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Matthew Fontaine Maury
Commander and Captain, CSN

An autograph letter signed, dated 13 February 1835, Fredericksburg, Virginia. To Messrs. Cary, Lea & Co., Philadelphia. Regarding publishing his manuscript, "A New Theoretical and Practical Treatise on Navigation.

Fredericksburg - Virginia.
13th Feb.y 1835
I hold the right of copy to a theoretical and practical treatise on Navigation. I should be pleased to receive from you proposals for publication.
The work comprises a treatise on Algebra, on Geometry, Logarithms, Plane Trigonometry, Spherics, Nautical Astronomy, and Navigation, with a set of Logarithmic and other tables, useful to the Navigator.
Printed on long primer (leaded,) it would consist of about 367 pages. 8 vo., including 137 of tables.
The treatise on Algebra is introductory & short; only showing how to transpose, eliminate, and clear simple equations, which is done for the purpose of facilitating geometrical demonstation.
Geometry - divided into two parts, embracing such theorems only as are useful in Navigation , and upon which the Science is founded.
The treatise on Logarithms is explanatory of their nature & use.
Plane Trigonometry -; the applicaton & use of geometry are shown , the principles upon which each case is founded, are explained at length and then applied for practical purposes in measuring distances, etc.
Spherics - , this embraces a wide field, but is conducted in a manner as simple as possible, founded upon the similarity of relation between the parts of plane, & of spherical triangles.
Nautical Astronomy -: the position of the bodies in the solar system, the motion of the Earth, & of the Moon, the great and small circles in the Heavens are treated of: the principles of Spherics are applied to practice, and it is shown how Geographical positions (-cal positions)

cal positions are determined by means of Astronomical observations
Navigation - : here the Sailings are treated of the principles both of plane and of spherical Trigonometry and applied in practice.
Such a work as this purports to be, is much requested in the Marine of our Country. It is elementary, and designed well for the use of those who are being educated for the [...] as for the Naval Service.
And strange as it may appear, there is not in the English language, a nautical work, which professes to be an Elementary, theoretical & practical treatise on Navigation.
Dr. Bowditch's is the best work ever produced on Navigation; but his is entirely a practical treatise, by which Navigation is taught and trained as an art, but not as a science.
The ground designed to be covered by this work is unoccupied this is not designed to conflict with Dr. Bowditch's, for by a mere reference to the pages of his, the necessity of a work, more theoretical in its nature becomes obvious.
I wish to retain the copy right, but I will dispose of as large an edition as you would find it expedient to throw out.
With respect, Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
M. F. Maury
U. S. Navy

Messrs. Cary, Lea & Co.

Published: Thu Feb 20 11:17:41 EST 2020