'John Adams' house and grave Pitcairn's Island, Augt 12th 1849'

No. 9 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. A slightly unfinished drawing, in which the position of Adams's grave is not obvious, though the form of its original wood and lead marker (now also in the NMM collection, REL0002) suggests it is the enclosure on the right. Adams, the last surviving 'Bounty' mutineer, had died in 1829 and the marker was replaced by a stone one in or after 1856.

Fanshawe (1904, pp. 188-89) gives a detailed description of the Pitcairn houses as 'each standing by itself with a small cleared space round it, and a cooking shed detached. [They] are entirely of wood, with only the ground floor, and thatched. The entrance is about in the centre of the front: and the remaining part is planked up to about three feet from the ground, above which there are sliding panels which when open expose to view the whole interior economy. There is a window at each end but the back is completely planked in. In the interior this part is partitioned off throughout its whole length into sleeping berths resembling those of a steam packet but more commodious. These berths are generally covered with patchwork counterpanes. On entering by the front door there is to the left a partition wall run across, which encloses the sanctum sanctorum of the heads of the family: this little room is more furnished than the rest and its berth is provided with curtain. To the right is the table and benches, and against the partition wall stands a native-made chest of drawers of a strong close-grained wood of the island and and inlaid with another wood of a lighter colour. Boxes are also very neatly made of these woods and are an article of traffic.....We were also shown the register of the island, which contains a small notice of all the principal events ....since the burning of the 'Bounty' in January 1790.' The register is also now in the Museum collection (REC/61), with several other items related to John Adams. This is one of a group of three Fanshawe drawings of Pitcairn, PAI4613 - PAI4615.

Object Details

ID: PAI4614
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Fanshawe, Edward Gennys
Places: Pitcairn Island
Date made: 12 Aug 1849
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 175 x 256 mm
Parts: Album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California (Album)

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