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World History

Friday, January 15, 1790. :   The mutineers of the 'Bounty' arrive at Pitcairn Island and establish a settlement there.

     Pitcairn Island is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. It was discovered in 1767 and was the first Pacific island to become a British colony, which occurred in 1838. It lies approximately halfway between New Zealand and Peru. Today, it remains the last vestige of the British empire in the South Pacific.

The 'HMS Bounty' sailed with a crew of 45 men from Spithead, England in December 1787 under Captain William Bligh, bound for Tahiti. Their mission was to collect breadfruit plants to be transplanted in the West Indies as cheap food for the slaves. After collecting those plants, Bounty was returning to England when, on the morning of 28 April 1789, Fletcher Christian and part of the crew mutinied, taking over the ship, and setting the Captain and 18 crew members adrift in the ship’s 23-foot launch. Captain Bligh sailed nearly 6000km back to England, arriving there on 14 March 1790, where he was initially court-martialled and ultimately acquitted. The mutineers took HMS Bounty back to Tahiti, and collected 6 Polynesian men and 12 women. Knowing they would be pursued by the British authorities, they then continued on to Pitcairn Island, arriving there on 15 January 1790. Pitcairn was selected as its position on the map was shown incorrectly on British charts; the mutineers therefore did not expect to be found and punished. After burning the ship, they established a settlement and colony on Pitcairn Island that still exists.

In 1808, Captain Mayhew Folger of the American sealing ship 'Topaz' landed at Pitcairn Island. By that stage, many of the mutineers had succumbed to disease, suicide or been victims of murder. Of all the men, both whites and Polynesians, only John Adams survived. Adams, by then a changed man after his conversion to Christianity, went on to become the respected leader on Pitcairn. He died on 5 March 1829, forty years after the mutiny.

Today in History

Thought For Today
Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living.....
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (c) GNB
Don't be an unwelcome meddler in the lives and affairs of other people. Commit your time to keeping your house in order.

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