John Adams (mutineer)


John Adams (mutineer)

John Adams (1768?–5 March 1829) was the last survivor of the "Bounty" mutineers who settled on Pitcairn Island in January 1790, the year after the mutiny. His real name was John Adams; He used the name Alexander Smith until he was discovered in 1808 by Captain Mayhew Folger of the ship Topaz. His children used the surname "Adams".

The mutineers of HMS "Bounty" and their Tahitian companions settled on the island and set fire to the "Bounty". The wreck is still visible underwater in Bounty Bay. Although the settlers were able to survive by farming and fishing, the initial period of settlement was marked by serious tensions among the settlers. Alcoholism, murder, disease and other ills had taken the lives of most of the mutineers and Tahitian men. John Adams, Ned Young, and Matthew Quintal were the last three mutineers surviving in 1799 when Adams and Young got the thuggish Quintal drunk and killed him with a hatchet. [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9262134] Adams and Young turned to the Scriptures using the ship's Bible as their guide for a new and peaceful society. As a result, Adams and Young converted to Christianity and taught the children to read and write using the Bible. Young eventually died of an asthmatic infection, but Adams continued his work of educating the women and children. The Pitcairners also converted to Christianity. (The Pitcairners would later convert from their existing form of Christianity to Adventism after a successful Adventist mission in the 1890s.)

The American sailing ship "Topaz" was the first to rediscover Pitcairn in 1808. John Adams was eventually granted amnesty for the mutiny. In 1825, Adams married Mary and she bore his only son, George.

The main settlement and capital of Pitcairn, Adamstown, is named for John Adams.

Further reading

* Conway, Christiane (2005). Letters from the Isle of Man - The Bounty-Correspondence of Nessy and Peter Heywood. The Manx Experience. ISBN 1-873120-77-X.


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