To J. E. Denison, Esq.
February 16, 1856
My dear Evelyn,—Captain Fremantle, who went down in the 'Juno' to ascertain the wishes of the Pitcairn Islanders as to their transfer to Norfolk Island, brings me a most wonderful account of their simplicity, single mindedness, &c. We are going to put them upon an island provided with cattle, which they have never seen, sheep of which they know not the use, machinery, such as mills &c. of the application of which they can have no conception. It would be a curious and interesting occupation to watch the development of their ideas under these very novel circumstances. I am afraid that their simplicity will wear away fast under the operation of the new influences brought to bear upon them. I have, however, done my best to isolate them, by directing the officers who are going down in charge of the vessel, and who will locate them in their individual allotments, to divide the whole island (which contains but 10,000 acres) among the families, with the exception of about 500 acres for public purposes, and 200 for church and schools; so as to leave no room for other settlers. I should like to visit them myself; and shall ask for permission to do so when I send home the statement of the mode in which I have dealt with them.