Mutiny's Children: The Intersecting Lives of Christian Siblings from Pitcairn Island, 1790-1866, Abstract




Albert, Donald Patrick

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Thursday October, Charles, and Mary Ann were offspring of Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian and his Tahitian wife Mauatua (aka Isabella). Each sibling had their claim to fame, for example: Thursday grappled with a name change conundrum over a supposed date line crossing; Charles challenged an imposter turned dictator; and Mary Ann inspired Mitford’s protagonist in Christina: The Maid of the South Seas: A Poem. The three siblings had a number of experiences in common. None of them had a clear recollection of their father, Fletcher Christian. Thursday and Mary Ann obtained some measure of global fame through their encounter with Mayhew Folger. All three siblings were involved in the failed relocation to Tahiti, only Charles and Mary Ann returned to Pitcairn Island. The three siblings probably enjoyed the feasts Thursday arranged for Captains King and Beechey. Thursday’s untimely death at Tahiti 1831 spared him suffering the wrath of Joshua Hill. Charles and Mary Ann variously attempted to challenge Joshua Hill’s authority, and ultimately he departed in 1837. The siblings had the benefit of having their mother throughout the majority of their lives. One wonders to the extent Mauatua shared her Polynesian heritage with her children. It is known that she created traditional garments using barkcloth as pieces exists in museums around the world. It is probable that Mary Ann was taught to make barkcloth, create patterns with natural dyes, and configure traditional garments. Only Mary Ann lived long enough to relocated to Norfolk, an opportunity that neither Thursday nor Charles ever realized.


Abstract for an Oral Presentation at the 2023 Institute of Business Intelligence Innovation International Conference.


Pitcairn Island, HMAV Bounty, Thursday October Christian, Mary Ann Christian, Carles Christian, siblings