|The Golden Era - Misconduct of the Captain|
A letter has been addressed to a gentleman in the City, by Dr. Coates, who came out here a surgeon-superintendent of the ship Medway, and took his passage home to England in the Golden Era, which conveys some startling particulars of the misconduct of Captain Peat, the commander of the latter vessel.
The letter is dated from Pernambuco, on the 7th of October last , and mentions that the captain took the vessel as far as 63 degrees south, and that the passengers were nearly starved ; he is described as being constantly drunk, in which the chief mate almost emulated his superior officer. After being in the greatest danger for several days, among fields of ice, the vessel managed to reach Pernambuco, the provisions being nearly exhausted on their arrival at that port.
Dr. Coates proceeds to state.- " Here [at Pernambuco] a complaint was made to the consul of the captain's gross misconduct and culpable neglect of duty, through his continued drunkenness and seclusion in his cabin for this apparent purpose. The investigation fully sustained the charges made. He came on board, and endeavoured to slip the cable, and get out to sea, or run the ship ashore ; then he left the ship, carrying away with him near £6000 in gold ; was arrested in consequence ; and is now in the Calaboose, awaiting until all the necessary evidence is completely arranged and signed in due form, when he will be sent by steamer to England to await a further investigation there.
Not only has this been a most perilous but also a most miserable voyage in every respect ; and when I contrast for one moment my voyage out with the Medway and this home, it is but to find that I am momentarily comparing things that are utterly incomparable! The Medway was a home for any one and every one, its associations are pleasant remembrances indeed ; but the Golden Era is a floating prison house with no redeeming feature about it, and when my troubles about it are to have an end I know not. We expect to leave here about the 12th of this month." - M. M. Herald, December 30, .
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