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Two hundred and thirty-four years ago, a British plan to bring a plant from one part of the world to another led to a great feat of seamanship and an act that has gone down in history.

The year was 1789 and British plantation owners in the Caribbean were looking for a cheap food source with which to feed their slaves. It was thought that the breadfruit plant, which grew in Polynesia, would be ideal and it was decided that a Royal Navy cutter, HMS “Bounty,” would be used to transport 1,000 breadfruit plants from Tahiti.

Derek Coleman is a part-time writer who is a native of England and who now lives in Hurricane, W.Va. He can be reached at

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