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Maverick Family Collection of Engravings

Identifier: Fine Prints Maverick

Scope and Contents

Most of the approximately 300 items in the Maverick Family Collection come from the New York City and Newark workshops of Peter Maverick (1780-1831) and document his skill and technique in engraving on copper or steel. Several are the work of other hands in whole or in part: Maverick’s father Peter Rushton Maverick, his brother Samuel, his daughters Emily and Maria Ann and other family members are all represented.

Formats in the collection include bank notes, book illustrations, bookplates, diplomas and certificates, maps, portraits, trade cards and original drawings. Annexed to these are archival materials, correspondence, publicity materials, research notes and reproductions of Maverick works not held by NPL.

The indispensable guide to the collection’s contents and arrangement is the checklist of engravings and lithographs in Stephen DeWitt Stephens, The Mavericks, American engravers (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1950) 89-180, as supplemented and corrected by the same author’s Documentation corrections & additions to The Mavericks, American engravers (The author, 1964). A copy of The Mavericks is filed in Box 2, folder 22, and should be consulted for more detailed descriptions of the contents of the collection. A photocopy of the supplementary volume is filed in Box 2, folder 23, from an original (one of 50 copies printed) in the Library’s R. C. Jenkinson Collection of Finely Printed Books.

Stephens organized his Maverick inventory by known or suspected creator from oldest to youngest. He arranged the products of the major creators by format, and within each format alphabetically by subject. The checklist is numbered consecutively, leaving unassigned numbers at the end of each section to facilitate admission of new discoveries.

The copy of Stephens’s volume The Mavericks stored with the collection is replete with marginal annotations in pencil. Some of these notes refer to engravings omitted from the printed list; these are given numbers (e.g. “S1460” or “S1468-A”) that attempt to preserve Stephens’s original scheme.

Using Stephens’s ordering of the material, the works of each creator have been processed as a separate series. Each work in the collection is identified by its Stephens number (e.g. S211) from the 1950 checklist or its 1964 supplement. If a work appears on neither printed list, a Stephens number is assigned and given in quotation marks (e.g. “S725-X”).

NPL holds Maverick engravings outside the main collection (principally in its rare book and bookplate collections) which have nonetheless been listed in the inventory according to their Stephens numbers. One item (S774b) found in Fine prints “M-small” was moved to the Maverick Family collection in the course of processing.

Archival materials, research notes, reproductions of Maverick engravings and other secondary materials have been gathered in four supplementary series filed after the main collection.


  • ca. 1750-1850


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. Photocopying or photographing of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied or photographed without permission from library staff.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission from the Special Collections Division.

Biographical / Historical

Peter Rushton Maverick (1755-1811), son of Andrew Maverick and Sarah Rushton, was a New York City silversmith and engraver. His pupils in the art of engraving included William Dunlap, Francis Kearny and his own sons Peter and Samuel Maverick.

Peter Maverick (1780-1831), son of Peter Rushton Maverick and Ann Reynolds, was the most eminent of the Maverick family of engravers and a pioneer in the art of lithography. He lived and worked in New York City and, for more than a decade, in Newark. In 1809 he moved his family and shop from New York to a farm he had purchased on the Newark-Belleville road (now Broadway), later building a cottage on the “drift road” west of modern-day Lincoln Avenue and north of Chester Avenue. Maverick’s years as a Newark engraver were among his most prolific, and included the period in which Asher Brown Durand (see below) was his apprentice and business partner. Many signed engravings of this period bear the names of “P. Maverick and Durand.” John William Casilear was another distinguished pupil, and Maverick trained at least two of his many daughters, Emily and Maria Ann, and his son Peter Jr. in the trade as well.

Peter Maverick produced bookplates and trade cards for local businesses while under the tutelage of his father Peter Rushton Maverick, but came into his own chiefly in the areas of book illustration and bank note design. He counted publishers R. & W. A. Bartow, William Durell & Co., Eastburn, Kirk & Co. and banks as far away as Augusta, Georgia, and St. Louis, Missouri, among his clients. He became a founding member of the National Academy of Design.

Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886) was born in Jefferson Village (now Maplewood), New Jersey, and learned engraving first from his father, a silversmith, then as an apprentice in Peter Maverick’s Newark shop from 1812. The firm became “Maverick and Durand” in 1817, and “Maverick Durand & Co.” in 1818, with Asher and his brother Cyrus working out of the company’s New York office. Maverick and Asher Durand worked together on some projects, and separately on others. (Certain engravings in this collection are attributable to Durand: see especially 304 and 754-759.) The partnership dissolved in 1820 after Durand accepted a commission to engrave John Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, violating what Maverick perceived to be their working agreement. Durand continued to have success as an engraver, but achieved far greater renown as one of the foremost landscape painters of the Hudson River School.

Samuel Maverick (1789-1845), the son of Peter Rushton Maverick and Rebecca Reynolds and half-brother of Peter Maverick, ran a copperplate engraving business in New York City.

Emily Maverick (1803-1850), Maria Ann Maverick (1805-1832) and Peter Maverick, Jr. (1809-1845) were three of Peter Maverick and Mary Griffin’s children who worked in their father’s engraving and lithography business. Although much of their work was undoubtedly not credited, both Emily and Maria Ann signed several productions of their own. Both became associates of the National Academy of Design. Peter Jr. continued to work as a lithographer after his father’s death.

Catharine Maverick (1811-1887) and Octavia Maverick Spafard (1813-1882) were daughters of Peter Maverick and Mary Griffin, born in Newark. NPL may possess the only known signed work by these two artists.

William Henry Townsend (fl. 1835) married Peter Maverick’s daughter Cornelia and worked with Peter Maverick Jr.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 Hollinger boxes)

0.91 Cubic Feet (1 flat oversize box)

Language of Materials



This collection comprises some 300 examples of the work of engraver Peter Maverick (1780-1831) and members of his family.

Related Materials

Works by the Mavericks figure in the print and book collections of numerous libraries and museums outside Newark. Significant holdings are found at the New-York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, the American Antiquarian Society and the Worcester Art Museum.


“Data on Newark artist object of long search. Key to material for Peter Maverick biography found in Trinity Cathedral cemetery.” Newark Evening News 25 January 1946 p.5 c.1.
Stephen DeWitt Stephens, The Mavericks. American engravers (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1950).
Betsy Moriarty, “Versatile engraver. Peter Maverick’s art won recognition in 18th century – now on exhibit.” Newark Sunday News 24 September 1950 p.21 c.2.
“Bank’s private money of 1822 is uncovered.” Newark Sunday News 31 January 1954 p.23 c.2.
“Library gets Maverick engravings. Presentation is made by Dr. Stephens.” Newark Evening News 25 February 1954 p.21 c.1.
Stephen DeWitt Stephens, Documentation, corrections & additions to The Mavericks. American engravers (Montclair, N.J.: The author, 1964).
Charles F. Cummings, “From etchings to vast murals, city inspired artist’s visions.” The Star-Ledger 7 January 1999 p.4N c.1.
Gregory Guderian
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Newark Public Library Repository

5 Washington Street
PO Box 630
Newark NJ 07102 USA