A maverick was an unbranded animal found on the open range. It is believed that the term originated with a Texas lawyer named Colonel Samuel Maverick. He purchased a herd of cattle but failed to ensure that they were branded. As a result these unbranded cattle in Texas became known as mavericks. Later this term spread to other parts of America. Cattleman in the American West took the view that they had the right to take possession of mavericks they found on the open range. These would then be marked with their own brand.