memory of Commodore Maury
It is to be hoped that this grateful object will be pressed to a speedy consummation.—Ed.]
Some persons have proposed that a sum of money be set apart by the Congress of the United States for the purpose of erecting a suitable monument to the memory of the great American hydrographer and meteorologist, M. F. Maury
, in grateful acknowledgment of his services to the marine, commercial, agricultural and other interests of our great country.
The monument should be erected in the city of Washington
in the year 1892, and thus not only perpetuate the memory of the man, but of his deeds for the contemplation of future generations, and as an incentive to lofty ambitions.
Perhaps I, as a member of his family, may speak thus for him. Maury
was a Virginian by birth, but he emigrated to Tennessee
with his parents when in his fifth year, and entered the navy, when a lad of nineteen, from that State in 1825.
After continued sea service for six years he was appointed sailing master of the sloop-of-war Falmouth
, in 1831, and ordered on a three years cruise to the Pacific
Before leaving New York on this voyage he had searched in every direction for reliable information as to the winds and currents to be encountered, and the best path for his vessel to follow.
He soon found that little or nothing was known on the subject, and he forthwith began to collect material and make observations.
In this connection he noticed the curious phenomenon of the low barometer off Cape Horn
He wrote his first scientific paper on this subject, and it was published soon after his return by the American Journal of Science
. Shortly after, he wrote another much-talked — of paper entitled ‘The Relation of Terrestrial Magnetism to the Circulation of the Atmosphere.’
These small beginnings he soon expanded into his celebrated wind and current charts and sailing directions.
‘These charts completely revolutionized commerce,’ said the Secretaries of the Navy
(in their annual reports for the years 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855 and 1856), and have not only saved millions of dollars to those “who go down to the sea in ships,” but have added glory and honor to his country.
A calculation of the amount saved to the commerce of the United States
by shortening the voyages fifteen days by the use of these charts will show the following startling results: The average freight from the United States
is 17.7 cents per ton per day; to Australia
20 cents. The mean of this is a little over 19 cents per ton per day, but to be within the mark we will take it at 15 cents, and include all the ports of South America
and the East Indies