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Saturday, October 19, 2013

From Bligh to Betsy

Bligh to his wife, from Timor

My Dear Dear Betsy...
Know then, my own dear Betsy, I have lost the Bounty ... On the 28th April at day light in the morning Christian having the morning watch. He with several others came into my Cabbin while I was a Sleep, and seizing me, holding naked Bayonets at my Breast, tied my Hands behind my back, and threatned instant destruction if I uttered a word. I however calld loudly for assistance, bu the conspiracy was so well laid that the Officers Cabbin Doors were guarded by Centinels, so that Nelson, Peckover, Samuels or the Master could not come to me. I was now dragged on Deck in my Shirt & Closely guarded – I demanded of Christian the cause of such a violent act, & severely degraded him for his Villainy but he could only answer – ‘not a word Sir or you are Dead.’ I dared him to do the act & endeavored to rally some one to a sense of their duty but to no effect. Beside this Villain see young Heywood one of the ringleaders & beside him Stewart joined with him. Christian I had assured of promotion when he came home, & with the other two I was every day rendering them some service – it is incredible! These very young Men I placed every confidence in, yet these great Villains joined with the most able Men in the Ship got possession of the arms and took the Bounty from me, with huzzas for Otaheite. I have now reason to curse the day I ever knew a Christian or a Heywood... 

1 comment:

peterkurtz said...

Fascinating letter. It helps with some understanding, but that mutiny will forever be a mystery.