“In the Shadows: Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Confederate Secret Service” at August Round Table

On Sunday, August 11th at 3 P.M., the Franklin Civil War Round Table will host Franklin’s Chip Hooper who will present “In the Shadows: Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Confederate Secret Service.” 

At the beginning of the Civil War, Commander Matthew F. Maury left the US Navy and was initially named Chief of Sea Coast, River and Harbor Defenses, for the Confederate States Navy. Because of his fame as an author and explorer charting the world’s oceans and seas, he was sent to England and France as a chief agent in the Confederate Secret Service. One of his best-known books was The Physical Geography of the Sea, known as the first full work on oceanography. Maury, who lived in Franklin during his formative years, worked in the shadows procuring ships for the CSA and as an unofficial Confederate diplomat. He was also a cousin of Abram Maury, Franklin, Tennessee’s founder. 

Over the last ten years, Hooper has amassed the largest private collection of Commander Maury’s papers known which he calls “The Pathfinder Papers.” Hooper will discuss Maury’s role abroad and will for the first time, share some of his findings from these papers while introducing original letters and documents to the audience. 

A Middle Tennessee native, Chip Hooper’s great-grandfather, Captain Thomas J. Carothers, served in Company H of the 20thTennessee Infantry and was severely wounded at the November 1864, Battle of Franklin. Hooper has served on the Boards of the Battle of Franklin Trust, The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation and the Maury County Historical Society and recently received a research grant from The College of William and Mary. 

The event is free to the public. The Franklin Civil War Round Table is an educational program of Franklin’s Charge, and meets each month at Carnton Plantation's Fleming Center, 1345 Eastern Flank Circle. For more information, email fcwrt@yahoo.com, or visit https://franklinscharge.org/the-round-table