There having been the fear of a want of water at Pitcairn in 1831, the people, eighty-seven in number, were removed from the island to Otaheite, by order of the British Government, in the barque, 'Lucy Anne', sent from Sydney, New South Wales. On being landed at Otaheite on March 23d, they were well received by Queen Pomare.
Captain Sandilands, of H.M.S. Comet, in his despatch to Rear-Admiral Sir E. W. Owen, K.C,B., gave an interesting report of this case of emigration, and of the manner in which the voyagers were welcomed by Queen Pomare, who was then, and is still, the ruling sovereign of Otaheite. At her Majesty's desire, Captain Sandilands landed the people of Pitcairn at her residence, about three miles from the anchorage, where houses were provided for them, until she gave up for their temporary use a large dwelling belonging to herself in the town of Papiete. A tract of rich land was also marked out, as a desirable territory for their future residence. Having assembled the chiefs of the district, the Queen, in a speech, formally announced that she had assigned this land to her guests from Pitcairn, giving directions at the same time that her people should immediately commence the construction of houses for the new comers. In showing this hospitality, she appears to have consulted her own kind disposition, and also to have endeavoured to fulfil the promises given by her father, the late King Pomare, who had promised them welcome and protection in case of need. Nor was this good feeling confined to the Queen. Much regard was generally shown by the Otaheitans, who sought out with diligence whether there might not be relations among their guests. In one instance a woman came a considerable distance, and discovered in one of the four remaining women a long-absent sister.