[First, ignore the date; this is believed to have been written in 1793. Second, it is believed that it was written in response not to Morrison's Journal, but rather to Morrison's "Memorandum and Particulars respecting the Bounty and her Crew."]
[When I first added this page to the site, I was in a hurry and simply accepted the transcription as provided by an Australian librarian. While rebuilding the site, however, I decided to take another look, as there were places where it simply did not make sense. I skipped the transcription and went to the original hand-written pages. As a result, I've tossed the strikeouts and corrected several errors, i.e., "Oh, Bey & Cork" has become "The Beef and Pork."]
He begins his complaints by saying that Captain Bligh accused the People of having stolen two Cheeses from the Deck when they were brought up to Air, altho he knew they were sent to his House.
Captain Bligh declares that a cask of Store Cheese having signs of getting into a bad state was brought upon Deck and then opened was found full & counted out. In the interval of Dinner time two of the Cheeses were stolen. Captain Bligh considered this as an audacious theft & could not be committed without the knowledge most of the Ship's Company — he therefore in preference to charging the Value of the Cheeses against their Wages, ordered it to be stopt from each person until the whole was repaid.
"Pumpkins to be opened in lieu of Bread 1 lb of the former to 2 lb of the latter."
Captain Bligh declares that in the course of the Voyage the Ship's Company was to be at ⅔ allowance of Bread, He directed Twenty three Pumpkins bought at Teneriffe to be issued to those who liked them, and the amount of what each person took up was to be deducted out of whatever Bread might have become due to him, at the rate of two lbs of Pumpkin for one lb of Bread.
Captain Bligh knowing what difficulties he had to encounter off Cape Horn & the length of time he was to be without fresh supplies he directed these Pumpkins to be bought (as the only Fruit kind that would keep) & likewise two large Dripstones to give his People pure water - These were certainly acts of kindness, & not oppression.
"The Beef & Pork now began to appear
"light &c— He would give no redress &c —
"He would flog the first man who complained
"to him. This was the cause of no complaint
It is a well known thing that an officer attends the opening of all casks of Beef & Pork & sees the whole weighed and divided according to the Navy Rules of 4lbs to a piece of Beef & 2lbs to a Piece of Pork it is done publickly before the Ship's Company & it cannot be to the interest of any one, to go contrary to the rules laid down. Nothing can mark the Villainy of this Morrison more, than the reason he gives for the People never afterwards complaining, by this at once to shew, that the Peoples good behaviour was not a proof of my commanding equitably. — As to choosing particular pieces of meat I deny it — it stands on record in my general orders that such a thing is forbidden on any pretence whatever.—
"Pease & oatmeal sparingly served &c—His Hogs
"would have starved, but for Bread & Indian Corn which[?]
"was purchased for his Poultry &c.
On investigation, these low charges could strongly mark the character of Morrison — they are convenient at a remote period. — Captain Bligh declares every person had as much as was necessary; and what was never known in any ship before, & perhaps in none but his own since, they had hot breakfasts every day of boiled Wheat sweetened with sugar, or Burgoo enriched with Portable Soup. So happily did every person feel themselves, that letters from the People & Warrant Officers from the Cape of Good Hope were particular in remarking how happy they were under Captain Bligh's Command — His treatment of them was such that songs were made on him extolling his kindness.—
"23 March one of the Sheep died which was issued
"to the Ships Company &c— it was thrown overboard
"being Skin & Bones & Shark supplied in its place &c.
"10th April a Hog was killed which little better
"than the Sheep was quickly devoured.—
It is a general rule on board of Ship not to suffer anything that died to be used by the Seamen, because they would always find the means to kill any animal if they knew this Rule was not observed. — By Capt. Blighs log it appears however, that both the Sheep & Hog were killed, & on those days the people considered their allowance as a feast to them "greedily devoured" seems to apply the same thing; But Captain Bligh declares on his honor, he never did or could permit his People to eat any thing that was improper. — If Captain Bligh thought proper to shorten any allowance, he lived on the same himself, and it is known to the lowest seamen in the King's Service, that if he has not his full allowance, he is paid for it by Government in money, & the Captain can draw Bills to pay such account, when he is employed abroad: if on his return such a payment due to the Ship's Company has not been made, the Captain is obliged to press an account for the same, & every man & officer will be paid all short allowance Money that is due for the Voyage, at the Time they receive their wages, — For this reason it would be extremely vicious in a Captain to put his men at less than full allowance only from a prospect of being in want of Supplies. The men who came home with Captain Bligh received their short allowance Money.
"The master signed the Books in obedience
"to Capt Bligh's orders"&c.
It is a publick order in the Captain's instructions, that every two months, two Books containing the expenses of the Ship's Stores for that time, shall be signed by the Signing Officers & Captain, & without which being sent to the Navy Board, no Warrant Officer or Captain can receive his Pay.— Two of these Books being ready to be signed were sent to the Master for his Signature; but the Clerk brought them back with a Message from the Master that unless Captain Bligh signed his Certificate of Good behaviour, he would not sign the Books — that this might not be a private matter Capt. Bligh ordered the Ship's Company to be turned [up/out] & before all hands mentioned the Master's refusal — The Articles of War & Officers Instructions were then read, and Captain Bligh ordered the Master to sign the Books, or to express his reasons (for not complying) at full length at the bottom of the Page where the signature was to have been made — the Master thought proper to sign the books.
Captain Bligh never had a symptom of scurvy in any ship he commanded.
The curing of Pork and everything respecting it, is particularly explained to the Admiralty in Captain Bligh's logbooks, and it is particularly mentioned to their lordships that the ships companies under his command are supplied with everything to the amount allowed them, except liquor, by his influence with the Natives of Tahiete during the ships stay there.— They had always two Pounds of Pork a day, besides Roots & Plantains, and Cocoa Nutts in the greatest abundance; besides the Bones with the lean meat about them (which were taken out of the finest Hogs in the World to fit the other parts for taking the Salt) boiled into broth, thickened with oatmeal and a kind of wild Peppercase or small sallad. Besides all this every man's Friend was bringing him roasted Hogs every day, & when they brought live ones as I could not permit them to run about the Ship, the Person who they were brought to always went to the gunner (who purchased for the whole) and of him they received the Market price which at the time was considered no less a favor than an indulgence to them.
"To prevent the People getting Hogs a Book was
"kept in the Binnacle for the officer of the Watch
"to enter every Hog that was brought on board &c &c
No one could consider this against the Ship's Compy., by this means every person knew the number received — Captain Bligh declares it was from no other motive but curiosity to ascertain the number of Hogs received to show the supply the Country gave them —
"The People served 6 Plantains a day & when
"they were out a lb of Tarro a day instead of Bread.
Captain Bligh declares they had as much as they could use, 2 lbs of Tarro & six Plantains were issued to each person — the quantity was issued in proportion to their Wants for no other reason than to be regular & not permit the People to destroy wantonly the publick store, for there was an immensity on board.
"C. Bligh made three Chiefs peel Coconutts &c &c—
The folly and viciousness of this design to impute cruelty is evident — it would have been impolitic — The Chiefs did no such thing, but parted with Captain Bligh very affectionately loaded with presents.—
"Coconutts missed &c— C. Bligh called the "Officers Thieves & Villains &c.
When the ship sailed from Anamooka the Boats & every part of the Ship was filled with. Yams (see the Evidences in the Court Martial where they all declare the Boats were full & obliged to be cleared before they could be hoisted out).— A heap of Coco Nutts were between the guns under the charge of the Officer of the Watch, with orders for no one to touch them untill the Ship was clear of the land when they would be issued equally and considered highly refreshing; without which caution some would have & waste one half & others would have none. In one Night (the first) the officer permitted the whole within a score to be taken away. As this was evidently done through design Captain Bligh ordered all the Cocoa Nutts to be replaced — the officers of the Watch declared they were taken away by stelth — Here was a publick theft; a contumacy, & direct disobedience of orders — the particular offenders could not be found out any more than had been affected in private thefts which had been frequently committed. could therefore either the epithet thief or Villain, had it been used, have justified their taking the Ship the next day.
"That Christian (who was acting as Lieutenant and under particular ties of friendship to Capt. Bligh) " intended to go on shore 10 legs from the land> "on a fir Plank with two Staves for Paddles with "a roasted Pig" is too ridiculous, if not, it proves the Mutiny was premeditated & brought forward by Christian.—
"That it may not be supposed &c &c that this
"is fabricated respecting cheating government
"Wm. Musprat & Thos Hayward signed at the
"Cape of Good Hope as respectable Merchants
"to Bills drawn & Bills drawn on Government. &c &c &c
Surely if anything will confute this assertion, & show this Morrison, (who was the worst of the Mutineers next to Christian & Churchill, if not their adviser;) in the light he ought to be held, it is this — Musprat & Hayward signed only as witnesses in C. Bligh's behalf that he payed the Money to Mr C. Brandt due to him on an account with Capt. Bligh to prevent by any accident his calling on Capt. Bligh for a second payment.— These Papers are now to be seen at the Publick Boards.
Among all these charges there is not one of cruelty or oppression.—