doubt but that Maury was greatly handicapped by the assignment of officers to the Observatory for irregular periods, and by the reduction of the number of his mathematicians as time went by. There was, besides, the hydrographical work of his office which made constantly increasing demands on him and his staff. When he was forced by this lack in personnel to make a choice between the more complete development of astronomical observations on the one hand, and hydrographical and meteorological research on the other, he wisely chose the latter as of more immediate and practical value to the United States, and indeed to the entire world.
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MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY