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Recommended Utila Historical Books

See also ● Recommended Utila Tourist Guide BooksRecommended Utila Scuba Diving Books

And the Sea Shall Hide Them

And the Sea Shall Hide Them

2nd Edition
Author: William Jackson
Published: May 2005
Publisher: Nightengale Press
ISBN: 0-9743348-7-1
292 pages, 9 b&w photos, 3 maps
US $18.95

Available from:

This dramatic account of a true story which occurred in Utila on June 30, 1905 tells of the murders of 10 crew and passengers by Robert (Bob) McField on the 100 ton schooner named Olympia as she sailed from the East Harbor of the tropical island of Utila to Roatan. We learn how the sole survivor Elsie Morgan made her escape and her journey back to safety across the uninhabited mangrove swamps on the western side of Utila, through to the capture of Bob McField in La Ceiba and his short but eventful trial and subsequent hanging in Utila.

The author, William Jackson, was born in Utila and his book provides a fascinating insight into island life at the turn of the century with many references to the families and genealogy of Utila.

The Incredible Death and Revival of William Morgan

The Incredible Death and Revival of William Morgan

1st Edition
Author: William Jackson
Published: November 2007
Publisher: Nightengale Press
ISBN: 1-933449-49-7
228 pages, 21 b&w photos
US $15.95
Available from:
Nightengale Press

This is the author's second novel, and like the first, also based on a true story. The first one titled, And the Sea Shall Hide Them, actually took place in history perhaps seventy years after the one you are about to read.

This story centers around William Morgan, a Virginian living in Batavia, New York. He was a distant relative of the author. Morgan was of an impulsive nature, doing what he thought was the right thing to do. This eventually brought him in contention with the Masonic Order in Batavia, New York in 1826. His long and troublesome life eventually found him isolated on Utila Island in the Western Caribbean. He had been kidnapped! He was one of the first men to begin shipping bananas commercially to the United States, an enterprise that eventually grew into a vast business. Despite these good tidings, which included a loving wife and children, his life was a troubled one. However, his legacy to the small island of Utila was a noteworthy one, having a beneficial blessing on the early settlers of that island.

Utilla: Past and Present

Utilla: Past and Present

1st Edition
Author: Richard H Rose
Published: 1904
Publisher: F.A. Owen Publishing Company, Dansville NY USA
188 pages, 19 b&w photos, 2 maps
Availablity: copies are held in
- The Cayman National Archives
- The New York Genealogical Biographical Society, and
- Columbus Memorial Library

No it's not a spelling mistake, Utilla is the old english spelling for the present day Utila.

This fascinating book covers the history of Utila from the early indians through the depopulation of The Bay Islands by Spanish & Cuban Slavers in about 1650, the Pirate years in the 18th Century, the early British Settlers arriving via Grand Caymans in 1836 and British colonization from 1852? through the British Treaty with Honduras of 28th November 1859 until eventual cession on 22nd April 1861.

With many contemporary stories and accounts of life in Utila in the late 19th century when the Utila population grew from 101 in 1858 to nearly 800 in 1904. Many of the early settlers family names, Cooper, Bush, Howell, Hill, Jackson, Morgan, Rose, Thompson, and Warren, live on in present day Utila.

Historical Geography of the Bay Islands Honduras

Historical Geography of the Bay Islands Honduras: Anglo-Hispanic Conflict in the Western Caribbean

Author: William V Davidson
Published: June 1, 1974
Publisher: Southern University Press, Birmingham, Alabama
ISBN: 0876512074
Available from:
Barnes & Noble
Casi Todo Bookstore

Professor William Davidson has recorded how islanders, their activities, and their surroundings have changed from aboriginal times until the present. From his research emerges a picture of a culturally-diverse island group which, although dominated today by English-speakers, has been the homeland of nine distinct populations.

Dr. Davidson discusses the occupancy of Paya Indians, Spaniards, buccaneers, Englishmen, Black Caribs, Anglo-Antilleans, Afro-Antilleans, North Americans, and Spanish Hondurans; and particularly describes the role of each in altering island landscapes

The Judas Bird

The Judas Bird

Author: David K Evans
Published: April, 2004
Publisher: Alliance Books, 973 pages
ISBN: 097256098X
US $27.95 (list price)
Available from;
(at a discounted price - also signed copies available)
Barnes & Noble

Although not directly associated with Utila per se, this historical novel is set in Roat?, a larger neighboring island to the south-east of Utila, with well-researched accounts of pirates, buried treasure and intrigue which are smoothly blended with ancient legends, mystery, and romance.

The Judas Bird quickly captures its readers, wrapping them in the age-old human dramas with glimpses of the turbulent years of the 17th century, a time when the island was the primary rendezvous for the "Brethren of the Coast," the lusty, hard-living buccaneers and pirates sailing the Western Caribbean. Blending the majestic with the mundane and using the intricate characterization of colorful islanders and his knowledge of island dialogue and customs, the author paints a beautiful and exciting portrait of life on the small Caribbean island of Roatan.

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