he was only a few months younger than Durand, he probably worked in the shop at the same time. Samuel, and his two sons after him, later carried on engraving work in Newark; there is a slight hint that he might also have done some work with Maverick after his apprenticeship.

Another possible apprentice was Jersey-born William S. Potts, engraver, preacher, and later president of "Marion College." William D. Smith, an engraver in Newark in 1829 and later in New York, may have learned his trade under Maverick, as may also a William S. Griffin (probably Mary's brother). A printer by the name of William was in Maverick's employ for several years, and he may have been one of these three.

In 1818, Maverick and Durand nursed another William, a very seriously ill young man by the name of William James Stone, because Stone's relatives were too far away even to know of his illness. Since, a dozen years later, Stone was established as an engraver in Washington, D.C., it is probable that he was one of Maverick's apprentices at the time of his illness. We also have a rather confused report of an R. M. Gaw as an employee of Maverick; and a decade later a man known as Gaw did work for Samuel Maverick in New York.

These apprentices paid for their training or gave notes for future payment. Normally they lived with their master; along with Maverick's continually increasing family, they provided a use for the field and garden products, and for the milk from "the old dark-brown cow, with long horns, a white streak on the back, white belly and legs, and large udder," which strayed away on June 7, 1816 (according to an advertisement in the Newark Centinel of Freedom). Could it have been busy, city-bred, country squire Peter Maverick who milked her? Probably not, although cows were not entirely foreign to people bred in the city; in the year Peter took his bride to live in Beekman Street, a man was reported killed in that street by a cow. Perhaps milking and other farm duties fell to the lot of the girls or the apprentices, but more probably many of these tasks were done by Susan and Pompey, "persons of color and servants of Mr. Maverick," whom the rector of Trinity Church married about 1810; on April 8, 1818, the same rector recorded his reading of Pompey's burial service.

Peter's immediate family continued to grow rapidly. When he purchased the farm in 1809, his surviving children were Emily, Maria Ann, Lavinia, and Cornelia. On October 26, 1809, a few weeks after the purchase, a seventh child, Peter, was born, although it is not clear whether or not the family had actually moved to New Jersey at the time of his birth. On February 7, 1811, came Catherine, named for two of her mother's ancestors, and on May 9 of the next year Elizabeth. The following year, 1813, brought another girl on July 19, and she was named Octavia. On August 3 of the next year Octavia died, but a sister who was born on September 17 was given her name. June 21 in 1816 brought Penelope, and August 12 of the next year Julia Augusta, who lived only to January 7. Angelica was born on December 3, 1818, and Caroline on March 1, 1820. Peter and Mary had been married twenty years when Raphael, the last of their sixteen children, was born on April 21, 1822, after their return to New York.

Peter continued to plan and build for his growing family. He was proud of his progress and his new status as an owner of land, of which he has left us a strange and half-whimsical record. In 1812 he engraved for the New York firm of Prior and Dunning a map of the country thirty miles around the city of New York, a beautiful map on a generous scale. Included in it, of course, were Newark and the towns and roads around it. On this map, at a point just north of the junction of the Road to Belleville and the Long Hill Road to Bloomfield, Peter covered the area of his own holdings with the inscription "P. Maverick." And on the east side of Belleville road, a little north of the place where the Bloomfield road joins, he dotted in the house on his farm.

Three years later he was at work on another map covering "the southern part of New York including Long Island, the Sound, the state of Connecticut, part of the state of New Jersey and islands adjacent," and again Peter remembered that he and his were part of it. He omitted his name this time, but the house is dotted in, and nearby is the label "Cottage." But this house is farther up the Belleville road than is the one in the 1812 map, and on the west side, for by this time Peter had moved to a five-acre piece of land on the "drift road." He had bought the land in December of 1812 for $250, and had built a new "Cottage" there for his family. [This home was near a point west of Lincoln Avenue and north of Chester. Lincoln Avenue, Elwood Place, and Summer Avenue constituted the "drift road" to Belleville, while the River Road left the present Broadway by Herbert Place and the River Road. The present Broadway above the junction with Lincoln was not then cut through. The "drift road" is said to have been so named because the snow drifted over it heavily in winter.]

It seems likely that he moved again before returning to New York in 1820. In 1814 he bought a piece of land on the River Road, north of where the Gully Road reached it. It was here that it was later rumored that "a Maverick" had been the first settler. The same reminiscence places one Mathew Banks there from 1820, which coincides with the date of Peter's return to New York. This third home was just a short distance north of where Frank Forester was later to build his home, "The Cedars," and near where Maverick Place was apparently once a street name. The house was on the hill, slightly north and west of the present Riverside Station of the Erie Railway.

Not only did Peter's skill and his diligence in business bring him financial rewards, but they began to attract recognition as well. At the beginning of the century, a group of artists and patrons of the arts in New York had formed an American Academy of Arts (later renamed the American Academy of Fine Arts) to foster and encourage the arts in America, and to recognize ability and accomplishment by electing to its membership those whom its governing body considered worthy to honor. In December of 1816 Peter Maverick was elected. In his reply to the notification by the society's secretary, Alexander Robertson, he asks Robertson "to express to the Gentlemen composing the Board of Directors the high sense of the honor conferred [sic] by this unlooked for mark of their favor. No one," he continues, "has the welfare of the institution more at heart, and I shall be glad to be informed wherein I can be of service best." The recognition was a significant one, in spite of the fact that the academy was a weak and ultimately futile attempt on the part of benevolent and public-spirited laymen to give recognition in a field where they had small ability to do so. The practicing artists in the group were already chafing under the controls of these sponsors, and a decade later were to form a new academy, but when they did so Maverick was one of the group.

While Peter was enjoying this new association with New York artists, there is strong evidence that Mary was feeling the lack of a kind of association which to the son of the deist Peter Rushton Maverick apparently meant little. There are indications that the reverent among his family considered him not one of them, but there is no evidence as to whether or not he actually opposed the participation of his family in the rituals of religion. Nevertheless, the first dated record of any alliance between the Mavericks and Newark's Trinity Church is found in an entry for October 8, 1814. With the mother as sponsor, eight children were baptized on that date by the Reverend Lewis P. Bayard, the rector: eleven-year-old Emily, nine-year-old Maria Ann, seven-year-old Lavinia, six-year-old Cornelia, five-year-old Peter, three-year-old Catherine, two-year-old Elizabeth, and the baby of three weeks, the second Octavia. During the remainder of the family's residence in Newark, two more children were baptized soon after birth. From this time on, Mary is listed among the communicants of the church, but Peter is not, although he is regularly listed among the contributors to church expenses. Perhaps religious matters were a source of conflict between Mary and Peter which culminated in Mary's revolt and subsequent baptisms. But the truth may also have been very different. Mary was busy with child-bearing, so busy that she might well be excused for long neglect of a duty; we have ample evidence of her strong religious faith, and of the reverence she instilled in her daughters. Whether her delay in active participation in church affairs was due to her husband's opposition or to her own inertia, we can be sure that from that October Saturday she felt a renewed kinship with both God and mankind.

Maverick and Durand

In the autumn of 1812 there appeared at Maverick's shop a sixteen-year-old boy, Asher Brown Durand, who had come in from his farm home on the slope of the Newark Mountains, in what is now Maplewood, in the hope that he could make a satisfactory arrangement for apprenticeship. Asher came from a family well known as skillful watchmakers and general artisans, and his first engraving was self-taught in his father's watchmaking shop. A visitor to that shop, Enos Smith, himself an amateur painter of miniatures, became interested in Asher and urged him to study engraving. Smith recommended W. S. Leney as the most prominent engraver in New York, and many years later Durand told of his trip to interview Leney. Making the journey on foot from Maplewood to Newark and thence to Elizabeth Town Point, with his two brothers and Smith he took a periauger from Elizabeth Town to New York, landing near the Battery and staying in a nearby hotel over night. The next day they walked up Broadway, viewed the print shops near City Hall, and went thence to Leney's home in the upper Bowery. Leney stated his terms: he wanted a thousand dollars as premium for admission as an apprentice, and stipulated that all other expenses be assumed by the applicant. Durand could not afford such an arrangement, but Smith refused to let him be discouraged and arranged to have him approach Maverick, "the most prominent writing engraver in the country." [Maverick's skill in lettering was frequently singled out for praise, and several commissions, such as the Declaration of Independence (the document) and Dean's and Jenkin's textbooks in penmanship, gave him a chance to exhibit his skill.] Maverick agreed to take the boy into his household for one hundred dollars a year payable after the end of the apprenticeship five years later, the boy to provide his own clothing and incidental expenses. Durand later recorded somewhat cryptically that the next eighteen months were the happiest of his life.

Asher's first task as an apprentice was to make a pencil copy of a small engraved head—obviously a bit of training in the handling of lines. The lettering of a copperplate for a title page of Pilgrim's Progress followed, apparently as further practice work. Then he was put to work on the project then occupying the shop, the Calmet engravings. In the New York Historical Society collection of Durand's engravings is a print, in a partially completed state, of the Calmet engraving of agricultural implements. One wonders whether it was saved through Asher's long lifetime as the first product of his burin. "I soon surpassed my shopmates, and became the chief assistant," said Durand later, and there is surely no reason to doubt him, but his son's later statement, that the business of the firm was almost entirely dependent on Asher's talent, is something of an overstatement.

Asher was not the only member of the Durand family whose interests were linked at this time with those of Peter Maverick; John and Cyrus, his brothers, were busy inventing an important engraving device. Aside from the general engraving tasks which had been part of the work of the shop for years, the engraving of bank notes had come to be of increasing importance with the effort to devise various means of making them more difficult to counterfeit. The simple ruled panel used as a border for notes soon was made obsolete by a device for ruling wavy lines—a device which was developed, apparently, by several persons at about the same time. The curves of the lines were not kept parallel; successive lines verged toward their neighbors with a consistency of relationship that gave to the whole pattern of the panel the casual regularity of moire or watered silk. This device may be the machine which Dunlap says that John Durand invented "for bordering bank notes," or it may be Rollinson's, for he is credited with such a machine and worked with Maverick on some bank notes.

But it was Cyrus Durand, with his home background of careful machine work, who went further in developing this control of curved lines and of their relationships. In 1815 he produced the geometrical lathe, which in 1816 and 1818 he improved by the addition of wheels and gears, allowing more intricate geometrical patterns. A further development was made in 1823; the resulting machine was later presented to the New York Historical Society with Cyrus's claim of having invented the "first perfected geometrical lathe." It is not clear whether or not Cyrus's claim was justified or to what extent Maverick was involved in the invention. [No patent was issued to any Maverick or Durand for this or any related device, and a fire in the United States Patent Office a few years later destroyed records which might show whether any application for a patent was made.] All we can be sure of is that Maverick and the two Durands, and possibly also a third, were at work during Asher's apprenticeship on an important engraving device.

The geometric lathe was a tight cluster of heavy brass disks and wheels with levers for setting adjustments; the machine was small enough to have been easily contained in a gallon measure. A fine diamond point cut the design. It did not cut the copperplate, however, as a burin would do, but cut through a protective coating of wax or rosin; the metal itself was then bitten with nitric acid. The results of the process can be seen in a few of the bank notes which were done when Maverick and Durand were partners, and in a few of the latter Maverick products. The mechanically regular work which the machine produced, though it set the norm for future engraving of bank notes and similar paper certificates, was not, however, in line with Peter's idea of what engraving should be.

Durand's term of apprenticeship ended in the fall of 1817, and the partnership with Maverick probably followed immediately. The partnership seems to have had two phases. The first was characterized by the signature "Maverick and Durand," denoting the simple partnership of the two men who had just previously been master and apprentice. From sometime in 1818, when Cyrus's geometrical lathe got its second elaboration, the signature "Maverick Durand & Co." appears, the Co. in the firm name being Cyrus [Note that the Durand firm, after 1820, was A. B. and C. Durand.], who was a pressman with Maverick at that time. It is just possible, too, that John may have shared in the company in some way; at least he shared some of its work.

The partnership was a very loose one, with the partners separated geographically from the beginning. At least as early as October 30, 1817, Durand was established at the corner of Pine Street and Broadway in New York, and throughout the partnership 2 Pine Street continued to be the New York address. Products of the partners were signed with the firm name, with possible exceptions if the plate promised personal fame to the engraver. In a few instances the initials M and D were used to indicate the individual artists; on many plates both partners worked. Maverick was to have the first choice of any work coming to the company; second choice was to go to Durand. If Durand did not want it, then Maverick was to farm it out as he saw fit for his own benefit. Each man kept his own accounts, though each might act as agent for the other in collections. Printing seems to have been handled in various ways as firm business; the second stage of the partnership was marked, apparently, by an attempt to organize the work of the presses under Cyrus's leadership.

The partnership began auspiciously; orders were abundant and Maverick's pride and hope were high. He signed letters to his former pupil "Yours respectfully" and "Yours with esteem." When a prospective pupil sought him out for instruction, he recommended Asher as the person most capable of teaching him. Although Peter in his late thirties was not the healthy man he had been in his twenties, he was strong in will, and we find him, in letters to his partners, exultant about the future. "I shall," he said in May of 1818, "with the blessing of God make the two coming months produce me a more abundant harvest than ever I before reaped in so short a period."

But the times were not right for reaping abundant commercial harvests, and Peter became convinced that he must return to New York. He advertised his country place for sale or for rent, planning to establish a new home in New York with a new and finer shop. Elaborate farm properties were not in demand, however, and he remained in Jersey, tied by necessity to his farm and kept by that necessity away from the sources of business in his craft.

Perhaps both these necessities rendered him too readily vulnerable to rumors and suspicions. Perhaps, in spite of his many recorded kindnesses and sacrifices, he was a hard man to have as a partner. Or perhaps Peter had just heard rumors of Durand's March 7th contract with John Trumbull to engrave his painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In any case, by 1820 he began to feel that he must manage his New York office himself, and in March of that year he asked Durand to give up the New York quarters and to relinquish his right to the company mail. He asked Durand for a reply "this afternoon."

The Durand files show letters from Duran to Maverick on the 13th and 17th of March, and there may have been others. At this time Durand told Maverick of Trumbull's proposal (which he did not say he had already secretly accepted) that Durand alone should engrave the painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In a letter dated March 17, Maverick protested, claiming his right to the first choice of business offered. "Colonel Trumbull nor no other man," he said, "shall dictate to me how my business must be conducted. I have always been much pleased with your progress and shall rejoice in your acquisition of fame, but it must be done without derogating from mine. I am also ambitious and jealous of my reputation."

Maverick's next letter to Durand was begun on March 25, and it shows the culmination of his suspicions. He had found out by then that Durand had made a first choice of contracts three times in a month, and he emphatically repeated that it was he, Maverick, who was entitled to first choice. He refused to accept Durand's dictation regarding work, and he threw back in Durand's face some plates which the younger partner had sent out to Newark for lettering. He sarcastically thanked Durand for making the Maverick blood circulate more briskly. He did not send the letter that day, and by the next the briskness of his circulation had stimulated him even more. He added further charges, that Durand had sent him no work from the New York office for six months, that Durand had professed friendship but had used every means to injure his partner and undermine his reputation. Further, he reminded Asher, this base and ungrateful conduct had been going on when Asher knew that Maverick was suffering for want of means of providing for the necessities of his family. As he wrote this last bit, or as he reread the whole letter, Peter, apparently convinced that he had not put the matter strongly enough, made an interlinear addition after the comment about Asher's derogatory remarks: "Lightning blast the wicked that would descend to such business."

He must then have sent the letter promptly, for Durand's answer is dated the next day. He protested first that he had not violated the friendship that he had pledged, nor had he broken his partnership agreement except in the interest of the firm. (In the light of the peculiar nature of the partnership, this claim is somewhat puzzling.) He hinted that Maverick had not stated the real cause of his charges; that it was Maverick's "mortification" at his pupil's improvement which was at the root of the controversy. Then, repudiating all obligations (except a debt which to his shame he could not pay), he ended with, "God willing you shall yet find a friend not unworthy of your confidence in the despised and guilty [sic] A. B. Durand."

Peter's reply was somewhat conciliatory. "I suffered my passion not to cool before I wrote," he began, but then went on to list the rumors he had heard that Durand was playing down his senior's reputation, saying that the partnership was of no value to him, but rather an injury, and that Maverick was surprisingly little known as an artist in New York. He denied that he had envied Durand's progress, insisting that all his friends knew the falsity of the charge, but he said he would never "let you or any other engraver excel me," and repeated his ambition to rank high as an artist, "as high as any person on this side the Atlantic."

Thus the Maverick-Durand partnership dissolved. Three years later Maverick made some sort of attempt to return, though still as the senior partner, and was rebuffed. After the death of both principals, the story, as told by Durand's son, strengthens the suspicion that some of Maverick's resentment at his partner's attitude toward him was not without foundation, but it is probably not correct to think that the rift made enemies of the persons concerned. When in 1825 a group was re-forming the pattern of the old American Academy, Maverick and Durand worked side by side in the new movement. Three years later a letter from Maverick to Trumbull mentioned the recent receipt of money, and asked for the remainder of the account because of new and unexpected needs. Trumbull's reply, which he recorded on Maverick's letter, showed no suggestion of a strain in their cordial relations, even though Trumbull had to ask Maverick to wait for payment. Not only do the letters show a friendly relationship, but they also show that Trumbull was still employing Maverick's talents in some way. [Possibly in printing from the Declaration of Independence or some other plate. As if Peter had not already been humiliated enough by losing to his younger partner the choice contract to engrave Trumbull's Signing of the Declaration, he was called upon to do the printing from Durand's plate, Durand probably having no equipment for such a task. Perhaps necessity would not let him refuse the contract. He and his assistant, Mr. Neal, requisitioned in January and February of 1821 a total of 506 sheets of paper for the work, paper which had been made by the Gilpin mill at Brandywine, Pennsylvania, at a price of $75 a ream. Records of later printings continue for several years in Trumbull's account books. The completed prints sold at $20 a copy.] And in 1831, when Maverick died without a will, relations between the family and Durand were good enough to make Durand acceptable as an appraiser of the estate. Such evidence does not point to any serious breach of friendship as the result of ending the partnership.

Undoubtedly Trumbull did look with favor on Durand as the engraver of his paintings, and he well might. That painting had been going begging, however, for some time. Trumbull wanted a foreign engraver, and tried to get James Heath of London to do the picture; but Heath asked six thousand dollars, and Trumbull refused. A contract was actually made with an Italian, Mauro Gandolfi, whose price was four thousand dollars, but when Gandolfi came to new York to begin work he found living expenses too high and refused to go on. Durand's figure was three thousand, with payments over four years.

A wider view of the situation in 1820 shows many reasons for the dissolution of the firm and the move of its principals to New York. The Durands were capable young men with a machine which made them strong candidates for leadership in the fast-growing bank-note business; there were few advantages which continued partnership with Maverick could offer. What Maverick had to give he had already given in his training of Asher.

Newark, moreover, which had been an enterprising city ten years before, had suffered greatly from the general business depression which began in 1817 and reached its worst in 1820. Industries had failed or moved away, the population had decreased greatly, land values had disappeared. Though Maverick's business was never dependent upon its immediate surroundings, there was no advantage in staying where such conditions were prevalent. There must have been other reasons also for Peter's return to New York. We know little of the education of Peter's family, but we know, from their later careers, that the girls and the boy were not left uneducated. In 1809 the woods and fields and river bank were a tempting setting for the girls, but now the young ladies and the young lad had other needs, needs which New York could meet better than Newark.

So in 1820, the year that marked the end of his partnership with Durand, Peter Maverick took his wife and eleven children and his furnishings and equipment to New York for a fresh start. To help that start he raised a thousand dollars on a mortgage of all his Newark property, the six plots which he had bought for nearly six thousand dollars during the preceding eleven years. He showed no further interest in the life of a landed proprietor. After his death the holder of the mortgage was apparently the only bidder at the foreclosure sale, bidding enough to cover the debt and an additional sixteen hundred dollars in interest and costs.

Maverick's Last Years

Some of Maverick's friends were inclined to feel sorry for him as he made his new start in New York. They pitied him for his limited prosperity, and they pitied him for his large family which included no boys to share the economic burden (his son Peter was only eleven). But we have no indication that Maverick himself wasted any energy in self-pity as he plunged into this last decade of his life which was to bring him sorrows and disappointments and strains in his formerly happy family relationships, but which was to bring him also new adventures in the reproductive arts and new successes as a commercial pioneer.

The two eldest girls, Emily and Maria Ann, worked in their father's shop as his pupils and assistants in drawing and engraving, and when about 1824 Peter turned to the new field of lithography, both girls became his active associates, reproducing drawings and doing some original ones. Like other apprentices, they must have done also much of the simpler work on plates and stones signed by their father. They were not, however, the first American women engravers; a dozen years earlier a Mrs. James Akin and an Eloisa R. Payne had made a beginning for women in this field, and about 1816, in Collin's Quarto Bible, a print of Ruth and Boaz was done by a Miss H. V. Bracket. In the Maverick family, however, the engravings by Emily and Maria Ann for an edition of Shakespeare marked a family triumph. [In the theatre collection of Harvard University the publication date for this volume is listed as 1822, but this date is from H. Heath's original English designs which the girls reproduced. No copies of the American edition appear to be available, but Stauffer's guess of an 1830 date seems reasonable.] Peter must have experienced some of the same pride in his daughters that many years before his father had felt in his son.

There were other apprentices and employees in the shop, but records are not very satisfying. R. M. Gaw may have been still doing some work for Peter, as well as for Samuel, and Dodd seems to have had some continued connection with the shop. One boy, an apprentice of Peter Maverick "at the age of fifteen," seems to belong definitely to this period. He is John W. Casilear (1811-1893) who was to become a National Academician at the age of forty and to win prominence in nineteenth-century bank-note and postage-stamp engraving.

The 1820's were years of keen competition in the New York engraving field, and Peter's re-establishment of his business was marked by the same aggressiveness that he had shown in his many ventures in the past, and by the pride of a workman who feels sure of the quality of his work. Some years earlier, in answering a protest to a charge for repairing a plate, he had confidently said, "Any work I do will command that price." And his opinion had not changed, for in an advertisement in the city directory of 1821, he pointed out the value of having the work of artists engraved and printed by one who was himself an artist; he boasted that his shop had "several" good workmen, that a larger press was soon to be installed, and that the work of the shop was "conducted after the English manner." A few years later, in a letter soliciting business, he proclaimed himself "prepared to engrave plates . . . on copper or steel as successfully as can be done by any engraver in this country."

Along with that boast, however, is a note of humiliation that the business was not seeking him without his stir. "I feel it is a duty I owe myself and family," he wrote in a letter, "to conquer the repugnance I have to applying for business." The letter was written to a bank, and since it was not primarily seeking commissions to engrave notes, but instead commissions to print them from already engraved plates, Maverick adds the explanation that the latter work is far more profitable.

The fact seems to be that Maverick, without the aid of the recently elaborated engraving lathes possessed by the Durands, was finding competition hard. Skilled handwork could scarcely meet the lower prices which were possible when much of the work was done by machine, and the value of the involved mechanical scrollery as a deterrent to counterfeiting was hard to deny. Furthermore, there is little reason to think that the bank officials were aware of the bad taste which characterized many of the designs done by the rotary lathe as it came into more and more frequent use; the quiet vignettes and panels of the Maverick designs could have seemed old-fashioned to the customers. In spite of these difficulties, Peter Maverick did make a good many notes in this period, as the check list shows.

But his chief interests were not in this kind of work. Throughout the decade he developed and expanded his shop. When engraving on steel was initiated, he promptly began to offer the durable steel plate for engravings needing long use of plates. He even did some multiple-plate color work in intaglio. Six years after the first lithography was done in America, and two years after the first commercial work in New York, he was taking regular commissions in lithography. Near the end of the decade he was advertising his varied business along with "a new method combining the beauty of copperplate with the cheapness of type."

Earlier in the decade, however, he had regarded letterpress printing not as an ally but as a competitor. A manuscript of printer's reminiscences preserves for us a minor triumph of Peter Maverick, the engraver, over the letterpress printers. There had been developed by Messrs. Edwin and Charles Starr and Mr. Elihu White a method of printing bank notes from type which the self-confident printers maintained was proof against counterfeiting. To back their boast they deposited with Mr. Fleming, cashier of the Mechanics' Bank, a five-hundred-dollar forfeit to be awarded to anyone who, in the opinion of Mr. Fleming, should engrave a successful counterfeit. Maverick accepted the challenge and won the award, though others criticized the decision on the ground that the backs of the notes done by Maverick could be distinguished by their lack of the raised impression which is peculiar to letterpress. Maverick, however, had met the requirements of the challenger, and thus had defended his craft against one threat of competition.

The varied kinds of work carried on in his shop required extensive equipment, and from the inventory of his estate at his death we know that Peter's shop was well equipped. In addition to one copperplate press, there were four items identified only as presses, two items which were listed as iron-screw presses, three called lithographic presses, and one called an iron lithographic press. In the sale which followed his death these eleven presses ranged in price from twenty to seventy-six dollars. We find listed also three ruling machines, as well as an item called merely "a machine" which was sold to Durand. Of materials, about two thousand square inches of copperplate sold at from two to three cents an inch, though some twenty-four dollars' worth of copperplates were sold without measurement. Paper of various kinds, sometimes with the quantity specified but sometimes merely "a lot of paper in the corner," brought nearly three hundred dollars. The largest, and heaviest, asset in Peter Maverick's estate was lithographic stone. The various lots of this, which sold almost always for ten cents a pound, total more than two and a half tons. Other materials of the trade were in proportion.

In the 1820's Maverick also turned more and more to independent business ventures in which he functioned both as engraver and as publisher. He had already produced a small school atlas and was beginning to be interested in portraits. He engraved portraits of Henry Clay, Edward Mitchell, and Richard Channing Moore; several others not so well dated may have been done also at this time. He was interested, too, in producing books of art instruction, such as Rudiments of Drawing, a textbook which he designed to illustrate the drawing of the head of full figure through the various stages from simple geometrical designs to finished drawings.

There seems to be no record which reveals Peter Maverick's political attitudes, but it seems safe to assume that he was thrilled, in the summer of 1822, to find himself working with Thomas Jefferson, even though he had only a small part in the company of those surrounding the former President in the culminating act of his life, the launching of the University of Virginia. Although the institution was not to open its doors until three years later, in 1822 Jefferson and his associates were pressing the matter vigorously against much public inertia and many political cross purposes. The plan of the buildings and grounds of the academic community had taken form, and as an aid to publicity the committee proposed reproducing the design. The details of the transaction, which can be traced through various collections and records in Virginia, not only give us a point of contact between Maverick and Jefferson, but they furnish us also with a body of specific data regarding the conduct of Maverick's business not otherwise available.

Sometime before July 10, 1822, Maverick had had correspondence regarding the engraving, had offered to do it in line for $112, and had said that such a plate would give six to eight thousand impressions. On this date Jefferson wrote William J. Coffee asking him to order such a plate with 250 impressions, and to have Maverick keep the plate in his shop in anticipation of further orders "if we find the impressions sell readily." Further negotiations were interrupted by the epidemic which caused Maverick and his family to flee the city, but on November 22 Jefferson wrote acknowledging receipt of the proofs of the engraving, commenting on the paper to be used, and confirming the initial order for 250 copies. On December 7 Maverick wrote Jefferson that he had sent the copies to Colonel Peyton at Richmond and had retained the plate. The itemized bill was $112 for the engraving, $25 for printing 250 copies, $12 for the paper used, and $1 for boxing and cartage. A check for payment went promptly from the proctor of the university to Peyton, and on December 23 Peter again wrote to Jefferson acknowledging the receipt of the payment. Before the university was ready for students, however, there were changes in the building plan which necessitated changes in the engraving. With the charges for a second printing of 250 copies in 1825 was included a $13 charge for alterations. The bill was paid on March 3, 1825, four days before classes began in the new institution.

Engraving was not a cheap method of reproduction, even if enough copies were printed to make the cost of the original plate relatively small, as bills of Maverick and his contemporaries testify. For each operation of inking this plate, wiping it clean, and running the plate and paper through the press, Maverick charged ten cents. If only five hundred copies were made from this plate, the cost of cutting the plate added twenty-five cents for each copy. To these costs must also be added the shipping charges from New York to Richmond. In the light of such costs, it is no wonder that the cheap and easy process of lithography—though it resulted in a muddy surface and a ragged line which must have set many a good engraver's teeth on edge—pushed very rapidly to the fore.

During this period Maverick also included commissions for the South American trade. He did work for a Spanish gift book intended for South America, and his portrait of Clay was printed in a Spanish edition. The inventory of his estate refers vaguely to engravings for a Spanish prayer book, and elsewhere to a plate for a portrait of Bolivar. When Simon Bolivar was constructing the financial pattern of the Republic of Colombia, Peter Maverick tastefully designed and engraved with skillful care a sheet of notes for him. It is possible that an extensive search of South American libraries and museums might produce evidence of much more of Peter's work in that part of the world.

Perhaps the most important bit of professional adventuring in Maverick's shop at this time was his work with the entirely new process of lithography. We have seen him at work first with a relief block, in which his task was to carve away all but the lines and surfaces to be printed, and then to press these inked lines and surfaces on paper to make the impression. We have seen him at work in a long career with the intaglio process in which the printing is accomplished by pressing paper into channels and tiny pits filled with ink. Now he turned to a planographic process, with no raised surfaces to take the ink from the roller, nor any channels to hold the ink against the cleaning action of the wiper.

The process of lithography was invented and developed in Austria just before the turn of the century, but its first recorded use in America was by Bass Otis, in a portrait frontispiece for a book published in 1818. The basic process was simple, though it was capable of an infinite refinement, the extent of which was never even dreamed of in Maverick's time. Upon the smoothed surface of a kind of stone found in the region of lithography's origin, the drawing was made with a greasy crayon. When water was applied to the stone, the crayon lines, being greasy, repelled the water, and when oily ink was rolled over the surface it adhered only to the lines from which the water had been repelled, so that the paper laid upon the stone took the impression of these inked lines of the original drawing. This brief exposition is far too simple for even the work done by the Mavericks, and is quite inadequate for later developments, but it serves to distinguish the process from Maverick's previous work.

One of the contracts in the Maverick shop at this time was for plates for the Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York for 1824 and 1825. Out of a group of more than thirty plates, several were done in lithography and the remainder in stipple and line engravings. Emily and Maria Ann did many of these plates. Octavia and Catharine were already hard at work learning the process, and after Emily's marriage and departure in 1830, and their father's and Maria Ann's deaths in 1831 and 1832, respectively, they joined their brother in carrying on the family business of lithography.

Because lithography was a cheap and rapid process compared with engraving, it offered strong competition to the older arts, and lithographic items were turned out in great abundance for the popular trade which Currier and Ives were soon to serve. Maverick used stone for reproducing at least one popular song, for Lambdin's portrait of Robert Owen and for Lawrence's Daughters of Charles B. Calmaday, for Herring's drawings of snipes and woodcocks, for a dog and a girl with the title Le Fidele Ami, and undoubtedly for many more pictures. His final inventory abounds in items which might be either engravings or lithographs, but the titles suggest the popular taste which lithography was soon to cater to. We find, with the number of copies and the price (of a cent or two a copy), such titles as Maid and Milk Pail; Distress; Gentle Tooth Drawer; Grandfather's Wig; Rabbits; Perfect Felicity; and other similar items for which the inventory shows no identified plates to prove them engravings. We find also one item "1 Stone and Drawing, Puppies" which sold for five dollars; the price can hardly mean anything else but that the surface of the stone was still good for printing before the impression should be cleared off and the stone used again.

The American Academy of Fine Arts, which had elected Maverick to membership in 1816, was now having difficulties with an active group of practicing artists among its members who felt that the "gentlemen of taste and fortune" who were in authority over their body ignored proper business methods, lacked administrative abilities, and tended to rebuff rather than attract young artists. Accordingly there developed a group called the Drawing Association, whose members made use of certain facilities of the Academy in their own way, and threatened complete separation when the governing board exercised a control which they felt not warranted. Leaders in this movement were Samuel F. B. Morse, Durand, Inman, and Wall. In the winter of 1825-1826 the efforts of this group to get satisfactory representation of the governing board came to an impasse. The discontented group withdrew to form the National Academy of Design. Maverick appears to have played no great part in the politics which stirred the younger men to high emotion, but he identified himself with the new movement and was one of the founders. He was also one of the committee that prepared its first exhibition in 1826. The American Academy made several futile attempts at conciliation, but before long the National Academy had the field to itself.

In the late spring of 1826 Maverick was host for a period to the portrait painter, John Neagle [Neagle is often mentioned as an engraving apprentice of Maverick. The statement is completely plausible, but I have found no contemporary evidence.], and his wife of Philadelphia. Neagle appears to have used the days of his visit to good purpose, for he records that he did portraits of half a dozen important theatrical folk of the time, a minister, and several others. In recognition of the hospitality which he and his wife had received, Neagle also began a portrait of his host, which he finished in Philadelphia later with Mr. Townsend (perhaps one of Maverick's future sons-in-law) "sitting for the coat."

This portrait, which Neagle presented to the Maverick family, gives us our only knowledge of the physical appearance of Peter Maverick. It was exhibited in the National Academy show of 1827 and drew from John Neal, in his review of that exhibit the judgment that it was "a very bold, straightforward, generous picture." A process reproduction of it was made in the late nineteenth century, but the original was lost to public record until (in connection with the present study) it was discovered in the possession of Mr. Charles E. Townsend, Maverick's great-great-grandson; in an exhibit at the Newark Museum in December, 1947, it was shown in a collection of early American portraits.

Maverick's personal affairs during this last decade of his life were less happy than his professional activity. First death claimed two of his children: on September 13, 1822, five months after birth, he lost his son, Raphael, and on July 8, 1823, three-year-old Caroline died. In the summer of 1825 his wife, Mary, who had been subject to consumption, suffered a serious decline. On August 10 her suffering became intense and by seven o'clock the next morning she, too, was claimed by death. Consumption was a disease that was destined to be the cause of much sorrow in the family; already the cause of death of one child, Julia Augusta, it was later to claim also the lives of several other of his children.

In the following spring came the death of Peter's brother Andrew at the age of forty-three. Although the evidence is slight, it suggests a cordiality in many personal and business relations between the two. Peter engraved business cards for Andrew, and Andrew's home was Peter's New York address during part of his residence in Newark. Andrew may have worked with Peter in his Newark establishment (the records hint at such a relationship).

About this time an important rift occurred between the Peter Mavericks and Peter's brother-in-law Patrick Munn, for whom Peter and Mary had named their first son. In 1819 Munn had made a will which provided for the division of his estate, after his widow's death, among his and his wife's relatives, the Munns themselves having no children. This meant that half of Munn's estate was to be divided among the grandchildren of Peter Rushton Maverick. Peter Maverick was nominated as one of the executors. In 1827, however, Munn added a codicil removing the nomination of Peter as executor, and removing all Peter's children from any share in the estate. The shares of his other nephews and nieces were left undisturbed. An explanation of Munn's action can only be a matter of speculation. The religious issue suggests itself, for Ann Munn, Peter's sister, was, contrary to Peter, a devout person; but so were many of Peter's daughters. Whatever the cause, we may be sure that, unless Peter was well fortified by a conviction that he was not at fault, this incident must have added further strain.

A year later the family tensions reached a climax. Since their mother's death the older daughters had continued to maintain the family unity and to carry on the household for their younger sisters and their father and brother. When it was learned that their father planned to bring into the household a new mother, and one only seven years older than his eldest daughter, their resentment was strong. Perhaps Peter did not lessen the resentment when he, or his intended wife Matilda Brown, chose May 15, the twenty-sixth anniversary of his marriage to Mary, as the date of his second marriage; Matilda never felt herself received into the family of her husband. On September 25 two daughters left the household after Maria Ann, the engraver and lithographer, married John Franklin Townsend, and Cornelia married William Henry Townsend, his brother. A little over a year later, on January 4, 1830, Emily married Tobias Abraham Stoutenburgh of Johnstown, N.Y. The younger members of the family presumably stayed at home during the life of their father. To this father and his new wife was born an unnamed daughter who lived only a short time. On August 23, 1830, a second child, who was destined to achieve some eminence, was born and named Augustus.

In the fall of 1830 Peter completed his fiftieth year. He had worked hard, and apparently was still working hard, for there are none of the indications of the slow relinquishment of activity that his father's last years showed. His advertisements emphasize the new techniques available at his shop, or call for additional helpers. But the work, the worries which commercial planning and adventuring must have entailed, the worries of births and deaths and family rifts must have taken their toll. On the 7th of June in 1831 he died of what the signer of the death certificate called "decay of the heart." The funeral was held two days later from his last home, 61 Grand Street, and burial was in St. John's Burying Ground, beside Mary and their child Caroline.

On January 12 of the following year Maria Ann died, and her death was recorded in her mother's family Bible, on the inside cover of which were recorded all the births and deaths of Mary's family and of her mother's family. Whoever recorded Maria's death (perhaps kindly Cornelia) also recorded, in the sequence given, the following notes, which tell as much by their reticences as by their utterances:

Maria Ann. Departed this life on the 12th of Jan. 1832 at 5 o'clock A.M.; in the joyful hope of a happy immortality through the merits of her crucified Redeemer. Her complaint Consumption. Her age 26 y. 7m. 28d.

     The mother of the preceding, August 11th 1825, at 7 o'clock
A.M. of a pulmonary complaint terminated by extreme agony of 18 hours continuance during the whole of which trial, the mind remained calm; not a murmur of impatience could proceed from a heart so fortified by the Christian's hope of a happy immortality. Her short time of existence, 43 years—her walk through life exemplary; her exit happy.

     Peter, the Husband and Father of the foregoing—of a disease of the heart which terminated his existence on the 7th of June 1831 at 1 o'clock P.M. aged 50 y. and 7 mon.

In St. John's Burying Ground a stone was set with the simple inscription "Sacred to the memory of Peter Maverick who departed this life June 7th 1831 aged 50 years & 8 months." Near the end of the century the burying ground was taken by the city for a public park. After a careless record of the inscriptions had been made, the stones were buried. The park has now become the commercial parking area which motorists emerging from the Holland Tunnel see to their right.

The Maverick Name and Engraving

Although Peter was the most important Maverick in the field of graphic arts, the name continued to be closely associated with engraving and lithography long after his death. Among his descendants and those of his brother Andrew and his half-brother Samuel, skill in engraving and lithography continued until the craft itself gave way to quicker and cheaper methods of reproduction.

Six years after the death of Andrew, the copperplate printer, his twenty-three-year-old son Andrew R. married Ann Anderson, the daughter of the wood engraver, Alexander Anderson, who in 1788 had marched in the federal procession with old Peter Rushton Maverick. A few years later Ann was left a widow with two children: a daughter who was destined to die in childbirth while still very young, and a son, William, who after apprenticeship to a bookbinder was employed in the early 1850's as a journeyman. When he married a fellow shopworker in 1854, William moved his business and home to Brooklyn, where he lived till his death at the end of the century, being survived by his wife (who died in 1903) and three daughters.

But in Andrew's immediate family it was Ann's career that kept the name of Maverick connected with the graphic arts, for her signature appears on many prints. From her father, Ann had learned intaglio engraving and the art of engraving wood or type-metal blocks for relief printing; and when left a widow, she turned to engraving for a livelihood, and was soon regularly employed. A half dozen years later she was courted by a Joseph Riley, a former Bostonian who represented himself as a widower. After some hesitation Ann married him in 1842, and for a year or two, his business prospering, he made a home for Ann and her two children, and also presumably for two children of his own. Then he deserted the family, and upon investigation Ann learned that his former wife was still living and still undivorced. Ann resumed the name of Maverick and returned to engraving, putting her children out to board, as she had done before marrying Riley. She was soon regularly employed again, in her later years by an Episcopalian publishing house, doing work for their Sunday school and church books and periodicals. Her work, in the relief block which could be printed with type, has a neat correctness which suggests sometimes the products of those mechanical processes that soon were to replace handwork in all commercial engraving, but it is skillful work of its kind, and it drew the praise of the old master, Ann's father. She continued this employment until the onset of her final illness; after months of suffering she died in late September or October of 1863. For nearly thirty years she had practiced the trade of engraving in New York City under the name that Peter Rushton Maverick had begun to make famous ninety years before.

Throughout the nineteenth century, Samuel Maverick and then his son, Brewster, kept the name of Maverick closely connected with lithography. Mary Howell, Samuel's first wife, apparently was influential in his decision to become an engraver instead of a mariner. After her death he married Clara Reynolds, the granddaughter of his mother's half-brother. Both his mother and Clara survived him when he died on December 4, 1845 [His mother, Peter Rushton Maverick's second wife, died in 1852, and his wife Clara, in 1848. Two lines of descent from Samuel have been traced in recent genealogical studies of the Maverick family. Both are through Samuel's daughter Harriet Matilda, who married Smith A. Parkes. Her son Woodworth's daughters, Harriet M. and Grace E. Parkes, still live in Iowa, where their father was taken after the death of his mother in 1859, and they have been of great help in tracing many of the relationships outlined in this book. Woodworth had a sister Mary Louise, and her great grandson, Raymond Maverick Hunter, Jr., born March 26, 1925, is the eleventh generation from Rev. John Maverick who brought the name to America.], but his engraving business did not continue very long after Clara's death three years later.

Although scarcely fifteen years old at the time of his father's death, Samuel's eldest son Brewster early became interested in lithographic work. In 1866, after some ten years of work in lithography, Brewster shared in the establishment of a lithographic firm in partnership with Louis Stephan, and twelve years later with J. G. Wissinger. His wife, the former Ellen Maria Boleyn of London, survived his death in 1898 by ten years. Although Brewster had no children, his lithographic business continued and is still (1949) in operation in New York under the name of Maverick and Wissinger.

In spite of the fact that the majority of Peter's children were girls, it is in this branch of the family that the association of the name Maverick with the arts was most strongly continued. The work of Emily and Maria Ann in their father's shop has been noted in earlier pages. While their father was still living, both girls became associates of the National Academy of Design. It is not certain whether or not Emily continued her interest in lithography from her move in 1830 to upstate New York until her death in 1850. From her marriage in 1828, Maria Ann probably did very little work in the graphic arts; she was not in good health and lived only to 1832.

On January 31, 1834, when the aging William Dunlap was completing his Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, he was visited by "two Misses Maverick" who brought with them samples of lithographic work. These girls may well have been Octavia and Catharine, the only other daughters of Peter whose signed works testify to their abilities in the graphic arts. Since there is record of a letter written by Dunlap to their brother Peter Jr. (then the head of his father's business) only a few days before their visit, it is conceivable that they had come at Dunlap's request. Later in their lives these two sisters turned to teaching. Octavia married a teacher, Edwin Spafard, in 1846, and from 1855 to 1863 she herself taught drawing and painting in the Packer Institute in Brooklyn. Catharine began her teaching career in 1847 in the Troy Female Seminary (now Emma Willard School) where she taught drawing, water-color painting, and later pastel until 1862. Octavia died on June 23, 1882, and five years later, on January 11, 1887, Catharine died.

There is little reason to believe that at the death of Peter in 1831 the family rift occasioned by his second marriage to Matilda in 1828 had been mended. Matilda with her baby Augustus continued for some time to make her home at 61 Grand Street. Augustus, who early began his career as Horace Greeley's office boy, became prominent in New York and Boston journalism as editor and author. After fifty-seven years of widowhood Matilda died only a month earlier than her son. [Augustus had two children, Grace and Manton. Of the many descendents of Rev. John Maverick of New England, Manton appears to have been the last to bear the name of Maverick; at his death on Sept. 23, 1943, he left no children.] Since the children of Peter and his first wife Mary left the home on Grand Street soon after their father's death, it is scarcely strange, in view of the family separation, that the officiating clergyman at the funeral of Augustus spoke of him as an only child, in spite of the fact that a few weeks earlier his half-sister Angelica had died but a few blocks away, and another—Catharine—only the year before.

The center for Peter and Mary's children after they left Grand Street appears to have been Cornelia's home. This is not difficult to understand, for from the meager records available she emerges as an interesting and kindly personality. In the record of her testimony for an acrimonious lawsuit, for instance, her quiet kindly effort to be fair to all concerned is evident in every sentence. Except for her residence in Staten Island [The Townsend's lived at what is now 104 Townsend Avenue. Called a stationer, he and his brothers were also large land-owners in the vicinity.] from the spring of 1840 until her husband's death six years later, Cornelia made her home in Manhattan. Church records show that, when Cornelia and her husband transferred their membership from St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church in New York to St. Paul's in Staten Island, Penelope, Lavinia, Catharine, and in the following year Angelica [Lavinia married the blind Warren Waterbury in 1850 and lived until April 19, 1874. Of Penelope, little is known beyond the fact that she died in 1865. From 1850 to 1855 Angelica was a colleague of her sister Catharine at the Troy Female Seminary where she taught language and literature; she may earlier have been a teacher in Virginia. Her death is recorded for March 27, 1888.] also transferred their memberships. Nor were her sisters the only ones to enjoy Cornelia's home. When the wife of her half-brother Augustus died in 1870, Cornelia took the two children, Grace and Manton, to live with her for a time; and after Cornelia's return to New York from Staten Island Grandmother Rebecca also lived with her.

Cornelia's husband, William Henry Townsend, may have been one of Peter Maverick's apprentices. After Peter's death, his business was carried on by a kind of partnership of Townsend and Peter's twenty-one-year-old son Peter; the older Peter died without a will and in the 1831 sale of his goods, Townsend and the younger Peter shared in some of the purchases of shop equipment.

Young Peter's contemporaries seemed to regard him as an unworthy son of a worthy father, but the records do not indicate whether this opinion was based on a comparison of their business efficiency, their social behavior, or their technical skill. At any rate, he continued to work in lithography up to his death on September 6, 1845. [An unexplained New York Trinity Parish burial record, "Mary, wife of Peter Maverick, died March 1833," might indicate that young Peter married a Mary and early became a widower, but it is more probably another example of the careless copying to be found in this record of the tombstones in St. John's Burying Ground made at the time the burial ground was turned into a park.] At a recent sale, because of its rarity, his lithographic view of Wall Street, New York, sold for nearly four thousand dollars. This print was long assumed to be the work of his father, and it is possible that other lithographs attributed to his father are instead the work of the son.

Charles (1836-1894), one of the children of Cornelia and William Townsend, showed some of the Maverick interest in the arts. Although an accountant by vocation, he was a painter by serious avocation, and exhibited his pictures in the shows of the National Academy which his grandfather had helped to found.

Although most of the Mavericks lived and worked in New York City the greater part of their lives, the location of the family burial plot in Newark reminds us again of the family's interim residence in that city. Presumably the family lot [No. 2 in Trinity Yard now included within the walls of the Cathedral House.] was purchased for the burial of the first Octavia in 1814. Although only the burials of Octavia and Raphael are listed during their parents' lifetime, it is a fair assumption that Julia Augusta was also buried in this plot during this period. According to a manuscript copy of the tombstone inscriptions made in 1904, Lavinia, the second Octavia, Angelica, Catharine, and two of Cornelia's children, William Henry Townsend (1834-1864) and Mary Townsend Walsh (1838-1863), are also buried here. A mysterious Hebert Maverick, who died in 1864 at the age of 48, is also listed. Since Penelope died in 1864 at the age of 48, this may be an error in deciphering or copying the tombstone inscription; if on the other hand there was a Maverick who gave his son the name of the French revolutionary martyr to reason's cause, there is apparently no other record of his life. And as errors go, this is surely more interesting than most blunders of copyists.

This, then, is the family of Peter Maverick, from his father, who founded the business with the help of his grandfather's estate, on through the span of a century to the sons and daughters of Peter who reflected in their vocations their training in the shops of Newark and of New York. There must be still further influences and results of his life and work. There must be influences in interests and skills transmitted from parent to child in the various families founded by the daughters and granddaughters under various names. There must be influences among pupils who studied under the teachers of art who had learned their first principles in Peter's shop. We cannot trace them all, but, traceable or not, they are the results of the Maverick skill and industry, for these are the ways in which a culture lives and grows and develops. As a master craftsman in the engraving of his time, and as a pioneer in lithography, Peter was an important worker in movements which, for better and for worse, have strongly affected America's artistic culture.

Stephen DeWitt Stephens