M.F. Maury

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M.F. Maury

Post by neufer » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:09 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Fontaine_Maury wrote: <<Matthew Fontaine Maury (January 14, 1806 – February 1, 1873) was an American astronomer, naval 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 USS Brandywine, 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, 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, CSS Georgia, 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.

On July 2, 2020, a statue of Maury that was erected in 1929 was removed from Richmond's Monument Avenue, which notably featured larger statues of more prominent Confederate leaders who lacked any context of contribution outside of being leaders of the Confederacy and southern slave state rebellion. Along with the other Confederate monuments, Maury's statue was the object of deprecation and protest vandalism by Black Lives Matter activists and crowds. The state of Virginia decided to remove the Confederate statues which caused so many people great offense as they were raised during the era of Jim Crow to glorify and romanticize the Confederacy and support the Lost Cause, a myth about the war, whose casus belli was slavery, to somehow frame the Confederacy as justfied or less repugnant.>>
Art Neuendorffer