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Bible With a History

Bounty Mutiny Recalled PITCAIRN ISLAND STORY

A Bible that goes back to the days of the famous mutiny on the Bounty in 1789 figured in a recent B.BX3. broadcast. The Bounty sailed for the Pacific in 1787 under Lieutenant Wil liam Bligh, but his severity was so

great that a section of the crew mut inied and set him and some of his loyal supporters adrift in an open boat, in which they sailed more than 4,000 miles before reaching Timor. The Bible belonged to one of the mutineers who, under Fletcher Christian, got clear away in the Bounty. Several whites and nine Tahiti men finally landed on Pitcairn, an island about half-way between New Zealand and the American continent, and, were not discovered until 1S0S. They did not live happily ever after, for first the Tahitians were killed in quarrels with the white men and then the whites quarrelled amongst themselves until there was only John Adams left — surrounded by a conglomeration if Tahiti widows and fatherless children. Adams, the original owner of the Bible that Valentine Selsey spoke about in the B.B.C.'s 'Radio Newsreel,' was a very good man, in marked contrast to some of the other mutineers. Although he could hardly read or write, he educated the children with the help of his Bible and Prayer Book, settled any differences that arose and for thirteen years was the beloved ruier and patriarch of the little com munity. His Bible was left on Pit cairn Island for many years but in 1S39 a grandson gave it to an American sailor called Levi Hayton, who took it back home to Windsor in Connecti cut. Now, 110 years later, the Connecti cut Historical Society is returning the Bible to Pitcairn Island via the Colon ial Office in London because, Selsey quoted, 'of the veneration with*\vbich it is still regarded by the Pitcairn Islanders, most of them descendants of the original settlers.' ( Some scientists say that the physique of an adult is an indication of the dis eases to which he is prone. For instance, those who are tall are more inclined to be afflicted with tuberculosis or mental diseases than those of short stature. On the other hand, the latter are more susceptible to rheumatism, gout and diabetes. i