Legends of Pitcairn Island – The final Pacific territory still belonging to Britain, the Pitcairn Islands are four isles remotely located in the Pacific Ocean – Pitcairn, Henderson, Oeno, and Ducie. The only island inhabited, and with a small minority at that, is Pitcairn.
The natural beauty of Pitcairn Island is incredible. The island’s surface is less than 3 square miles and is sloped nearly entirely with a varied landscape of rock cliffs and verdant hillsides looking out into an expanse of waters that seems infinite. All bursting with bountiful tropical beauty.
The closest island to Pitcairn with inhabitants is over 250 miles away. Aside from the handful of cruise passengers each year who spend a couple hours at most on Pitcairn, the only travelers are a few yachters, the occasional bird-watching charter boat, or those tourists who love the intrepid.
Pitcairn was uninhabited before 1790. In January of that year, a ship named the Bounty arrived on the island along with its mutineers. They had been seeking a remote place to hide from the British Navy – and naval justice. The leader of the mutiny, Fletcher Christian, brought with him eight mutineers, 18 Tahitian men and women, and one child. Once they had settled on Pitcairn, they burned the boat – so that no one could escape the island, and so they would not be discovered.
Chaos reigned on this island and bloodshed followed, because the mutineers treated the Tahitian men as slaves. In 10 short years, only one mutineer remained. He was the last surviving man on the island, in addition to 10 women and over 20 children. That last surviving man was named Adams, which led to the settlement being named Adamstown.
Adamstown became a place of Christian values and was a peaceful place when an American naval captain, Mayhew Folger, discovered Pitcairn in 1809. His discovery solved the nearly 20-year mystery of what had befallen the Bounty. But by then, Britain was focused on the crimes of Napoleon and no one cared about a decades-old crime of mutiny.
Today, a jetty on the other side of the island has been built, as well as telephone lines. Prior to World War II, the population on Pitcairn had grown to 223 people. Britain has poured funds into Pitcairn in the hopes of tourism development beginning in 2004, and as such, many of the first inhabitant’s descendants are returning to the island. Today’s population of Pitcairn remains around 60, and is made up of locals, British officials and other government workers. Visitors can take home local honey, curios, woven baskets, and wood carvings.