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Bibliographic Information

The Plough Boy Journals

The Journals and Associated Documents

The Plough Boy Anthology

19th Century American Whaling

Bonin Islands

Pitcairn's Island

Dictionaries & Glossaries

Ashley's Glossary of
Whaling Terms

Dana's Dictionary of
Sea Terms


A Thrilling Bit of Pitcairn Island History Recorded There.

Chicago Times-Herald.

      Robert H. Folger, the oldest practicing lawyer in America, has, at his home in Massillon, 0h, a treasure in the way of a ship's log kept by his father, Captain Mayhew Folger, of the good ship Topaz. While making his last cruise in the Pacific. Captain Folger discovered the surviving mutineer of the ship Bounty and his colony on Pitcairn island. The entry in the log book is of extreme interest, Captain Folger says:

      "Saturday, February 1, 1808, at 2 a. m, saw Pitcairn Island bearing south. Lay on and off till daylight. At 6 a. m. put off with two boats to explore the land and look for seals. On approaching the shore, saw smoke on the land, at which I was very much surprised, as the island was said to be uninhabited. I saw a boat paddling toward me with three men in her. They hailed in the English language and asked who was the captain of the ship. They offered me gifts of cocoanuts and requested I would land, there being a white man on shore. I went ashore and found an Englishman named Alexander Smith, the only person remaining out of nine that escaped on board the ship Bounty. Smith Informed me that, after putting Captain Bligh in the long boat, and sending her adrift, Christian, their chief, proceeded with the ship to Otaheite. There all the mutineers chose to stop except Christian, himself and seven others, who took wives and also six men as servants and immediately proceeded to Pitcairn island, where they landed all the goods and chattels, ran the Bounty on shore and broke her up, This took place, as near as he could recollect, in the year 1790, soon after which one of their party ran mad and drowned himself, another died of fever: and after they had remained about four years on the island their manservants rose up and killed six of them, leaving only Smith alive, and he desperately wounded with a pistol ball in the neck. However, he and the widows of the deceased arose and put all the servants to death, which left him the only surviving man on the Island, with eight or nine women and several small children. He immediately went to work tilling the ground so that it produces plenty for them all, and he lives very comfortably as commander in chief of Pitcairn island. All the children of the deceased mutineers speak tolerable English. Some of them are grown to the size of men and women, and, to do them justice I think them a very humane and hospitable people; and whatever may have been the crimes or errors of Smith, the mutineer, in times back, he is at present a worthy man and may be useful to navigators who traverse this immense ocean. I tarried on shore with the friendly Smith and his truly good people till 4 p. m., and then left them and went on board the Topaz and made sail, steering for Masafuera, having received from the people on shore some hogs, cocoanuts and plantains."


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