Maury's reply to his family was characteristic of the stout integrity and dedication of so many naval officers on both sides during the Civil War. He did not want to be a court drone, but to earn a living--and help make a better world.
"I have come here to provide a home for such of the conquered people as like to emigrate," he wrote. "Suppose they do not thank me--well, there is still useful and honourable occupation for me here. There are many things here with which I may identify myself and do good, such as organizing the census, a land survey for the Empire, a system of internal improvements; and though last, not least, the introduction of chinchona cultivation."