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“ But, amid all this pilgrimage of distress, I had a conscience, thank Heaven, which lulled away the pain of personal difficulties, dangers, and distress. It was this conscious principle which determined me not to hide myself as if guilty. No-I welcomed the arrival of the Pandora at Otaheite, and embraced the earliest opportunity of freely surrendering myself to the captain of that ship.
“By his order I was chained and punished with incredible severity, though the ship was threatened with instant destruction: when fear and trembling came on every man on board, in vain, for a long time, were my earnest repeated cries, that the galling irons might not, in that moment of affrighting consternation, prevent my hands from being lifted up to Heaven for mercy.
“ But though it cannot fail deeply to interest the humanity of this Court, and kindle in the breast of every member of it compassion for my sufferings, yet as it is not relative to the point, and as I cannot for a moment believe that it proceeded from any improper motive on the part of Captain Edwards, whose character in the navy stands high in estimation both as an officer and a man of humanity, but rather that he was actuated in his conduct towards me by the imperious dictates of the laws of the service, I shall therefore waive it, and say no more upon the subject.
“ Believe me, again I entreat you will believe me, when in the name of the tremendous Judge of heaven and earth (before whose vindictive Majesty I may be destined soon to appear), I now assert my innocence of plotting, abetting, or assisting, either by word or deed, the mutiny for which I am tried-for, young as I am, I am still younger in the school of art and such matured infamy.
“My parents (but I have only one left, a solitary and mournful mother, who is at home weeping and trembling for the event of this day), thanks to their
fostering care, taught me betimes to reverence God, to honour the king, and be obedient to his laws; and at no one time have I resolutely or designedly been an apostate to either.
“ To this honourable Court, then, I now commit myself.
My character and my life are at your disposal ; and as the former is as sacred to me as the latter is precious, the consolation or settled misery of a dear mother and two sisters, who mingle their tears together, and are all but frantic for my situationpause for your verdict.
“If I am found worthy of life, it shall be improved by past experience, and especially taught from the serious lesson of what has lately happened; but if nothing but death itself can atone for my pitiable indiscretion, I bow with submission and all due respect to your impartial decision.
“ Not with sullen indifference shall I then medi. tate on my doom as not deserving it-no, such behaviour would be an insult to God and an affront to man, and the attentive and candid deportment of my judges in this place requires more becoming manners in me.
“ Yet, if I am found guilty this day, they will not construe it, I trust, as the least disrespect offered to their discernment and opinion, if I solemnly declare that niy heart will rely with confidence in its own innocence, until that awful period when my spirit shall be about to be separated from my body, to take its everlasting flight, and be ushered into the presence of that unerring Judge, before whom all hearts are open and from whom no secrets are hid.
His witnesses fully established the facts which he assumed in this defence. He then delivered to the president a paper, of which the following is a copy :
“My Lord,—The Court having heard the witnesses I have been enabled to call, it will be unnecessary to add any thing to their testimony in point of fact, or to observe upon it by way of illustration. It is, I trust, sufficient to do away any suspicion which may have fallen upon me, and to remove every implication of guilt which, while unexplained, might by possibility have attached to me. It is true I have, by the absence of Captain Bligh, Simpson, and Tinkler, been deprived of the opportunity of laying before the Court much that would at least have been grateful to my feelings, though I hope not necessary to my defence; as the former must have exculpated me from the least disrespect, and the two last would have proved, past all contradiction, that I was unjustly accused. I might regret that in their absence I have been arraigned, but, thank Heaven, I have been enabled, by the very witnesses who were called to criminate me, to oppose facts to opinions, and give explanation to circumstances of suspicion.
“It has been proved that I was asleep at the time of the mutiny, and waked only to confusion and dismay. It has been proved, it is true, that I continued on board the ship, but it has been also proved I was detained by force; and to this I must add, I left the society of those with whom I was for a time obliged to associate, as soon as possible, and with unbounded satisfaction resigned myself to the captain of the Pandora, to whom I gave myself up, to whom I also delivered my journal* (faithfully brought up to the preceding day), and to whom I also gave every information in my power. I could do no more ; for at the first time we were at Otaheite it was impossible for me, watched and suspected as I was, to separate from the ship. My information to Captain Edwards was open, sincere, and unqualified, and I had many opportunities given me at dif. * This journal, it is presumed, must have been lost when the Panferent times of repeating it. Had a track been open to my native country, I should have followed it; ħad a vessel arrived earlier, I should earlier with the same eagerness have embraced the opportunity, for I dreaded not an inquiry in which I foresaw no discredit. But Providence ordained it otherwise. I have been the victim of suspicion, and had nearly fallen a sacrifice to misapprehension. I have, however, hitherto surmounted it, and it only remains with this Court to say, if my sufferings have not been equal to my indiscretion.
dora was wrecked.
“ The decision will be the voice of honour, and to that I must implicitly resign myself.
Mr. Morrison's Defence Sets out by stating that he was waked at daylight by Mr. Cole the boatswain, who told him that the ship was taken by Christian; that he assisted in clearing out the boat at Mr. Cole's desire, and says, “ While I was thus employed Mr. Fryer came to me and asked if I had any hand in the mutiny; I told him no. He then desired me to see who I could find to assist me, and try to rescue the ship; I told him I feared it was then too late, but would do my endeavour ; when John Millward, who stood by me, and heard what Mr. Fryer said, swore he would stand by me if an opportunity offered. Mr. Fryer was about to speak again, but was prevented by Matthew Quintal, who, with a pistol in one hand, collared him with the other, saying, “Come, Mr. Fryer, you must go down into your cabin ;' and hauled him away. Churchill then came, and shaking his cutlass at me, demanded what Mr. Fryer said. I told him that he only asked me if they were going to have the long-boat, upon which Alexander Smith (Adams), who stood on the opposite side of the boat, said, It's a d-d lie, Charley, for I saw
him and Millward shake hands when the master spoke to them.' Churchill then said to me, “I would have you mind how you come on, for I have an eye upon you.' Smith at the same time called out, Stand to your arms, for they intend to make a rush.' This, as it was intended, put the mutineers on their guard, and I found it necessary to be very cautious how I acted; and I heard Captain Bligh say to Smith, 'I did not expect you would be against me, Smith;' but I could not hear what answer he made."
* He says, that while clearing the boat, he heard Christian order Churchill to see that no arms were put into her; to keep Norman, MʻIntosh, and Coleman in the ship, and get the officers into the boat as fast as possible; that Mr. Fryer begged permission to stay, but to no purpose. “On seeing Mr. Fryer and most of the officers going into the boat, without the least appearance of an effort to rescue the ship, I began to reflect on my own situation; and seeing the situation of the boat, and considering that she was at least a thousand leagues from any friendly settlement, and judging, from what I had seen of the Friendly Islanders but a few days before, that nothing could be expected from them but to be plundered or killed, and seeing no choice but of one evil, I chose as I thought the least, to stay in the ship, especially as I considered it as obeying Captain Bligh's orders, and depending on his promise to do justice to those who remained. I informed Mr. Cole of my intention, who made me the like promise, taking me by the hand and saying, God bless you, my boy; I will do you justice if ever I reach England.'
“ I also informed Mr. Hayward of my intention ; and on his dropping a hint to me that he intended to knock Churchill down, I told him I would second him, pointing to some of the Friendly Island clubs which were sticking in the booms, and saying, • There were tools enough:' but (he adds) I was