Edmund Fanning

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Edmund Fanning, 1739–1818, American Loyalist in the American Revolution, b. Suffolk co., Long Island, N.Y. He moved to North Carolina, practiced law, held minor political posts, and supported the royal governor, William Tryon. Fanning was the special object of contempt for the rebels of the Regulator movement. He went as Tryon's secretary to New York where he held offices. In 1775 he raised a Loyalist regiment that fought in partisan actions in the New York area throughout the war. After the Revolution he was lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia (1783–86) and lieutenant governor of Prince Edward Island (1786–1805). Fanning spent his last years in England.

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Edmund Fanning, 1769–1841, American trader, explorer, and promoter of trade and exploration in the South Seas, b. Stonington, Conn. At the age of 14 he went to sea. In command of a trading vessel, he realized a large profit from an expedition in 1797–98. In the course of the voyage he traded a cargo of trinkets for seal skins in the islands off the coast of Chile and exchanged them for valuable Chinese goods at Guangzhou, returning around the Cape of Good Hope. During the expedition he discovered Fanning Island, Washington Island, and other islands. Convinced of the profits to be made from trade in the South Seas, he became the agent for a group of New York City merchants, supervising over 70 expeditions and participating in some of them. His Voyages around the World (1833), which shed light on some of the little-known parts of the globe, passed through several editions.