Tracks in the sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the mapping of the oceans
A great story of discovery and adventure in the tradition of Longitude Maritime navigation remained largely a matter of guesswork until well into the 19th century, and making a voyage meant following a series of all-too-often disastrous hunches. Changing that became the lifelong obsession of the brilliant, irascible geographer Matthew Fontaine Maury, whose career both aided and mirrored America's rise as a maritime power. With his controversial appointment as the first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1840, he at last found his life's work. While others built railroads across the trackless interior, Maury mapped the highways of wind and current over the previously trackless sea. In Tracks in the Sea, Chester G. Hearn uses Maury's career as a window on the 19th century, including the brief but glorious clipper-ship era of the 1850s, the rise of steam and steel, the Civil War and the destruction of the U.S. merchant fleet, and the points of intersection with some of the most colorful and influential people of the time, including presidents, congressmen, military leaders, scientists, explorers, merchants, and writers.
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Chapter Setting the Navy Straight
haptet Sailors and Whalers
7 other sections not shown
abstract logs American Bache became Bligh Bowditch Brandywine British calms Cape Horn Cape Sao Roque Captain charts and sailing chronometer Clipper Ships coast command cousin Ann Maury crew cruise depot Dobbin expedition Flying Cloud Flying Fish frigate Gilliss Gulf Stream Herndon horse latitudes hydrographic Isaac Toucey James January Jones Joseph Henry later latitude learned Letters Sent Lieutenant logbooks Marine Matt Matthew Fontaine Maury Maury Collection Maury Papers Maury to cousin Maury's charts merchant meteorology midshipman miles months Nathaniel Bowditch Naval Observatory navigation North Atlantic November observations ocean officers Pacific passed Physical Geography pilot charts plucking board route Sailing Directions sailing ships sailors San Francisco scientific Sea Witch secretary Semmes shipmasters skippers South steamer storms tion track Trade Wind U.S. Naval U.S. Naval Observatory U.S. Navy vessel Vincennes Virginia voyage Washington weather West Wilkes William Lewis Herndon winds and currents wrote York