Matthew Fontaine Maury Statue

Richmond, Va.

Who is Matthew Fontaine Maury?

  • Known as the Pathfinder of the Seas

  • Father of Modern Oceanography- wrote first books on the subject

  • Commander of the Confederate Navy

  • Developed the electric torpedo and was assigned to Europes as part of the Confederate Secret Service

  • Had many accomplishments in oceanography, meteorology and navigation

Statue Stats-

  • The statue was made by William F. Seavers
  • Dedicated November 11, 1929
  • Located at the intersection of North Belmont and Monument Avenue

Statue Description and Symbolism


  • Giant globe in the background

  • Maury seated in a chair

  • Surrounding the earth are people and animals struggling in the midst of a storm


  • Animals from the ground, water and air are engraved on his chair to represent his accomplishments in navigation, oceanography and meteorology
  • The globe represents his accomplishments in many aspects of nature

What the Monument Tells About History-

This monument tells you that although Maury is not as well-known as other Confederate war heroes today, in the early 1900s, he was a very respected and popular figure. This respect is demonstrated by Maury’s position sitting on a throne in a position similar to a king or other respected leader.