Matthew Fontaine Maury/18
Incidents in the Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury — American Scientist— Founder of Modern Oceanography — nicknamed "Pathfinder of the Seas"
(1st Draft March 14, 1994) by William Maury Morris, Virginia [wmm@itc.Virginia.edu]
1806— Janurary 14— Born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
1810— Richard Maury, father, moves from Virginia to Tennessee.
1818— Falls from a tree and his back is severely injured.
Leaves home for Washington, riding gray mare, Fanny.
At Fincastle, Va., riding up from Tennessee.
May— At Cousin Reuben Maury's home, "Albemarle", in Albemarle county, Virginia (now in Charlottesville city limits) Maury tastes his first ice cream.
June-16— Ship Brandywine launched to take General Lafayette home to France.
August13— Maury reports on the Brandywine at New York.
September 8— Brandywine sets sail for France from the mouth of the Potomac.
November 2— Brandywine joins Commodore Rodgers' squadron at Gibraltar.
1826— May— Brandywine arrives at New York.
Spring— Maury visits his home in Tennessee.
June10— Sails from Norfolk on frigate Macedonian for Rio de Janeiro.
1827 March 10— Joins the Vincennes in Callao Roads, Peru.
1829 July 4th— The Vincennes leaves Callao to cross the Pacific.
July 26— The Vincennes reaches Nukahiva, Marquesas Islands.
1830-Janurary 3— The Vincennes anchors in Macao Roads, China.
June 8— The Vincennes arrives at New York.
1831— June— Maury sails in the Falmouth.
October— The Falmouth reaches Valparaiso.
Maury appointed Sailing Master of the sloop of war Falmouth;
Maury sails Falmouth around Cape Horn.
1832— A hero at San Lorenzo.
1833— August 20— Transferred from the Falmouth to the Dolphin.
Autumn— Transferred from the Dolphin to the Potomac at Callao.
December15— At Valparaiso again, and Manuela.
1834 Early summer. Reaches Boston in the Potomac
July 15— Marries Ann Hull Herndon, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
1835— Making a home in Fredericksburg.
June 24— Elizabeth Herndon Maury born in Fredericksburg.
1836— June.10— Made Lieutenant in the United States Navy.
Treatise on Navigation, published in Philadelphia.
Maury's book favorably reviewed by Edgar Allan Poe, editor of The Southern Messenger.
1837 March18— Attached to the Macedonian again.
June 25— Anne Fontaine Maury ("Nannie Curly") born in Fredericksburg.
September— Appointed astronomer of South Sea expedition.
1838— Spring— Resigns from South Sea expedition
CHRONOLOGY continued (work in progress)
Incidents in the Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury: American Scientist, Founder of Oceanography
(1st Draft March 14, 1994 ) by William Maury Morris II.
1806-Jan.14..Born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
1810-........Richard Maury, father, moves from Virginia to Tennessee.
1818-........Falls from a tree and his back is severely injured.
1825-Spring..Leaves home for Washington, riding gray mare, Fanny. At Fincastle, Va., riding up from Tennessee. May.....At Cousin Reuben's in Albemarle, eats first ice cream. Jun.16..Brandywine launched for Lafayette. Aug.13..Maury reports on the Brandywine at New York. Sep.8....Brandywine sets sail for France from the mouth of the Potomac. Nov.2...Brandywine joins Commodore Rodgers' squadron at Gibraltar.
1826-May.....Brandywine arrives at New York. Spring..Visits home in Tennessee. Jun.10..Sails from Norfolk on frigate Macedonian for Rio de Janeiro.
1827-Mar.10..Joins the Vincennes in Callao Roads, Peru.
1829-July 4..The Vincennes leaves Callao to cross the Pacific. July 26.The Vincennes reaches Nukahiva, Marquesas Islands.
1830-Jan.3...The Vincennes anchors in Macao Roads, China. Jun 8...The Vincennes arrives at New York.
1831-Jun.....Maury sails in the Falmouth. Oct.....The Falmouth reaches Valparaiso. Maury appointed Sailing Master of the sloop of war Falmouth; He sails her around Cape Horn.
1832-........A hero at San Lorenzo.
1833-Aug.20..Transferred from the Falmouth to the Dolphin. Autumn..Transferred from the Dolphin to the Potomac at Callao. Dec.15..At Valparaiso again, and Manuela.
1834-Early summer. Reaches Boston in the Potomac. July 15 Marries Ann Hull Herndon, near Fredericksburg.
1835-........Making a home in Fredericksburg. Jun.24..Elizabeth Herndon Maury born in Fredericksburg.
1836-Jun.10..Made lieutenant in the United States Navy. Treatise on Navigation, published in Philadelphia. Maury's book favorably reviewed by Edgar Allan Poe, editor of The Southern Messenger.
1837-Mar.18...Attached to the Macedonian again. Jun.25...Annie Fontaine Maury ("Nannie Curly") born in Fredericksburg. Sept.....Appointed astronomer of South Sea expedition.
1838-Spring...Resigns from South Sea expedition.
Mar.29...Catherine Ann Maury, sister of Matthew Fontaine Maury, dies.
Summer. Publishes five articles in the Richmond Whig; under pen name, "Harry Bluff."
Dec..... Publishes seven more articles in the Whig; using pen names; "Will Watch to Harry Bluff." Advocating a naval academy.
1839-Jan......Publishes in Southern Literary Messenger "Direct Trade with the South."
Engaged in surveying southern United States harbors. Visits home in Tennessee. In stagecoach accident and severely injured.
1840-.........Reaches New York too late for ship.
April...."Scraps from the Lucky Bag," No. I.
May......"Scraps from the Lucky Bag," No. II.
Aug.31...Writes Rutson Maury on the secret of happiness—"occupation for some useful end."
Oct.9....Richard Lancelot Maury [eldest of 3 sons] born in Fredericksburg.
Dec......"Scraps from the Lucky Bag," No. III.
1841-Jan......"Scraps from the Lucky Bag," No. IV.
June....."More Scraps from the Lucky Bag."
July.....A sketch of Maury in Southern Literary Messenger
Nov......Maury makes another request for active sea service.
1842-July 1...Takes charge of Depot of Charts and Instruments at Washington.
Aug.31...Congress appropriates $35,000 to equip the Depot.
Oct.21...John Herndon Maury [2nd son] born in Fredericksburg.
1843-July.....Lectures on the Gulf Stream before the President and the Diplomatic Corps.
Presents paper on "Blank Charts" before the National Institute.
Edits the Southern Literary Messenger.
1844-.........Advocates canal to connect Mississippi River with Lake Michigan
Nov.13...Mary Herndon Maury born in Washington.
1845-.........Begins a catalogue of the Stars.
Nov......Attends Memphis Convention.
Warns against disunion.
"Letters to Clay" in Southern Literary Messenger.
1846-.........Addresses Philodemic Society, Georgetown College.
His first volume of astronomical observations, a pioneer work.
Dec.5....Eliza Hull Maury born in Washington.
1847-.........First Wind and Current Charts published.
Made a Master of Arts by the University of North Carolina.
1848-.........Issues "Abstract Log" for navigators.
1849-Jan.9....Matthew Fontaine Maury Jr. born in Washington.[3rd son]
Congress authorizes three ships for maury to cooperate in taking soundings of the North Atlantic for the laying of the trans-Atlantic Cable.
1850-.........Advocates treaty with Brazil to open navigation of the Amazon River and to stop the slave trade. M F Maury Sends Lieutenants Wm Lewis Herndon and Lardner Gibbon on U.S.N. exploring expedition of the Valley of the Amazon.
1851-May 9....Lucy Minor Maury born in Washington.
Conceives the idea of systematic observations on land and sea, and urges daily weather reports for farmers.
Clipper ships race from New York to San Francisco.
Writes report on fortifications.
Dec.24...Writes to his cousin, Mrs. Blackford on slavery.
Second volume of astronomical observations published.
More than one thousand ships on all oceans observing for M F Maury.
1852-.........Makes an orthographic map of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Made LL.D. by the University of North Carolina.
Another great race of Clipper ships; ship Flying Cloudfollows Maury's charts and easily wins breaking all previous records by days.
1853-Jan.26...USN Cmdr. Wm. Lewis Herndon's (kinsman) report on the Amazon submitted to Congress.
Ship 'San Francisco' disabled & lost in storm located by Maury.
July 23..Sails from New York for Brussels Conference.
Aug. 23..Brussels International Conference opens.
Maury Advocates weather reports on land at Brussels.
Merchants of New York give Maury $5,000.
Writes seven "Inca" articles setting forth the resources of the Amazon Valley.
Nov......Begins to correspond with Cyrus West Field.
John Mercer Brooke's sounding device used on the USS Dolphin.
Commander McClure completes Northwest Passage.
E.K. Kane leads expedition to Arctic waters.
1854-Feb......Maury gives information to cable projectors.
Mar.22...Made member of scientific society of Emden, Hanover.
Telegraphic Plateau reported.
Sixth edition of Sailing Directions.
Made LL.D by Columbia College, New York.
Dec.4....Recognized in report of Secretary of the Navy.
Dec.7....Made member of scientific society of Hainault, Belgium.
Dec.17...Made member of Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium, at Brussels.
1855-Jan......Bill offered in the Senate to give Maury $25,000.
Feb.3....Letter from Baron von Humboldt, transmitting medal from King of Prussia.
Feb.28. Maury's 'Efficiency Act' passed by Congress.
More letters to Field on the Atlantic cable.
Delivers addresses in South and West on land weather reports.
Addresses literary societies at the University of Virginia.
Publishes chart on "Ocean Lanes."
First edition of his Physical Geography of the Sea.
July 25..Writes kinsman, Frank Minor on industry.
A merchant ship is named for Maury.
Maury awarded a medal at the Paris Exposition.
Sep.17...Relieved from active service on recommendation of Naval Retiring Board.
Sep.20...Writes Bishop Otey concerning his demotion.
Nov......The Scientific American protests against retiring of Maury.
Dec.2....Constantine, Grand Duke, chief of Russian Navy, writes Maury a letter of appreciation.
Dec.15...New York Herald protests against retiring of Maury.
Dec.28...Letter from Schliedon, with gold medal from Republic of Bremen.
Dec.29...Maury made a member of Imperial Academy of Sciences of Russia.
1856-Jan.10...Addresses United States Agricultural Society on land meteorology.
Jan.21...Senator Bell, of Tennessee, petitions the Senate on Maury's behalf.
Feb.13...Made member of scientific society of Marburg, Prussia.
May 17...Made member of Historical Society of New Jersey.
Speaks at Decatur, Alabama, on weather reports for farmers.
State of Missouri authorizes establishment of five observatories for agriculture.
Secretary of Navy Dobbin lauds Maury on Telegraphic Plateau.
Nov......Made a knight by king of Denmark.
Nov......Delivers two lectures in Buffalo.
Dec......Delivers six lectures before Lowell Institute, Boston.
1857-Jan.28...Letter by Maury read before Royal Dublin Society.
Travels south and west at his own expense, making addresses for National/International weather bureau.
Apr.11...Baron von Humboldt writes Maury a letter of congratulations.
Sep.3....Made a member of Historical Society of Tennessee.
Made a knight by the Czar of Russia.
Maury's portrait painted in fresco in Tennessee State capitol.
Senator Harlan reports Maury's plan for land meteorology.
Maximilian, of Austria, sends Maury a diamond breastpin.
1858-Jan.13...Maury a member of the Bohemian Royal Society, at Prague.
Maury restored to active service and promoted to Commander in the U.S. Navy by President John Fremont of PA.
Feb.22...M.F. Maury becomes correspondent of Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.
Apr.18...Made a member of scientific society of Berlin.
Sep.2....Great banquet by city of New York to Cyrus W. Field; Field pays tribute to M.F. Maury's work on the Cable.
Maury delivers twenty-five lectures in twelve cities.
Eight cities, induding Buffalo, memorialize Congress for Maury's plan for daily weather reports.
Nov......Made a member of the French Legion of Honor.
1859-.........Lectures in Alabama and Tennessee.
Oct.12...Addresses Tennessee Historical Society.
Honored by the King of Portugal.
Three hundred sixty three ship owners give Maury testimonial
1860-Jan.3....Writes the governor of Pennsylvania urging him to mediate between North and South to pevent civil war.
Feb.24...Given valuable collection of French charts and nautical instructions and "a great gold medal."
Jun.6....Archduke of Austria sends Maury a meteorological diary.
Sep......Visits Niagara Falls and other places thereabouts.
Oct.10...Makes address at Sewanee, Tenn., at cornerstone laying, University of the South.
Oct......At Nashville counsels moderation in national crisis.
Nov......In England, copyrights new edition of his Physical Geography of the Sea.
Dec.7....On steamer returning from England, writes Wm. C. Hasbrouck, his old teacher.
Given medals by the Pope.
1861-Apr.12...Fort Sumter fired on.
Apr.15...Lincoln calls for seventy-five thousand troops.
Apr.17...Virginia passes secession ordinance.
Apr.20...Maury resigns from United States Navy; leaves National Observatory.
Apr.23...Commissioned by Governor Letcher in navy of Virginia and appointed a member of Letcher's executive council — "Council of three".
Apr.26...Writes to Gideon Welles, Secretary of United States Navy, explains his reasons for resigning.
Apr.29...Richmond becomes Confederate States capital.
May......Maury assists in fortifying Jamestown Island & Gloucester Point
Jun.10...Commissioned in Confederate States Navy.
Summer...Appointed chief of Naval Bureau of Coast, Harbor and River Defense, Confederate States.
Summer...Plans submarine mines to be placed in Southern rivers and harbors.
Jul......Commands torpedo expedition from Sewali's Point, near Norfolk.
Jul.27...Constantine, Grand Admiral of Russia, writes Maury, offering him a home, wealth, and honor. Aug......Maury demonstrates submarine torpedo in James River. Oct.29...Maury writes reply to Grand Admiral of Russia. Autumn...As "Ben Bow," writes articles in Richmond Enquirer, advocating big guns on small ships. Eighth American edition of his Physical Georgraphy of the Sea.
1862-March....Takes steps towards a treaty of recognition with France.
April....Louis Napoleon invites Maury to make his home in France. May......Secures ten miles of insulated wire for 'torpedo' detonation. June.....Places electric mines in James River. Sep.....Ordered to England "special service"Confederate Secret Service) Oct.7....Gladstone's remarkable speech on the Confederate States. Oct.12...Sails from Charleston with Matthew Fontaine Maury Junior. Stops at Bermuda and at Halifax. Nov.13...Leaves Halifax on the Arabia for Liverpool. Dec.22...Maury's letter on the Confederate States printed in the London Times.
1863-Jan.....Writes of his apprehensions concerning his children and friends
Locates at Bowdon, near Manchester. Mar.....Purchases the ship 'Japan' at Dumbarton, renamed 'Georgia' for Confederate States. Apr.8...Gets first news of his son John Herndon Maury's disappearance at Vicksburg. Nov.....Purchases the Rappahannock, at Sherness, for Confederate States
1864-Jan.9...National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.) resolves
against the "Sailing Directions."
Maury's Physical Geography published in London. Dec.25. Theodore Maury, French scientist, writes him.
1865-April...Maury continues his plans for electrical mines.
May.....Reaches St. Thomas in the West Indies. May.....At Havana writes his formal surrender. Jun.18..Made a corresponding member of the New York Lyceum of Natural History. Jun.....Goes to Mexico City--offers his services to Maximilian. Summer..Various Confederate States leaders go to Mexico. July....Commodore Jansen writes to Maury. Aug.8...Maury, in Mexico City, writes to Rev. Dr. Tremlett, of England. Aug.....Maximilian appoints Maury Imperial Commissioner of Colonization. Sep.5...Maximilian issues decree inviting immigration to Mexico. Sep.8...Robert Edward Lee writes to Maury in Mexico. Sep.23..Maury made Director of Astronomical Observatory in Mexico. Made honorary member of the Mexican Geographical Society. Made a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of Mexico. Oct.....His eldest son Richard Launcelot Maury, wife, and young son reach Mexico City.
Dec.4...United States Secretary of Navy testifies to effectiveness of Maury's torpedoes.
1866-Mar.....Maury leaves Vera Cruz for England.
Mar.29..Reaches England; meets his family in London. Apr.19..Maximilian writes Maury, giving up colonization plan. Apr.25..Maury issues circular offering to give instruction in electric mines to official representatives. May.....At Paris, demonstrating electric mines. May.....Invited to become a citizen of France. Jun.5...At special dinner in London three thousand guineas presented to Maury. Jun.30..Maury writes letter to consul-general for Wurtemberg concerning torpedoes. July....Instructs representatives of Sweden, Norway, and Holland at London. July....Engaged by Richardson & Co., New York, to write a series of geographies for schools. July....Writes to Maximilian from London. July....The Atlantic cable operating again. Aug.....At work on his geographies. Aug.....Maximilian, of Mexico, decorates Maury for his part in the Atlantic cable. Maury joins Dr. Tremlett's church in London. Introduces cinchona plantations in Mexico. Nov.15..Cyrus W. Field refers to Maury at banquet in honor of Atlantic cable. Begins "Practical Astronomy for Schools" (never published).
1867-Feb.....Offered a chair (Physics) at Virginia Military Institute.
Offered vice-chancellorship of the University of the South.
1868-........Accepts chair of physics, etc., at Virginia Military Institute.
Made LL.D. by Cambridge University. Family photograph made in London. July 1..Sets sail with family from Liverpool for the United States. July 16.Maury and his family arrive at New York. Summer..At White Sulphur Springs, guest of the proprietors. Sep.10..Installed at Virginia Military Institute. Oct.28..Makes important address at Staunton. Fall and winter. His family in Richmond. Dec.....His _Physical Survey of Virginia_, 8 volumes published in Richmond, Virginia (first report)
1869-June 10.Maury and his family enter residence at Lexington.
July 2..Maury addresses the graduates of Virginia Military Institute. Dec.16..Addresses the Education Association of Virginia. Valentine, of Richmond, makes a plaster bust of Maury.
1870-........Offered presidency of St. John's College, Annapolis, MD.
His Manual of Geography first published. Spends part of the winter in the South.
1871-Jan.23..Speaks at Virginia Military Institute on
"Man's Power-Giving Knowledge." May.....Writes "A Vindication of Virginia and the South." Offered presidency of the University of Alabama. Tenders resignation Virginia Military Institute(Reconsidered). Sep.25..Eulogy of Maury, by Admiral Semmes, published in the Montgomery Advance. Makes addresses in St. Louis, Norfolk, Richmond, and Nashville. Oct.17..Makes address at Memphis on land meteorology. Maury's geographies in use in more than five thousand schools.
1872-Jan. 1...Sells copyrights on school books to Richardson & Co.
May 29..Makes address at St. Louis. Aug.13..Makes address at Griliin, Ga. Sep.18..Makes address near Boston. Oct. 9...Makes address at St. Louis. Oct.23...Reaches home from Missouri (last home-coming). Winter...Ill but still working.
1873-Feb. 1...Dies at Lexington.
Feb. 3...General Assembly of Virginia pass resolutions on Maury.
Feb. 5...Body placed in Gilham vault, Lexington, facing grave of Stonewall Jackson. Feb......E.P. Dorr and others testify to the worth of Maury's character and the value of his work. Mar.20...Nature, British journal, declares Maury the first to show how to make meteorology a science. Virginia Military Institute publishes thirty-two-page memorial of Maury. Sep.27...Maury's body taken through Goshen Pass; at Richmond in the evening. His Physical Geography published.
1878-.........His Physical Survey of Virginia, No. II, published in Richmond,
with notes and additions by his son, Colonel Richard L. Maury.
1880-.........His Manual of Geography (revised by Mytton Maury)
re-copyrighted. Dec.14...Senator Vest, of Missouri, pays tribute to Maury.
1888-.........Norway adds $2,180.74 to the Maury Memorial of 1866.
_Life of Maury_, by daughter, Mrs. Corbin, published in London.
1901-..........Mrs. Matthew Fontaine Maury dies.
1908-..........Maury sketches published in
_Quinn's History of Fredericksburg_, pages 315-320.
1909-..........Maury-Brooke Hall, at Virginia Military Institute, built.
1910-..........Norfolk's new high school building named for Maury. 1915-..........Building at United States Naval Academy named Maury Hail. 1916-June 27...January 14 made Maury Day in Virginia schools. 1917-..........Building at Virginia State Teachers College, Harrisonburg,
named Maury Hall. Articles by James Morris Morgan on Maury in England, 1862-63, published in the Atlantic Monthly.
1918-..........United States Navy destroyer named Maury. 1919-..........United Daughters of the Confederacy establish Maury Prize at
United States Naval Academy.
1921-..........Elizabeth Buford Phillips publishes address on Maury in New
1922-Jun.22...Corner-stone of Maury monument laid in Richmond.
Maury sketches published in Goolrick's _History of Fredericksburg_, pages 93-97.
1923-Jun. 9....Virginia unveils Maury monument in Goshen Pass.
Nov.20...Maury portrait presented to United States Naval Academy.
1924...........C. Alphonso Smith publishes address on Maury at
1925-Dec.22....One of the Martin Vas Isles named for Maury.
1927-.........._Life of Maury_, by Charles Lee Lewis, published at
1928-..........._Life and Letters of Maury_, by Jaquelin Ambler Caskie,
published in Richmond, Virginia. Nov.24.....Mrs. James R. Werth (Mary Herndon Maury) dies in Richmond.
1929-Nov.11......Matthew Fontaine Maury "Pathfinder of the Seas" Monument
is dedicated in Richmond, Virginia, on Monument Avenue.
1969............._Matthew Fontaine Maury, Scientist of the Seas_ published
by Francis Leigh Williams.
To be continued, added to, more detailed................
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