Mutiny on the Bounty: The Rest of the Story

The Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty set sail from Tahiti to Jamaica in 1789 on the last leg of an arduous mission to import breadfruit to feed enslaved people in the Caribbean. The ship was commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh, a name that has become a metaphor for cruel authoritarianism. Three weeks out, Bligh’s second in command, Fletcher Christian, led a mutiny and put Bligh to sea along with 18 loyalists in a small boat. The crew took the Bounty back to Tahiti and then to uninhabited Pitcairn Island to hide out. Bligh and his men rowed all the way to Timor, and eventually made it back to England.

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That’s what you would know about the mutiny from the movies, made in 1916, 1933, 1935, 1962, and 1984. But what ultimately happened to the people involved? The Bounty’s crew fell into several groups: Those who sailed off with Bligh, those who followed Christian to Pitcairn, those who wanted to sail with Bligh but there was no room on the boat, and a group from various factions who decided to remain in Tahiti. Some from each group died or disappeared, and some on Tahiti were arrested for mutiny -and some of them died in a shipwreck. Bligh had a complicated career after the Bounty incident, including another mutiny, this one landlocked, so it was more of a coup. Christian and his men, plus a group of kidnapped Tahitians, disappeared for 35 years. But their descendants were eventually found, having created a strange culture of their own that continues today. Read the multiple complicated outcomes of the Bounty mutiny at Today I Found Out.

Source: neatorama

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