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mander, and Captain Edwards was dispatched to Otaheite, in the Pandora frigate, with instructions to search for the Bounty and her mutinous crew, and bring them to England. The Pandora reached Matavai Bay on the 23d of March, 1791; and even before she had come to anchor, Joseph Coleman, formerly armorer of the Bounty, pushed off from shore in a canoe, and came on board. In the course of two days afterward, the whole of the remainder of the Bounty's crew-in number sixteen-then on the island, surrendered themselves, with the exception of two, who fled to the mountains, where, as it afterward appeared, they were murdered by the natives.
From his prisoners, and the journals kept by one or two of them, Captain Edwards learnt the proceedings of Christian and his associates after turning Bligh and his companions adrift in the boat. It appears that they steered in the first instance to the island of Toobouai, where they intended to form a settlement; but the opposition of the natives, and the want of many necessary materials, determined them to return in the mean time to Otaheite, where they arrived on the 25th of May, 1789. In answer to the inquiries of Tinah, the King, about Bligh and the rest of the crew, the mutineers stated that they had fallen in with Captain Cook, who was
forming a settlement in a neighboring island, and had retained Bligh and the others to assist him, while they themselves had been dispatched to Otaheite for an additional supply of hogs, goats, fowls, bread-fruit, and various other articles. Overjoyed at hearing their old friend Cook was alive, and about to settle so near them, the humane and unsuspicious islanders set about so actively to procure the supplies wanted, that in a few days the Bounty received on board three hundred and twelve hogs, thirtyeight goats, eight dozen of fowls, a bull, and a cow, and a large quantity of bread-fruit, plantains, bananas, and other fruits. The mutineers also took with them eight men, nine women, and seven boys, with all of whom they arrived a second time at Toobouai, on the 26th of June, where they warped the ship up the harbor, landed the live stock, and set about building a fort fifty yards square. Quarrels and disagreements, however, soon broke out among them. The poor natives were treated like slaves, and upon attempting to retaliate, were mercilessly put to death. Christian, finding his authority almost entirely disregarded, called a consultation as to what steps were next to be taken, when it was agreed that Toobouai should be abandoned; that the ship should once more be taken to Otaheite, where those who might choose
it would be put ashore, while the rest, who preferred remaining in the vessel, might proceed wherever they had a mind. This was accordingly done. Sixteen of the crew went ashore at Matavai-fourteen of whom, as already stated, were received on board the Pandora, and two were murdered-while Christian, with his eight comrades, and taking with them seven Otaheitan men and twelve women, finally sailed from Matavai on the 21st of September, 1789, from which time they had never been more heard of.
Captain Edwards instituted a strict search after the fugitives among the various groups of islands in the Pacific, but finding no trace of them, he set sail, after three months' investigation, for the east coast of New Holland. Here, by some mismanagement, the Pandora struck upon the singular coral reef that runs along that coast called the "Barrier Reef," and filled so fast, that scarcely were the boats got out when she foundered and went down, thirty-four of the crew and four of the prisoners perishing in her. The concurring testimony of the unfortunate prisoners exhibits the conduct of Captain Edwards toward them, both before and after the wreck, as having been cruel in the extreme. After reaching a low, sandy, desert island, or rather key, as such are nautically
termed, Captain Edwards caused his men to form tents out of the sails they had saved, under which he and his men reposed in comparative comfort; but he refused the same indulgence to his miserable captives, whose only refuge, therefore, from the scorching rays of the sun was by burying themselves up to the neck among the burning sand, so that their bodies were blistered as if they had been scalded with boiling water. The Pandora's survivors reached Batavia in their boats, whence they obtained passage to England in Dutch vessels. A court-martial was soon afterward held-September, 1792-when six of the ten mutineers were found guilty and condemned to death-the other four were acquitted. Only three of the six, however, were executed.
Nearly twenty years elapsed after the period of the above occurrences, and all recollection of the Bounty and her wretched crew had passed away, when an accidental discovery, as interesting as unexpected, once more recalled public attention to that event. The captain of an American schooner having, in 1808, accidentally touched at an island up to that time supposed to be uninhabited, called Pitcairn's Island, found a community speaking English, who represented themselves as the descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty, of whom there was
still one man, of the name of Alexander Smith, alive among them. Intelligence of this singular circumstance was sent by the American captain-Folger-to Sir Sydney Smith at Valparaiso, and by him transmitted to the Lords of the Admiralty. But the Government was at that time perhaps too much engaged in the events of the continental war to attend to the information, nor was any thing further heard of this interesting little society till 1814. In that year two British men-of-war, cruising the Pacific, made Pitcairn's Island, and on nearing the shore, saw plantations regularly and orderly laid out. Soon afterward they observed a few natives coming down a steep descent, with their canoes on their shoulders, and in a few minutes perceived one of these little vessels darting through a heavy surf, and paddling off toward the ships. But their astonishment may be imagined when, on coming along side, they were hailed in good English with, "Won't you heave us a rope now?" This being done, a young man sprang up the side with extraordinary activity, and stood on the deck before them. In answer to the question, "Who are you?" he replied that his name was Thursday October Christian, son of the late Fletcher Christian, by an Otaheitan mother; that he was the first born on the island, and was so named because he was born