Exploits of Capt. Fanning to be subject of La Grua program

Stonington - The life of Capt. Edmund Fanning seems to come right out of a Hollywood movie.

He went to sea at 14 and in 1797 and 1798, while still in is 20s, he captained the first American vessel from the region to sail around the world bearing the American flag.

Along the way he killed seals and traded them for a fortune in Chinese tea, silk and fine porcelain that he sold when he returned home. He repelled an attack by 29 pirate ships off Sumatra and discovered several South Pacific islands, one of which is named after him. Later he backed trading expeditions, including financing ships captained by Nathaniel Palmer of Stonington, who is credited with discovering Antarctica.

On Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at the La Grua Center in the borough, Meredith Mason Brown, a director of the Stonington Historical Society, will present a program titled "Stonington Goes Global: The Career of Captain Edmund Fanning." The talk is free and open to the public.

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