Birthplace: Cockermouth, Cumbria, England
Died: c. 1793
Location of death: Pitcairn Island
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Missing (remains lost, cenotaph on Norfolk Island)
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Led the mutiny on the Bounty
Military service: British Navy (1783-89)
Fletcher Christian was the master's mate on the His Majesty's Armed Vessel Bounty, which sailed on 23 December 1787 from Hampshire to the South Seas to transport breadfruit trees to the West Indies. Christian had sailed twice previously under the ship's Commanding Lieutenant William Bligh, and the two men thought themselves friends when the voyage began. But after months of Bligh's severe discipline, interrupted by an extended stay docked at idyllic Tahiti, Christian led the officers and crew in mutiny on 28 April 1789. Bligh and 18 men loyal to his command were set adrift in a small boat, and Christian, knowing that his mutineers could never return to England, steered the Bounty and her remaining crew to Tubuai in the French Polynesian Islands. Tubuai proved inhospitable, however, and the mutineers eventually split into two groups, with most returning to Tahiti where they settled and lived the remainders of their lives, while Christian and eight others sailed in a different direction, settling on Pitcairn Island. They were never heard from again.
A survivor from Christian's band was found on Pitcairn Island in 1808, the lone white man living among several native women and the young children of the other mutineers. Sometimes calling himself John Adams and other times Alexander Smith, this man said that his comrades had used the ship's Bible as a guide in establishing their new community, but that all the other mutineers had been killed in warfare amongst themselves and against the natives. According to the frequently differing stories of Adams or Smith, Christian had either gone mad and killed himself, died of natural causes, or been murdered by persons unknown. Christian's descendants now comprise a sizable fraction of Pitcairn Island's tiny population.
Father: Charles Christian (b. 12-dec-1729, d. 11-Mar-1768)
Mother: Ann Dixon Christian (b. circa 1730, d. 8-Jan-1819)
Wife: Isobella Mauatua (Tahitian, b. circa 1768, m. 1788, d. 19-Sep-1841)
Son: Thursday October Christian (b. Oct-1790, d. 21-Oct-1831)
Son: Charles Christian (b. 1792, d. 4-Jan-1842)
Daughter: Mary Ann Christian (b. 1793, d. 2-Jan-1866)
Author of books:
The Letters of Fletcher Christian (1798, journals)
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