Fanning from Stonington was the first known American to reach sub-polar Antarctica on various sealing expeditions, including the Falklands, Shetlands, and South Georgia and at least as far as 58°S. One of the later chapters describes Nathaniel Palmer’s meeting with Alexander I’s Russian ships in 1820-21 who learned from Palmer “of the existence of an immense extent of land to the south, whose mountains might be seen from the mast-head when the fog should clear away entirely” (p. 308). This rather charming book, first published in 1833, while covering several voyages in which Fanning was involved, chiefly as captain, betrays little of any books on board or any reading by him or his sailors other than the obligatory directional books and charts, for which here is one example.
p. 498-99: It is still further recommended that every vessel should have as a guide the excellent chart and book of directions of a survey made under Commodore P. P. King, commander in his Brittanic Majesty’s navy. As an evidence of the confidence that can be placed in Captain Cutler’s observations, the reader is referred to the bookof directions of survey by the Adventure and Beagle, ships under Captain King, page 129, where the commodore remarks, "We met this intelligent person two or three different times whilst employed upon the survey, and received much valuable, and what afterwards proved to be correct information from him, which I am much gratified here to have an opportunity of acknowledging."
N. B. The author is (January 25th, 1833) orally informed that Commodore King’s pilot directions, &c. are embodied in that valuable nautical volume, published by the Messrs. E. & G. W. Blunt, entitled, Blunt’s American Coast Pilot, 12th edition.