MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY; Scientist of the Sea by Frances Leigh Williams

MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY; Scientist of the Sea

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A thoroughgoing biography of one of this country's famous pioneers, in the areas of navigation, naval reform, naval power, international scientific cooperation, electrical torpedoes, and other allied fields. Alert, courageous, persistent, his years in the Navy led to his work on which his future fame was based, the charting of winds and currents, the details of sailing directions, and a universal system that applied to his scientific studies. The Naval observatory, the Atlantic cable, his book The Physical Geography of the Sea (the first step toward modern oceanography), and many other contributions won him tributes and honors from other countries; he had more than a two years' battle with naval courts; he crusaded for a U.S. Weather Bureau; he was attached to harbor and river defense on the Confederate side in the Civil War and served as secret agent in England. He knew Mexico under Maximilian and won his support in a project (which collapsed) to establish colonies for ex-Confederates; he became a professor of meteorology at V.M.I. and again recognition sought him out. A diligent survey of a meritorious life, this should augment Navai, scientific and historical records in a worthwhile manner. Index, author's notes, a bibliography of all of Maury's published writings, and pictures add to its competence.

Publisher: Rutgers University Press