Matthew Fontaine Maury

Lieut. Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S. Navy Matthew Fontaine Maury (January 14, 1806February 1, 1873) was an American astronomer, United States Navy officer, historian, oceanographer, meteorologist, cartographer, author, geologist, and educator.

He was nicknamed "Pathfinder of the Seas" and "Father of Modern Oceanography and Naval Meteorology" and later, "Scientist of the Seas" for his extensive works in his books, especially ''The Physical Geography of the Sea'' (1855), the first such extensive and comprehensive book on oceanography to be published. Maury made many important new contributions to charting winds and ocean currents, including ocean lanes for passing ships at sea.

In 1825, at 19, Maury obtained, through US Representative Sam Houston, a midshipman's warrant in the United States Navy. As a midshipman on board the frigate , he almost immediately began to study the seas and record methods of navigation. When a leg injury left him unfit for sea duty, Maury devoted his time to the study of navigation, meteorology, winds, and currents. He became Superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory and head of the Depot of Charts and Instruments. There, Maury studied thousands of ships' logs and charts. He published the Wind and Current Chart of the North Atlantic Ocean, which showed sailors how to use the ocean's currents and winds to their advantage, drastically reducing the length of ocean voyages. Maury's uniform system of recording oceanographic data was adopted by navies and merchant marines around the world and was used to develop charts for all the major trade routes.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Maury, a Virginian, resigned his commission as a US Navy commander and joined the Confederacy. He spent the war in the South as well as abroad, in Great Britain, Ireland, and France. He helped acquire a ship, , for the Confederacy while he also advocated stopping the war in America among several European nations. Following the war, Maury accepted a teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. He died at the institute in 1873, after he had completed an exhausting state-to-state lecture tour on national and international weather forecasting on land. He had also completed his book, ''Geological Survey of Virginia'', and a new series of geography for young people. Provided by Wikipedia
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Author: Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873.
Published 1856
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Author: Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873.
Published 1857
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Author: Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873.
Published 1876
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Author: Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873.
Published 1861
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Contributors: '; ...Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873....
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Author: Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873.
Published 1858
Record Source: Published Materials
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