I am pleased to find that the site has been visited and disappointed that my first comment was a correction, yet glad to have been informed. The following is the e-mail from Mr. Holloway and links to articles by Mr. Trevor Major who has also written on the subject.
I noticed a letter you published on the Internet that
mentions "Paths of the Sea". You have an incorrect
understanding of the "Paths of the Sea" non-discovery.
Matthew Maury did not discover the Gulf Stream. Benjamin
Franklin published a chart of the Gulf Stream 20 years
before Maury was born and neither was Franklin the first.
The "Paths of the Sea" story is just a tall tale that
captured the imagination of many fundamentalists. I am
attaching Franklin's chart of 1786 to this message.
See my other comments below:
My Comments: Matthew Maury was born in 1806 and his active
career must have started not before at least 1826. He was
an experienced sailor and later a famous oceanographer as
you say. However, he was not the first to discover ocean
currents or "Paths of the Sea" They were known for
hundreds and perhaps thousands of years before the time of
Matthew Maury. I am attaching a chart published by
Benjamin Franklin that shows the Gulf Stream. This chart
was published in 1786, 20 years before Matthew Maury was
born. Also, Ponce De Leon wrote about the Florida current
in the early 1500s, about 300 years before Maury. Your web
site and many others on the Internet grossly misrepresent
the facts of this case. With due regard for high quality
standards, I hope you will see fit to correct your
comments to be in agreement with the facts. Incidentally
other Christian sources on the Internet state that the
story is a myth about how Maury was prompted by the Bible
to search for paths of the sea. Whatever the truth about
the little story, it is a fact that Maury was by no means
the first to realize the importance of ocean currents, nor
did he discover them. See the attachment for a photo of
Franklin's chart. One last remark; Maury did not need the
Bible to inform him about ocean currents because they were
well known to sailors of his day.
I reckon part of the 'correction' may be accurate - others found the ocean currents before Maury - but I've not seen any corroborating evidence that the charts and data are correct. Without evidence to either confirm or deny the writer's claims, I will not comment.
However, I have found clear evidence that Maury's inspiration was definitely from the Bible, specifically Psalm 8. I would like to therefore correct the 'correction' and ensure that proper credit for Maury's inspiration is duly noted. Whether one believes the Bible or not, it cannot be discounted in its inspiration of mankind over the millenia.
A Brief Sketch of the Work of
Matthew Fontaine Maury
By Richard Launcelot Maury
WHEN I took charge of the Georgia Room, in the Confederate Museum, in Richmond, Virginia in 1897, I found among the De Renne collection an engraving of the pleasant, intellectual face of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury, so I went to his son, Colonel Richard L. Maury, who had been with his father in all his work here, and urged him to write the history of it, while memory, papers and books could be referred to; this carefully written, accurate paper was the result.
At one time, when Commodore Maury was very sick, he asked one of his daughters to get the Bible and read to him. She chose Psalm 8, the eighth verse of which speaks of "whatsoever walketh through the paths of the sea," he repeated "the paths of the sea, the paths of the sea, if God says the paths of the sea, they are there, and if I ever get out of this bed I will find them."
He did begin his deep sea soundings as soon as he was strong enough, and found that two ridges extended from the New York coast to England, so he made charts for ships to sail over one path to England and return over the other.
The proceeds from the sale of this little pamphlet will be used as the beginning of a fund for the erection of a monument to Commodore Maury in Richmond.