Letter from Matthew F. Maury to Angelo Secchi

[U. S. Naval] Observatory, Washington, 22 Sep[tember] 1856
Fondo Secchi 16, c. 559r
Archivio Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma

Among the correspondents of Secchi, there are also many meteorologists, confirming the interest of Secchi for this discipline and the contributions he gave in this area. In this letter, the famous American meteorologist Maury congratulates with Secchi for his studies on terrestrial magnetism and for the initiation of telegraphic correspondence between the meteorological stations of the harbours of the Papal States. Secchi contributed considerably to disseminate in Italy the ideas of Maury on the dynamic meteorology , of which he is considered founder. Secchi himself applied Maury’s concepts several times, although in some cases in disagreement with the conclusions founded by Maury. The friendship between the two, born during the stay of Secchi in the United States, lasted until the death of Maury and extended also to his family. It is curious to note that a descendant of the Maury family, Antonia Maury (great-grandson of an uncle of the meteorologist) will refine the spectral classification of Secchi at the Harvard College Observatory at the end of the nineteenth century.

Irene Pedretti, Pontificia Università Gregoriana
Ileana Chinnici, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo