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Thomas Mayne Reid

also known as Captain Mayne Reid

novelist , writer , author

Thomas Mayne Reid was a Scots-Irish American novelist. "Captain" Reid wrote many adventure novels akin to those written by Frederick Marryat and Robert Louis Stevenson. He was a great admirer of Lord Byron. These novels contain action that takes place primarily in untamed settings: the American West, Mexico, South Africa, the Himalayas, and Jamaica.


Ethnicity: Both the Father and mother of the writer were Scots

Reid, Thomas Mayne was born on April 4, 1818 in Ballyroney, County Down, Ireland. Son of Thomas Mayne and Miss (Rutherford) Reid.


Came to New Orleans, circa 1838. Published early verse in Pittsburgh Morning Chronicle under penname The Poor Scholar, 1842, also poems in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Wrote 5-act tragedy Love’s Martyr produced at Walnut Street Theatre, October 23, 1848.

Became society correspondent for New York Herald at Newport, Rhode Island, summer 1846. Wrote for Spirit of the Times, fall 1846. Served from Second lieutenant to First lieutenant, 1st New York Volunteers in Mexican War, 1846-1848, served at Veracruz, Battle of Chapultepec.

Published Little Times (evening daily), London, England., 1866. Returned to American, 1867. Published magazine Onward, 1869-circa 1870.


  • He returned to England and began writing adventure stories that were especially popular with boys. The first of these was "The Rifle Rangers" (1850). Others include "The Scalp Hunters" (1851), "The White Chief" (1855), and "The Headless Horseman" (1866).Reid wrote about seventy-five novels, and many short stories and sketches.



"A philosopher is, no doubt, entitled to examine even those distinctions that are to be found in the structure of all languages... in that case, such a distinction may be imputed to a vulgar error, which ought to be corrected in philosophy."

"There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words. "

"Every indication of wisdom, taken from the effect, is equally an indication of power to execute what wisdom planned. "


Married Elizabeth Hyde, 1853.

Miss (Rutherford) Reid

Elizabeth Hyde