Matthew Fontaine Maury

Essay by killjoy6051Junior High, 8th gradeA+, May 2004

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Matthew Fontaine Maury was born on Jan. 14, 1806 in Spotsylvania County, VA. His mother, Diana minor Maury, and his father, Richard Maury, had already had 6 children before the time of his birth. His siblings were Walker, Dick, Charles, John, Matilda, Betsy, Catharine Ann, and Mary Maury. Matthew grew up in the days of the War of 1812, the reign of Queen victoria in London, the crimean War, and , of course, the American Civil War. He and his family were strong Christians who were not very wealthy at the time, but they were ok compared to others. His education began in elementary school when he attended an old field school until his father gave into his pleads to go to Harpeth Academy.

He stayed at Harpeth through high school and then attended West point military Academy through college where he studied oceanography and navigation. He was interested in geophysics and fluid dynamics, yet never pursued those interests.

He believed that there was a broad plateau extending from Newfoundland to Ireland, I found no details contributing to whether or not this is true. Many accounts from letters and other documents suggest that he was spoiled, yet proud, very intelligent, and very charming. Other accounts also say that he was not the kind of man to let anyone down and that he worked very hard.

Before the Civil War, he distributed specially prepared logbooks to captains, compiled pilot charts that enabled ships to shorten their sea voyage, published maps of wind fields of Earth, produced maps of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, published Physical Geography of the Sea, was lamed in a stagecoach accident, which took him out of action, and in 1842 was placed in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments. On July 15. 1834...