Tuesday, August 3, 2010

But for many years a respectable Citizen of the United States

Memory of
Capt. James Maud Elford
A native of Bristol England,
But for many years a respectable
Citizen of the United States.
Who died in Charleston 25th Jan Y1826
Aged Fifty-Four Years.
When this experienced and successful
Sea Captain Retired From Navigation
It was only to Study and reveal its theory
And lend the lights of his genius to
His brethren of the Ocean.
He was the author of several scientific
Nautical inventions.
Particularly of an admirable system
Of Marine Telegraphic Signals.
Which afford the Sea the same
Facilities of language
As the Land.
He was prosperous and happy
In domestic life.
And his Widow and twelve Children
Mourn his decease.
Photo by TheRaven
Charleston, SC
Dec, 2005

UPDATE: How long does it take the web's most enlightened community to solve riddles of history? A visit to this post on Ta-Nehisi Coates blog on theAtlantic.com says not long at all. The grave stone mentions "Marine Telegraphic Signals", which turns out to be a reference to Elford's Universal Signals, originally published in this book. Further history on Elford is provided by this page in a history of Charleston newspapers, found on GoogleBooks.

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