Fateful Voyage

Revised 2014-09-28

Preface Masts & Sails Chronology Timeline Bounty Logbook
William Bligh John Fryer James Morrison Peter Heywood Bond Letters
Pandora Minutes & Appendix Court Martials Articles of War Pitcairn
Maps Other Stuff Find Stuff Sitemap Credits
Fletcher Christian* Providence Contact

The Mutiny on the Bounty

The original source documents, all in one place.

"...and sailed with a fair wind."

So wrote Lieutenant William Bligh, Commander of His Majesty's Armed Vessel Bounty, of their departure from Spithead, England, on December 23, 1787, with 46 men aboard. They were bound for Tahiti in the South Pacific on a mission to gather breadfruit for transplanting in the West Indies, in the hopes of providing a cheap food source for the slaves of the English planters there.

"Then, on 5 March 1829, John Adams, venerable and corpulent, died at the age of 62."

So wrote the author of Pitcairn's History on the Pitcairn Island website, of the mutineer known as Alexander Smith, the last survivor of the mutineers who remained with the Bounty.

Countless articles and books have been written and several movies have been made telling some part of the story of the Bounty. All of those articles, books, and movies have been based on the same source material, either directly or indirectly.

The primary purpose of this site is to bring together in one place as many of those source materials as I am able to track down and get hold of. The secondary purpose is to add material such as the Timeline, which I think may help to illuminate the story.

I suggest starting with Preface, which begins with a very brief retelling of the story, followed by a What's Here section. Unless you've done some study of the story, there is probably more to it than you know about. The 'Preface' will get you up to speed.

The Webmaster's Author Page on Amazon.

Using the site

I have added Google® translate to several pages. Select your language and the page will be translated to it. Pages you visit by clicking a link on a translated page will also be translated. Anything contained in Javascript code, such as popups, will not be translated. Note that all links in the translated versions will appear as external links since they reside in a different domain. Be aware that it is machine translation, and that most of the English on this site is 18th century English, which machine translation may not handle well.

On pages with the Fateful Voyage banner at the top: clicking anywhere in that banner will bring you back to this page. Clicking in the left margin will take you to the previous page, and clicking in the right margin will take you to the next. The margins are 10% of the width of the browser window. A blue triangle will appear when the mouse is in the margin. It is merely an indicator, it is the margin that is clickable.

In handwriting of the time, it was the practice to use superscripts for abbreviations. For example, Latitude, Latd. I have replaced the superscript with a simple apotrophe, Lat'd, except in the Bounty Logbook, where I have kept the original style.

Some terms, such as 3 leagues, have a dashed underline. Move the mouse over these and a little popup with a short explanation will appear, and disappear when you move the mouse away. There is also a Glossary and Nautical Dictionary, which includes most terms found on the site.

In many places on the site you will see the word map such as here Map. Clicking on these will show a map in the top left corner of your browser window. These you have to click on the 'close' in the top right corner, or click on another 'map,' or move the mouse over an underlined term as described above.

On these maps, the tracks of the various ships are as shown below:

Tracks