Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1806-01-14
Death 1873-02-01
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

American naval officer and oceanographer.

From the description of Letter to Capt. Charles Wilkes [manuscript], 1848 March 15. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647808228

From the description of Letter to Andrew Hull Foote [manuscript], 1856 April 4. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647817495

Epithet: Astronomer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000135.0x000219

Geographer and Confederate naval commander.

From the description of Letter to Lt. O. Carr, 1849 July 15. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 32959670

From the description of Letter to Lt. O. Carr [manuscript], 1849 July 15. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647808379

Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1861), naval officer, oceanographer, and author, served as the Superintendent of the Depot of Charts and Instruments from 1842-1861 when he resigned from the U.S. Navy to accept a commission as commander in the Confederate states navy after Virginia seceded. He published books and charts on winds and currents including the first text book of modern oceanography. See Francis Leigh Williams, MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY, SCIENTIST OF THE SEA (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1963).

From the description of Letters, 1848-1861. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145406829

Hydrographer, of Lexington, Va.

From the description of Papers, 1829-1871. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20019203

Naval officer and oceanographer.

From the description of Matthew Fontaine Maury papers, 1825-1960 (bulk 1830-1880). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981179

Epithet: American scientist

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000135.0x000218

Charles Babbage was a mathematician and inventor.

From the guide to the Charles Babbage selected correspondence, 1827-1871, 1827-1871, (American Philosophical Society)

Biographical Note

  • 1806, Jan. 14: Fredericksburg, Va. Fredericksburg Tennessee Tennessee Born near Fredericksburg, Va.; raised in Tennessee
  • 1818: Entered Harpeth Academy, near Franklin, Tenn.
  • 1825 - 1834 : Obtained midshipman's warrant, U.S. Navy and made three extended voyages
  • 1834: Married Ann Hull Herndon; resided in Fredericksburg, Va.
  • 1836: Promoted to lieutenant Published A New Theoretical and Practical Treatise on Navigation (Philadelphia: Key and Biddle. 174 pp.)
  • 1839: Permanently lamed in stagecoach accident and thenceforth not assigned to sea duty
  • 1842 - 1844 : Superintendent of the Navy Department's Depot of Charts and Instruments
  • 1844 - 1861 : Superintendent of the Naval Observatory and Hydrographical Office
  • 1847: Issued first Wind and Current Charts (U.S. Hydrographic Office) howing best "tracks" for sailing ships in the North Atlantic
  • 1853: U.S. representative at international maritime congress, Brussels, Belgium
  • 1855: Published The Physical Geography of the Sea (New York: Harper & Bros. 274 pp.), the first modern oceanographic textbook Placed on inactive duty by the U.S. Navy
  • 1858: Restored to active duty by presidential order; promoted to commander retroactive to 1855
  • 1861, Apr. 20: Resigned from U.S. Navy and accepted commission as commander in Confederate Navy
  • 1862: Special agent of the Confederate government to England
  • 1865 - 1866 : Imperial commissioner of immigration to the Emperor of Mexico
  • 1866 - 1868 : Resided in England
  • 1868: Published First Lessons in Geography (New York: Richardson & Co. 62 pp.) Published The World We Live in (New York: Richardson & Co. 104 pp.)
  • 1868 - 1872 : Professor of meteorology, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va.
  • 1870: Published Manual of Geography (New York: University Publishing Co. 162 pp.)
  • 1873, Feb. 1: Died, Lexington, Va.

From the guide to the Matthew Fontaine Maury Papers, 1825-1960, (bulk 1830-1880), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

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Subjects:

  • Marine meteorology
  • Public lands
  • Meteorology--Observations
  • Torpedoes
  • Scientists--Great Britain
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Winds
  • Meteorology, Agricultural
  • Science--History--19th century
  • Meteorology
  • Mines and Mineral Resources
  • Meteorological stations
  • Physical geography--Virginia
  • Oceanography
  • Calculators
  • Transatlantic cables
  • American Confederate voluntary exiles
  • Diplomatic and consular service, Confederate--Great Britain
  • Inventions
  • Deep-sea sounding
  • Ocean currents
  • Crops and climate
  • Ships--Equipment and supplies
  • Science--Experiments
  • Diplomatic and consular service, Confederate
  • American Confederate voluntary exiles--Mexico
  • Physical geography
  • Cables, Submarine

Occupations:

  • Oceanographers
  • Naval officers
  • Naval officers, Confederate

Places:

  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Atlantic Ocean (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • York River (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Confederate States of America (as recorded)
  • Confederate States of America (as recorded)
  • Confederate States of America (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)