Captain Mayne Reid (1818-1883)

Death: 22nd October 1883
Location: Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England
Photo taken by: DeadGoodBooks
Buy books by Captain Mayne Reid

Irish-American writer of adventure stories. Born Thomas Mayne Reid in County Down he left Ireland in 1839 and moved to New York City. He had various jobs, including trading corn and tutoring children, before heading to Philadelphia where he worked as a journalist. At the end of 1846 he joined up to fight in the Mexican-American War and received the commission of second lieutenant. During the battle of Chapultepec he was wounded and received a promotion to first lieutenant. He was discharged from the army in 1848. 
He headed to England where his first novel, The Rifle Rangers, was published in 1850. In 1853 he married Elizabeth Hyde who was the daughter of his publisher, she was 15. He produced several more novels, based on his adventures in America, before moving to Rhode Island in 1867. America was not kind to him this time, Elizabeth hated it and Reid was hospitalized for several months due to the wound that he had received at Chapultepec. They returned to England in 1870 where he tried to write but completed very little. 
His adventure stories of the American West, even though largely forgotten today, were very popular with both adults and juveniles in North America and Europe. Although he called himself Captain his record shows that he never held this rank.  A quotation from The Scalp Hunters is on his grave marker:
This is 'weed prairie'; it is misnamed: It is the Garden of God.