Birthplace of Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873)

Birthplace of Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873) (HMEHN)

Location: Spotsylvania, VA 22553 Spotsylvania County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 17.381', W 77° 38.297'

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The Battle of Chancellorsville

This jumble of bricks and stones tucked deep within Spotsylvania's Wilderness marks the birthplace of Matthew Fontaine Maury, the "Pathfinder of the Seas." All but forgotten now, Maury was a legend during his lifetime. While superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory, he compiled information on winds, weather, and ocean currents gleaned from the logbooks of thousands of ships. The result was The Physical Geography of the Seas (1855), the first modern study of oceanography.

Maury's findings revolutionized 19th-century shipping. By using his charts, ship captains reduced the average time it took to sail from New York to San Francisco from 180 days to just 133 days, saving shipping companies millions of dollars. Maury's studies also made possible the laying of the Transatlantic Cable - the first telegraphic communication between Europe and North America.
Year Placed2009
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 2:47am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 269260 N 4241249
Decimal Degrees38.28968333, -77.63828333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.381', W 77° 38.297'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 22.86" N, 77° 38' 17.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8800 Military Park Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22553, US
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