The gallows awaited you; mutineers had no reprieve.

You had heard of a small island named after a sailor, logged, then lost in the Pacific. It was just what you needed. The British would be coming after their ship. 

It took four months to find Pitcairn, two hundred miles from its charted location. 

You burned The Bounty and tried to settle, but fights broke out; unending cycles of murder and revenge over women and land, until there was just you, John Adams, with ten Tahitian women and their band of mutineers’ children. 

You found God. When the British came, they pardoned you. As your numbers rose, the island’s soils diminished. You petitioned for help. 

In 1829, a ship took your people to Tahiti, but their ways were different and the children lacked immunity. Ten died. The rest sailed for home. 

By 1856 your descendants’ numbers reached two hundred, and again they asked for help. They were offered Norfolk Island, larger and uninhabited, off the coast of Australia. Most managed to settle; this time only forty three returned. 

The population rose. By the 1930s it was over two hundred again. But then the war came and changed everything. Since then, many young Pitcairners migrate, looking for an easier life, keeping numbers low. 

Pitcairn Island

Alex Harvie

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