Joshua Hill (Pitcairn Island leader)

Joshua W. Hill (15 April 1773 – 1844?) was an American adventurer.

In 1832 he arrived on Pitcairn Island which was first inhabited in the 1790s by British mutineers from HMS Bounty and some Tahitians who joined them. The descendants of the mutineers had chosen to migrate back to Tahiti following the death of the last mutineer, John Adams, but had recently returned. Hill, taking advantage of the instability, was able to be elected President of the island. He served in that position until 1838. His rule became increasingly tyrannical, and he began imprisoning many of the island's inhabitants. He was deposed and driven off the island in 1838, and the descendants of the original inhabitants took control of the island again.

Hill was probably the basis for the character Butterworth Stavely in Mark Twain's short story The Great Revolution in Pitcairn.[1]


  1. ^ Gidmark, Jill B. (2001). Encyclopedia of American literature of the sea and Great Lakes. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 359. ISBN 0-313-30148-4. Retrieved 2010-01-19.

"Joshua Hill, the Self-Instituted King of Pitcairn: Separating the Truth from the Lies" 2012 lecture by Tillman Nechtman, PhD