A Rare Pitcairn Book:
A DOCTOR’S LETTERS FROM PITCAIRN - 1937
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:
1. The Forward is by Electa “Exy” Johnson, wife and fellow adventurer of Captain Irving Johnaon of the schooner “Yankee,” written shortly before her death.
2. Doctor Southworth learns how Nordhoff and Hall’s “Mutiny on the Bounty” came to be written. (p 19).
3. The joys of living in Pitcairn teacher-postmaster Roy Palmer Clark’s home. (p. 31).
4. Treating Pitcairners’ medical and psychological illnesses. (Many pages.).
5. Learning of Pitcairn “mystery man” Richard B. Fairclough & sister Jessie Westall.. (p. 30).
6. 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).
7. Meeting a “Cookie” on Pitcairn before the island’s present “Cookie.” (p 64).
8. Dry roasting Pitcairn coffee in the damp weather of the island. (p. 68).
9. Who prepares the “best” meals on Pitcairn? (Many pages.).
10. Some “bul-a-ma-kow” is added to the author’s Pitcairn diet. (p. 82).
11. Mature, young women, even children attend Pitcairn sex-education classes. (p. 122).
12. Pitcairn gardens & 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 $20.00 ($25.00 in USD only elsewhere) to “Pitcairn Islands Study Center,” 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, CA 94508 USA. Or use VISA, MasterCard or Discover card with card type, number, expiration date, security code (3 digits on back), name and mailing address to email@example.com. Surface mail used for all o/s mailings.
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.