return to the United States, he declined the offer of the superintendency of the University of the South at Suwanee, Tenn., to accept the professorship of Meteorology at the Virginia Military Institute. Pending his entrance upon the duties of this position, he considered a scheme for establishing a line of steamers between Norfolk and Flushing in Holland. During the last four years of his life he worked at a meteorological survey of Virginia. He engaged actively again in the advocacy of his old scheme for a Telegraphic Meteorological Bureau, in furtherance of which he repeated an address in Boston and Missouri and several places in the South. A paper on this subject presented to the International Congress, at St. Petersburg, for the Advancement of Geographic Knowledge, etc., was unanimously approved by that body. The exposure incident to travel in fulfilling his lecturing appointments brought on the illness which ended with his death; but he continued, to within a few days of that event, dictating and revising the last edition of his Physical Geography.
Commander Maury is described by his daughter as having been a stout man, about five feet six inches in height, with fresh, ruddy complexion, curling brown hair, and with every feature of his bright countenance bespeaking intellect, kindliness, and force of character. "His fine blue eyes beamed from under his broad forehead with thought and emotion, while his flexible mouth smiled with the pleasure of imparting to others the ideas which were ever welling up in his active brain. . . . His conversation was enjoyed by all who ever met him; he listened and learned while he conversed, and adapted himself to every capacity. He especially delighted in the company of young people, to whom his playful humor and gentle consideration made him very winning." N. P. Willis, speaking of him to a friend, said that he made him subject to his personal magnetism, and during a trip while they were together, "unconsciously furnished an exquisitely interesting study of character." He was a firm believer in the Christian religion, but did not join the church till 1867, when he was confirmed with his children in the Episcopal Church. His published works, books, pamphlets, and official papers were numerous, and bore reference to the researches which have been described in this sketch, concerning which they stand as original authorities. Orders were conferred upon him by the sovereigns of Russia, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, and France; gold medals by those of Prussia, Austria, Sweden, Holland, Sardinia, France, and the free city of Bremen; and other honors by the Pope and Maximilian. He was a member of ten foreign and four American scientific and historical societies that are named, and of many other learned bodies of which the records were lost during the war.