Mutineer. Raised in a London, England poorhouse, he joined the crew of the "HMS Bounty" in 1787 under the alias Alexander Smith, apparently because of trouble with the law. Despite his shady background he had no trouble with Commander William Bligh until the Bounty's five-month stay in Tahiti (1788 to 1789), when he was flogged for "neglect of duty". During the mutiny on April 28, 1789, he helped Fletcher Christian seize the ship's arms chest and was among the group who arrested Bligh in his cabin (he later claimed to have slept through the whole incident). He settled on Pitcairn Island with eight other mutineers and a group of Tahitian natives. At Pitcairn, Adams was compassionate in his treatment of the Tahitians and was deliberately spared on "Massacre Day", September 20, 1793, when the abused natives killed Christian and four other mutineers. By January 1801 he was the only surviving Bounty crew member left on the island. When the American ship "Topaz" arrived at Pitcairn in 1808, the ship's captain found Adams ruling over a peaceful community of ten Tahitian women (including his wife) and several children. The Royal Navy granted him clemency in 1825, and he died four years later. After Pitcairn Island became a British colony in 1838, its one settlement was named Adamstown. Adams' grave, on a hill overlooking the village, is the only known burial site of a Bounty mutineer.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards