National Geographic : 1957 Dec
I Found the Bones of the Bounty I was delighted to hear Flora refer to the rifles used as "muskets." Both schoolteacher Wotherspoon and Pas tor Hawkes try to convince the people that the goats must go for the good of the land. They remain, by and large, unconvinced. On Pitcairn today there are only three of the original surnames: Christian, Young, and McCoy. The forebears of the Browns mi grated from New Zealand; the original War rens and Roy Clark came from the United States. The reason there are no representatives of other mutineer surnames is that in 1856 the British Government, fearing overcrowding on Pitcairn, moved the colony to Norfolk Island, east of Australia. After a few years, some of the people grew homesick and returned. These were the nucleus of today's colony. Floyd McCoy is the only representative of his family on Pitcairn. From the age of 14 Floyd has been a close student of the island's history, and today he has the best collection of books on the subject on Pitcairn. Floyd is also inspector of police, but he has very little to do in that line, for there is no serious crime on Pitcairn. "Our chief offense," said Floyd, "is false report, and there is not too much of that." In other words, gossip-the bane of any small, isolated community. Floyd is the custodian of two Bounty relics, an ax and an anvil. When he visited Norfolk Island, Floyd wanted to bring back the Bounty's copper kettle, but his relatives there would not part with it. The kettle is of particular interest to the McCoys because back in the mutineer days William McCoy had used it to distill alcohol from the roots of the ti plant. This happened in April of 1798, but long before that date the dark cloud of violence had settled over Pitcairn. The little colony had lived in peace for about two years after the burning of the Bounty in 1790. Then the wife of John Williams, one of the mutineers, died in a fall from a cliff. Williams took the wife of one of the Tahi tians, who banded together to take revenge. Over the next few years there followed a series of bloody battles and violent deaths. Fletcher Christian was shot to death as he worked in his field; William McCoy threw himself into the sea after drinking too much of his home distilled alcohol. (Continued on page 761) Floyd McCoy Speaks to the World from His Radio Shack QSL cards, proof of contact with radio amateurs round the world, cover the walls of Floyd's radio room. Many ham operators have heard his call, VR6AC. He is on the air Tuesdays and Saturdays at 0700 Greenwich time.