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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

Book Recommendations

A Rare Pitcairn Book:

By Dr. Rufus Southworth, 182 pages, illustrations, paperback. This is a private printing of only 500 copies by the family of sea voyagers Irving and Electa “Exy” Johnson. Available only through the Pitcairn Islands Study Center, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California USA.

At last comes a true picture of life on Pitcairn Island rivaling Pitcairner Rosalind Young’s classic of 1894. Recounted in unusually straightforward and yet sympathetic detail, the book tells of a physician’s half-year medical-care stay among the Pitcairners. No detail of Pitcairn life escapes this writer’s keen attention - including the ineptitude and standoffish-ness of a government-sent doctor and representative.

Only 500 copies of this small, information-packed book available. Each is hand-numbered, sure to become a rare treasure among Pitcairn literature for those lucky enough to acquire a copy.

Samples of what one finds in this book:

  • The Forward is by Electa “Exy” Johnson, wife and fellow adventurer of Captain Irving Johnaon of the schooner Yankee, written shortly before her death.

  • Doctor Southworth learns how Nordhoff and Hall’s Mutiny on the Bounty came to be written. (p 19).

  • The joys of living in Pitcairn teacher-postmaster Roy Palmer Clark’s home. (p. 31).

  • Treating Pitcairners’ medical and psychological illnesses. (Many pages.).

  • Learning of Pitcairn “mystery man” Richard B. Fairclough and sister Jessie Westall.. (p. 30).

  • The drama of longboats loaded with “must ship” oranges, fighting their way out to a ship in the teeth of a Pitcairn storm. (p. 62).

  • Meeting a “Cookie” on Pitcairn before the island’s present “Cookie.” (p 64)

  • Dry roasting Pitcairn coffee in the damp weather of the island. (p. 68).

  • Who prepares the “best” meals on Pitcairn? (Many pages.).

  • Some “bul-a-ma-kow” is added to the author’s Pitcairn diet. (p. 82).

  • Mature, young women, even children attend Pitcairn sex-education classes. (p. 122).

  • Pitcairn gardens and chickens marked as “tithe produce.” The doctor disputes an author’s assertion about Pitcairn’s “tithe house.” (pp. 147, 148).

ORDERING: For your limited edition copy, in the U.S. send check for $22.00, or send your VISA, MasterCard or Discovery credit card particulars to Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, CA 94508. Or use the quick VISA-MasterCard button below. For order by use this address: For those outside the U.S. please contact for book & postal cost.

$22 U.S. Purchase


For more information: 707-965-6625, or 707-965-2047, Herbert Ford, Pitcairn Islands Study Center, Pacific Union College, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, CA 94508 USA

Special Recommendation

Those who wish to have reliable information about Pitcairn from some of the latest books published may find the following helpful. All but the last book are available from the Pitcairn Islands Study Center.

U.S. dollars, checks in U.S. dollars, and VISA, MasterCard or Discover credit cards accepted. Phone credit card orders to 707-965-6625, or 707-965-2047. FAX orders to 707-965-6504. Write checks to: Pitcairn Islands Study Center, Pacific Union College, 1 Angwin Avenue, Angwin, CA 94508 USA.

  • Guide to Pitcairn
    This highly-colorful, heavily-illustrated 70-page book (2000 edition) is the official book published by the Government of The Islands of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno. The book includes a host of subjects: Pitcairn history, island characteristics, Adamstown and the neighborhood, earning a living, community life and leisure, education, health, communication, administration and law, the other islands, from the pen of Roy P. Clark, general information and appendices.
    [$20.00 plus $3.00 packaging and postal cost in the U.S.; Check with for book and postal cost outside the U.S.]

  • Pitcairn - Port of Call
    Written by Herbert Ford, director of the Pitcairn Islands Study Center, this 500-page maritime history of Pitcairn, published in 1996, records some 200 years (1790-1990) of life on the island. The call of thousands of ships from every port in the world at Pitcairn in the 200-year period is recorded, along with particulars about the ship and the often heart-wrenching circumstances of the call. Shipwreck, romance, danger at sea, and the joy and strain of life on the tiny island are recounted by the author as drawn from his extensive research during five years in eight different countries, including Pitcairn itself.
    [$20.00 plus $6.00 packaging and postage in the U.S.; Check with for book cost and postage outside the U.S.]

  • Special recommendation: Hill, Kenneth. The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages. 2nd ed., revised & enlarged, 2004.

    The scholar, researcher or adventurer - armchair or otherwise - who desires what is likely the most complete compilation of books having to do with Pacific voyages will surely want to acquire The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages for his or her library.

    This beauty of a book of nearly 800 pages, listing particulars and extended notes on the 1,937 titles of the collection, is yet another in the growing number of outstanding works published by Hordern House, Australia’s premiere dealers in rare books, manuscripts, paintings and prints. The book has been published in concert with the William Reese Company of New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.

    The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, now a standard reference work about Pacific Voyages, is an enduring tribute to scientist-financier-conservationist Kenneth E. Hill. In his mature years, Hill one day spied a copy of William Bligh’s A Narrative of the Mutiny, on board His Majesty’s Ship Bounty . . . in the window of a New York City book store. He bought the book, and thereafter became an inveterate collector of the best volumes obtainable about Pacific voyages, explorers and western America. The result, now housed at the University of California at San Diego, is a pure treasure of Pacific voyaging and exploration knowledge.

    Kenneth Hill believed in dipping deep into the subjects of his book interest: as but one example, 14 volumes authored by Bligh are in the collection. Similar depth is found on the whole range of Pacific explorers: Bougainville, Cook, Drake, La Perouse, Magellan, Wallis . . . The notes on each book in the collection bring excitement as the reader’s mind is transported back to the wallowing ships of these explorer-giants as they traverse the trackless Pacific in search of far away lands with strange sounding names.

    Few if any other book in their library will find as frequent or as productive a use by scholars, researchers, or adventurers of the Pacific, as will The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages. It is a book of great value!

    [The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages may be ordered from Hordern House, PO Box 225, Potts Point, Sydney NSW, 1335 Australia, or at or]

Contact Study Center:

PHONE: 707-965-6244
TEXT:   707-229-1340

Contact Herb Ford:
PHONE: 559-592-0980 or

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