James Eights, 1798-1882: Antarctic Explorer, Albany Naturalist, His Life, His Times, His Works.

Eights was listed as “Naturalist and Surgeon” on the Annawan Antarctic voyage of 1829-1831 and there are fragmentary results of his work on natural history in the published record, but he is an enigmatic figure, excluded like Reynolds from the Wilkes ExEx in 1838. I see no signs of his readings in the impressive library he helped create for the preliminary expedition.

p. 47: quoting the Albany Morning Courier of October 20, 1829: Under the auspices of this learned body [Albany Lyceum for Natural History], Dr. James Eights, of Albany, a distinguished scientific gentleman, goes out as naturalist to the expedition. We have thus an assurance that nothing of interest to the cause of science will be lost to the community. Mr. [Jeremiah N.] Reynolds, an individual well known for the energy and perseverance with which he endeavored to call the attention of Congress to a similar undertaking, accompanies the expedition with commercial views. Much advantage to the enterprise may be expected from his zeal and geographical information, acquired while investigating this subject under the direction of the late Secretary of the Navy. A valuable library of several hundred volumes, with many important and appropriate philosophical instruments, have been generously loaned by several public citizens; and when we add that all the instructions for the voyage, and every arrangement has been directed by Capt. Edmund Fanning, the Agent of the South Sea Company, whose life has been spent in those seas; we are only announcing that nothing has been neglected to ensure success to these daring adventures.