Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/96

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MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY

The University of North Carolina conferred upon him an A.M. degree in 1847 and a LL.D. in 1852, and Columbia University made him a Doctor of Laws in 1854. A. A. Low and Brothers of New York named one of their clipper barques in his honor in 1855. But the most substantial reward bestowed upon him in the United States came in 1853, when the merchants and underwriters of New York presented him a fine silver service and a purse of $5000 in recognition for what he had done for the commerce of that great port. Six years later, a testimonial signed by 363 different American shipowners, masters, and merchants was sent to him as an expression of their "personal regard and esteem".

The reports of the various Secretaries of the Navy from 1850 to 1855 referred in the highest terms of appreciation to the hydrographical work which Maury was doing. Secretary Graham went so far as to write, "Indeed, I doubt whether the triumphs of navigation and the knowledge of the sea, achieved under your superintendence of the Observatory, will not contribute as much to an effective naval service and to the national fame as the brilliant trophies of our arms". Still, notwithstanding this official praise, Maury was kept in the rank of lieutenant, and an attempt made in the Senate in January, 1855 to secure an appropriation of $25,000, as "some substantial evidence of the appreciation of the benefits he has, by his labors, conferred upon his country", came to nought; and a short time thereafter he was treated with the greatest cruelty by the Navy Department which placed him for a time in official disgrace and reduced his pay to $1200 per annum.

Abroad, on the contrary, Maury received almost universal recognition, and the rulers of Europe seemed to