Port Arthur Talk about Pitcairn Island

January 28, 2004

In 2004 the descendants of Fletcher Christian continue to live at Pitcairn Island. The survival of the mutineer and descendant settlement for two centuries must be considered an unlikely success in the face of considerable obstacles. All accounts of the mutiny aboard the Bounty describe an event which was barely meditated and essentially initiated on the spur of the moment.

The only attempt to form a settlement prior to arrival at Pitcairn was abandoned in four months and the Polynesians who came to Pitcairn aboard Bounty were largely there by chance. None of the steps leading to the settlement at Pitcairn indicate any particular plan beyond locating a suitable place, and within ten years of arrival, all but two of the male population had died violently.

And yet the settlement did survive. This talk explores the development of the mutineer settlement at Pitcairn Island from 1790 to the removal of the entire population to Norfolk Island in 1856 drawing on the speaker’s extensive fieldwork at Pitcairn Island and period as Director of the Norfolk Island Museum.


WEDNESDAY JANUARY 28, 2004 5.30 pm
At the Museum/Asylum Building
Port Arthur Historic Site