“Tom Christian, Descendant of Bounty Mutineer, Dies at 77.”


Everyone’s heard about the mutiny on the Bounty. What happened afterward is less well known.

Tom Christian, Descendant of Bounty Mutineer, Dies at 77, by Margalit Fox (NYT)

Tom Christian, known as the Voice of Pitcairn for his half-century-long role in keeping his tiny South Pacific island, famed as the refuge of the Bounty mutineers, connected to the world, died at his home there on July 7. Mr. Christian, Pitcairn’s chief radio officer and a great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian, the mutiny’s leader, was 77.

Tom Christian was a great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian, who led the mutiny on the British ship Bounty in 1789.

With his death, Pitcairn’s permanent population stands at 51.

I’ve always been fascinated by history and geography, but this isn’t a place I’d like to go.

Welcome to Pitcairn Island

The Pitcairn Islands group is a British Overseas Territory. It comprises the islands of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno. Pitcairn, the only inhabited island, is a small volcanic outcrop situated in the South Pacific at latitude 25.04 south and longitude 130.06 west. It is roughly 2170km (1350 miles) east south-east of Tahiti and just over 6600km (4100 miles) from Panama. The Islands’ administrative headquarters are situated in Auckland New Zealand, 5310km (3300 miles) away.

With a population of only around fifty, the people of Pitcairn are descended from the mutineers of HMAV Bounty and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn Island is approximately 3.2km (2 miles) long and 1.6km (1 mile) wide with the capital Adamstown located above Bounty Bay and accessed by the aptly named road, “The Hill of Difficulty”.