John Minor Maury

John Minor Maury (1795 – 23 June 1828) was an officer in the United States Navy. He was the older brother of oceanographer and naval officer Matthew Fontaine Maury, who served first in the United States Navy and later in the Confederate Navy. John's letters home are considered to be a major reason why Matthew Maury decided on a naval career.

John Maury was also the father of USA and later CSA Major General Dabney Herndon Maury, who founded (1868-9) the Southern Historical Society, worked on it for 20 years, and was appointed to serve as U.S. Minister to Colombia, South America by President Grover Cleveland.

Born near Fredericksburg, Virginia, John Minor Maury was appointed midshipman on 16 January, 1809. He served in "Essex" and "Essex Junior". During the War of 1812, he participated in the Battle of Lake Champlain under Commander Thomas McDonough in the complete victory over the British flotilla, which was captured or sunk.

Soon after the close of the American war with England, the pirates of the West Indies had become a terror to all who sailed those seas. Captain David Porter, then the most energetic and successful of our sailors, was ordered to fit out a squadron for their destruction. He was authorized to select his officers for a service so dangerous. His first choice was Lieut. John Minor Maury to be flag captain of the fleet. This officer, like the adjutant general of the army, gave orders for all the movements. The service was active and severe; the combats were desperate; no quarter was asked or given. The pirates were all destroyed or broken up and scattered. As a mark of special approbation of his services, Lieutenant John Minor Maury was sent by Commander David Porter to bear to the United States Government his report of the complete success of his operations. John sailed in the store ship "Decoy", but died of yellow fever in June 1824, just outside the Capes of Norfolk, and was buried at sea, at the age of thirty one. John Minor Maury had been first lieutenant of a frigate; and at twenty-six he was the flag captain of the fleet, and was considered by Tatnall, Buchanan and other compeers to have been the youngest and smartest young sailor in the American navy.

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