Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »

MAAS, SAMUEL

Natalie Ornish
Grave of Samuel Maas
Photograph, Grave of Samuel Maas in Galveston. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

MAAS, SAMUEL (1810–1897). Samuel Maas, ship chandler and land investor, was born in Meinbeim, Baden, Germany, on March 1, 1810. He was educated in Europe and in the 1830s immigrated to the United States; he lived first in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later in South Carolina, where he had relatives. His first attempt to move to Texas ended in failure: he loaded a schooner with lumber for building a house and set sail for Galveston, but a storm wrecked the ship off the Florida Keys, and Maas had to swim ashore. He arrived in Nacogdoches County in 1836, became fluent in Spanish, and found work translating Spanish land titles into English. After 1839 he lived in Galveston and operated mercantile establishments there and in Houston. He sailed to Europe many times to conduct trade for Texas, and he held a letter of recommendation from Sam Houston to Ashbel Smithqqv dated July 21, 1843, in which Houston referred to him as Captain Maas. Maas traded for and with the colonizer Henri Castro, Ashbel Smith, chargé d'affaires to England and France from 1842 to 1844, and Sam Houston. In 1844, on a trip to Germany, he met and married Isabella Offenbach (see MAAS, ISABELLA OFFENBACH), an opera singer and sister of composer Jacques Offenbach. Together they arranged for opera to be performed in Galveston and wrote newspaper reviews of musical performances. Maas died in Galveston on January 10, 1897, at age eighty-seven.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Samuel Maas Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Samuel Maas Papers, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas. Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Natalie Ornish, "MAAS, SAMUEL," accessed November 17, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmabx.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 27, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox