'Susan Young, The only surviving Tahitian woman, Pitcairn's [Island], Augt 1849' by Edward Gennys Fanshawe

'Susan Young, The only surviving Tahitian woman, Pitcairn's [Island], Augt 1849'

Edward Gennys Fanshawe

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'Susan Young, The only surviving Tahitian woman, Pitcairn's [Island], Augt 1849' by Edward Gennys Fanshawe zoom

'Susan Young, The only surviving Tahitian woman, Pitcairn's [Island], Augt 1849'

Original size: 179 mm x 126 mm

Date: 1849

Object Ref No: PAI4615

 

No.10 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 1852. Captioned by the artist on the album page, below the image. The woman shown, with a British seaman from Fanshawe's 'Daphne' and two Pitcairn children, is the Tahitian-born wife of  'Bounty' mutineer Simon Young: their grandson, also Simon, was the annual magistrate on Pitcairn when Fanshawe called there, 11th- 12th August 1849. She was presumably about 70 at this time and apparently blind in the left eye.

Fanshawe's journal briefly mentions her in his account of the fate of the 'Bounty' mutineers. Towards the end of the feuding that saw Christian and other mutineers killed by the Tahitian men who had accompanied them to Pitcairn, only two Tahitian men and four Englishmen remained: Adams and Young in the village, and McCoy and Quintal hiding in the woods. Adams and Young then led a plot in which the stronger Tahitian was lured to bed by one of the other Tahitian women and, when asleep, killed by Susan Young with an axe: at the same time she shouted 'Fire' as the signal for her husband to shoot the other Tahitian man. This Simon Young immediately did with a musket that he had been loading in his victim's presence, telling him it was to shoot a hog (Fanshawe [1904] p.187).

  • Image reference: PZ4615

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