James Byers

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James Byers was a New York shipowner, merchant and sealer, who sent a four-vessel sealing fleet to the South Shetland Islands in 1820-21. Byers also lobbied US Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and President James Monroe to send a warship and take possession of the islands, suggesting that the American sealers were prepared to establish a permanent settlement there.


Byers Peninsula on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands is named after James Byers.


  • Alan Gurney, Below the Convergence: Voyages Toward Antarctica, 1699-1839, Penguin Books, New York, 1998