John Davis (sealer)
|Known for||Debated as the first man on Antarctica|
|Home town||Connecticut, United States|
Captain John Davis (born 1784 in Surrey, England) was a seal hunter from Connecticut, United States, who captained men who may have been the first to have set foot on Antarctica on 7 February 1821 shortly after the first sightings of the new continent, all in 1820, by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev (28 January), Edward Bransfield (30 January) and Nathaniel Palmer (November).
Commences with open Cloudy Weather and Light winds a standing for a Large Body of Land in that Direction SE at 10A.M. close in with it our Boat and Sent her on Shore to look for Seal at 11A.M. the Boat returned but find no sign of Seal at noon our Latitude was 64°01’ South Stood up a Large Bay, the Land high and covered intirely [sic] with snow the wind coming Round to the North & Eastward with Thick weather Tacked ship and headed off Shore. At 4P.M. fresh Gale and Thick weather with snow…Ends with Strong Gales at ENE Concluded to make the Best of our way for the Ship I think this Southern Land to be a Continent.
The first undisputed landing on Antarctica did not occur for another 74 years, on 24 January 1895, when a group of men from the Norwegian ship Antarctic went ashore to collect geological specimens at Cape Adare. The group included the Norwegians Henrik Johan Bull and Carsten Borchgrevink, and the New Zealander Alexander von Tunzelmann.
The coastal strip where the men were alleged to have gone ashore is called Davis Coast.
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