That I assisted in hoisting out the Launch —
This Boat was ask'd for by the Captain & his Officers, & whoever assisted in hoisting her out were their Friends, for if the Cap'tn. had been sent away in the Cutter (which was Christians first Intention) he cou'd not have taken with him more than nine or ten Men, — whereas the Launch carried nineteen. — The Boatswain, the Master, the Gunner, & the Carpenter say in their Evidence, that they considered me as helping the Captain on this Occasion.
That I was seen (by the Carpenter) resting my Hand upon a Cutlass
I was seen in this Position by no other Person than the Carpenter, no other Person therefore cou'd have been intimidated by my Appearance. Was the Carpenter intimidated by it? No. — so far from being afraid of me he did not even look upon me in the Light of a person armed, but pointed out to me the Danger there was of my being thought so. — I immediately took away my Hand from the Cutlass upon which I had very innocently put it when I was in a state of stupor. — The Court was particularly pointed in its Enquiries into this Circumstance, & the Carpenter was pressed to declare, upon the Oath he had taken, & after maturely considering the Matter, whether he did at the Time he saw me so situated, or had since been inclined to believe, that under all the Circumstances of the Case, I cou'd be considered as an Armed Man — to which he unequivocally answered — No — & he gave some good reasons (which will be found in his Evidence) for thinking that I had not a Wish to be armed during the Mutiny — The Master, the Boatswain, the Gunner, Mr. Hayward, Mr. Hallet & John Smith (who with the Carpenter) were all the Witnesses belonging to the Bounty, say in their Evidence, that they did not (any of them) see me armed, & the Boatswain, & Carpenter further say, in the most pointed Terms that they considered me to be one of the Captains Party, & by no Means as belonging to the Mutineers: & the Master, the Boatswain, the Carpenter, & the Gunner all declare that from what they observed on my Conduct during the Mutiny, & from a recollection of my Behaviour previous thereto, they were convinced I wou'd have afforded them all the Assistance in my Power if an Opportunity had offered to retake the ship.
That upon being called to by the Cap'tn. I laughed.
If this was believed by the Court it must have had I am afraid a very great Effect upon its Judgment; — for if viewed in too serious a Light, it wou'd seem to bring together & combine a Number of trifling Circumstances, which by themselves cou'd only be treated merely as Matters of suspicion; it was no doubt therefore recieved with Caution & considered with the utmost Candour; — the Countenance I grant, on some Occasions, may warrant an Opinion of Good or Evil. — existing in the Mind. — but on the momentous Events of Life or Death it is surely by much too indefinite & hazardous even to listen to for a Moment. — the different Ways of expressing our different Passions, are with many as variable as the Features they wear — Tears, have often been — nay generally are the relief of excessive Joy, — while Misery & Dejection have many a time disguised themselves in a Smile — & convulsive Laughs have betrayed the Anguish of an almost broken Heart. — To gauge therefore the Principles of the Heart, by the Barometer of the Face is as erroneous as it wou'd be absurd & unjust. — This Matter may likewise be considered in another Point of View. — Mr. Hallet says I laughed in Consequence of being called to by the Captain who was abaft the mizzen Mast while I was upon the Platform near the fore-Hatchway — a Distance of more that thirty Feet. — if the Captain intended I shou'd hear him, (& there can be no Doubt that he wished it if he really called to me,) he must have exerted his Voice & very considerably too, upon such an Occasion & in such a Situation; & yet Mr. Hallet himself, who, by being upon the Quarter Deck cou'd not have been half the Distance from the Cap'tn. I was. — even he I say cou'd not hear what was said to me, — how in the Name of God then was it possible that I shou'd have heard the Cap'tn. at all, situated as I must have been in the midst of noisy Confusion? — & if I did not hear him, which I most solemnly aver to be the Truth, even granted that I laughed (which however in my present awful situation I declare I believe I did not) it cou'd not have been at what the Cap'tn. said, upon this Ground then I hope I shall stand acquitted of this Charge — for if the Crime derives its Guilt from the Knowledge I had of the Captains speaking to me, it follows of Course that if I did not hear him speak there cou'd be no Crime in my laughing. — It may however very fairly be asked, why Mr. Hallet did not make known that the Cap'tn. was calling to me, his Duty to the Cap'tn., if not his Friendship for me, shou'd have prompted him to it. — & the Peculiarity of our situations required this Act of Kindness at his Hands. — I shall only observe further upon this Head, that the Boatswain, the Carpenter and Mr. Hayward, who saw more than any other of the Witnesses did, say in their Evidences that I had rather a sorrowful Countenance on the Day of the Mutiny. —
That I remained on Board the Ship instead of going in the Boat with the Captain.
That I was at first alarmed, & afraid of going into the Boat, I will not pretend to deny; — but that afterwards I wished to accompany the Cap'tn., & shou'd have done it, if I had not been prevented by Thompson who confined me below by the Order of the Master of Arms (Churchill) is clearly proved by the Evidence of several of the Witnesses, as thus — The Boatswain says, that just before he left the ship, I went below, & in passing him said something about a Bag, (it was that I wou'd put a few Things into a Bag & follow him;) the Carpenter says, he saw me go below at this Time, & both the Boatswain, & Carpenter say, that they heard Churchill call to Thompson to keep them below. — The Point therefore will be to prove, to whom this Order "keep them below" wou'd apply. — the Boatswain & Carpenter say they have no Doubt of its meaning me as one; & that it must have been so, I shall have very little Difficulty in shewing by the following Statement.—
There remained on Board the Ship after the Boat put off
Mr. Hayward and Mr. Hallet have proved that the following Men were under Arms (Viz't.) Christian, Hilbrank, Milward, Barket, Muspratt, Ellison, Sommer, Smith, Young, Skinner, Churchill, McKoy, Quintal, Morrison, Williams, Thompson, Mills, & Brown in all
Which makes the Number of armed Men
None of which we may reasonably suppose were ordered to be kept below indeed Mr. Hayward says that there were at the least eighteen of them upon Deck when he went into the Boat, & if Thompson the Centinal upon the Arm-Chest be added to them, it exactly agrees with the Number above named. there remains then to whom Churchill's Order "keep them below" might apply. — (Viz't.)
Could Byrne have been one of them? — No — for he was in the Cutter alongside. — Cou'd Coleman have been one of them? — No — for he was at the Gang-Way when the Cap'tn. & Officers went into the Boat, & aft upon the Taffrail when the Boat was veered Astern. Cou'd Norman have been one of them? — No — for he was with Coleman speaking to the Cap'tn. & Officers to take Notice that they were not concerned in the Mutiny. It cou'd then have applied to Nobody but Mr. Stewart & myself: & by this Order of Churchills therefore was I prevented from going with the Cap'n in the Boat.
The foregoing appears to me the most material Points of Evidence on the Part of the Prosecution, — my Defence being very full, & the Body of Evidence in my favor too great to admit of Observation in this concise Manner, I shall refer for an Opinion thereon to the Minutes of the Court-Martial.