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Maverick, Lewis A. (Lewis Adams) (1891-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Maverick, Lewis A. (Lewis Adams) (1891-)
Variant Name: Maverick, Lewis Adams, 1891-

Historical Note:

Lewis Adams Maverick was born in 1891 to attorney George Madison Maverick and Mary Vance Maverick of Texas.  Lewis was the last of six children including Mary Rowena, Lola, George Vance, Lucy Madison, and Augusta Lewis. His sister Lola Maverick Lloyd was a nationally renowned pacifist, suffragist and women's right activist.  His grandfather Samuel A. Maverick served as mayor of San Antonio from 1839-1840.  The Texas Declaration of Independence severing ties with Mexico was signed by Samuel A. Maverick and contributed his surname to the American lexicon, due to his refusal to brand his cattle, resulting in unbranded cattle called "mavericks."

Maverick was raised in the Saint Louis area and received his bachelors in mechanical engineering in 1913 from Washington University of Saint Louis.  In 1915, he accompanied his sister Lola Maverick Lloyd on the Ford Peace Expedition. In 1925 he received his Doctorate in Education from Harvard.

Lewis A. Maverick was a professor of Economics at the University of California, and he also helped established the University of California Southern Branch, which became the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).  He later began teaching at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on September 16, 1946.  He saw Carbondale as an opportunity to return closer to home, having grown up in St. Louis, Missouri, and being closer to family members.  He retired from that position in 1956 due to health complications.  He moved back to Los Angeles later that year.

Maverick's professional research was in three fields.  Through the late 1920s into the 1950s he published two books on ancient Chinese economics.  In these he argued modern western economic theories including enlightened despotism, mercantilism, and theories on trade originated in China, and were brought back by Jesuit Missionaries.  His second field of study was that of production, and the elements which made it up.  His 30 page pamphlet "Productivity, a Critique of Current Usage" sold hundreds of copies, making its way into the libraries of corporations and universities alike.  Finally, late in his career Maverick studied the history of economics, and the evolution of economic theories.  He wrote a draft for a book on the topic from 1960-1966 but it never found a publisher.

In George Kimball Plochmann's The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University, Maverick is labeled "a conservative.”  However, he was also noted in The Red Network a 1935 publication by Elizabeth Dilling outing alleged radicals, socialists and communists. Maverick had sympathies for the ideal of communism.  In his notes and an unpublished article he wrote, "Communist theory is decent, but the practice is dictatorship, which means suppression,” and "the proletariat never has had control.”  He added, "The Russian government is not communist nor socialist; it is not a soviet.  A person who is a true communist is still entitled to assert his belief with pride and dignity; he may be wrong in thinking that his chosen system can work...but he is entitled to favor the system."

The archival collection of Lewis A. Maverick's was acquired by the University Archives from the Southern Illinois University Press.  In 1956, the Southern Illinois University Press acquired the stock and became the distributor for the following books written by Professor Maverick:

Productivity, a Critique of Current Usage

Economic Dialogue in Ancient China: Selections from the Kuan-Tzu

Political and Economic Theories: China, A Model for Europe

Time Series Analysis: Smoothing by Stages

English Translation of Quesnay's Despotism of China

Dr. Maverick, with his extensive knowledge of the physiocrats, contributed to and assisted on the article "China's Gifts to the West," dated March 9, 1948, written by Derk Bodde, Assistant Professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Maverick died in 1973.


Finding aid for the Maverick family papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.

Finding aid for the Lola Maverick Lloyd papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.

Plochmann, George Kimball.  The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University.  Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1959.

Dilling, Elizabeth. The Red Network. Chicago: Elizabeth Dilling, 1935.

Department of Economics records, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Note Author: Charles Reginold Yesudas, Revised by Benjamin Bradley

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