John McCain never tires of reminding us that he is a "maverick," a dissenter "who marches to his own drum," he said in his acceptance speech. We know the common dictionary meaning of the word that referred originally to wayward cattle and later to a public figure with an independent mind. The owner of the maverick cattle herd who gave us the word in its current form was Sam Maverick, a South Carolinian turned Texan. Maverick fought in the Texas Revolution, spent time in a Mexican prison, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, served as a state legislator and the mayor of San Antonio.
Columnist Rick Casey writes in the Houston Chronicle that there were other Mavericks before and after Sam, the lousy Texas cattleman and some of them too were mavericks.