The Pretender of Pitcairn Island: Joshua W. Hill – The Man Who Would Be King Among The Bounty Mutineers

This illustrated talk chronicles the mysterious period from 1832-1838 when Joshua W. Hill lived at and governed over Pitcairn Island – pretending the entire time that he had permission to do so from London’s colonial authorities.  Pitcairn Island is, of course, best known as the refuge of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty.  The history of the island has heretofore focused on its Bounty connections, but this story – rich in source material from American whalers – picks up this often overlooked moment in Pitcairnese history to explore the history of Pitcairn as part of a larger story – the history of British imperialism in the Pacific more broadly.

Tillman Nechtman is Professor of History and the Department Chair in History at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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