A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Greg B
Date: 2014 Feb 09, 15:45 -0500
I would like to pick your brain if I might. Not so much the email cited for reference below (...other than it did start me thinking again!) but particularly another about Sumner that now has me scratching my head. First off I never believe anything I read in Wikipedia unless I can confirm it from several independent sources. The Sumner comments were particularly concerning since I have found several very similar versions of the same comments from other sources. Were you saying that too much credit is given to Sumner? Did Sumner's work have zero effect later on Marcq Saint-Hilaire? And what other "possible train wrecks" are you aware of? As a reenactor I have a real desire to 'get the story right' and even though I'm concentrating on L&C right now Sumner's work is a possible future area. I would very much love to see some one like yourself or any of the other learned folks who inhabit this list put up a "Bad Celestial" page; much in the same way there is a "Bad Science" and "Bad Astronomy" page out there. It would be a great help for people like myself who have possibly taken a wrong turn.
While there are now many excellent articles on Wikipedia, the article on Maury is one of those trainwrecks that used to be so common. This one appears to have been written when Wikipedia was relatively new, and standards were low. It has "multiple issues" including a strong POV bias..........................................Today, the US Civil War is distant history. Maury stands as the world's first oceanographer. But historians are still divided on his legacy and his character.