Page:In Memoriam. Matthew Fontaine Maury.djvu/11

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From the time of entering the service, Maury exhibited those characteristic traits and qualities which finally rendered him famous throughout the world. He was selected as Astronomer, and offered the appointment of Hydrographer to the Exploring Expedition to the South Seas, then preparing to sail under the command of Lieutenant Wilkes. These he declined.

In 1837, after thirteen years' service, he was promoted to the grade of Lieutenant and not long afterwards met with the painful accident by which he was lamed for life. For several years unable to perform the active duties of his profession, he devoted the time to mental culture, to the improvement of the Navy, and to other matters of national concern. His views, forcibly stated, were published first, and mainly in the Southern Literary Messenger, of Richmond, Va., over the nom de plume of Harry Bluff and under the general caption of "Scraps from the Lucky Bag."

The influence of these essays was effective. To it may be justly ascribed the great reforms then made in the Navy, as well as the establishment of a Naval