The Survivors of the Chancellor HTML version
Crew And Passengers
SEPTEMBER 28. -- John Silas Huntly, the captain of the Chancellor, has the reputation
of being a most experienced navigator of the Atlantic. He is a Scotchman by birth, a
native of Dundee, and is about fifty years of age. He is of the middle height and slight
build, and has a small head, which he has a habit of holding a little over his left shoulder.
I do not pretend to be much of a physiognomist, but I am inclined to believe that my few
hours' acquaintance with our captain has given me considerable insight into his charac-
ter. That he is a good seaman and thoroughly understands his duties I could not for a
moment venture to deny; but that he is a man of resolute temperament, or that he pos-
sesses the amount of courage that would render him, phy- sically or morally, capable of
coping with any great emer- gency, I confess I cannot believe. I observed a certain
heaviness and dejection about his whole carriage. His wavering glances, the listless
motion of his hands, and his slow, unsteady gait, all seem to me to indicate a weak and
sluggish disposition. He does not appear as though he could be energetic enough ever to
be stubborn; he never frowns, sets his teeth, or clenches his fists. There is some- thing
enigmatical about him; however, I shall study him closely, and do what I can to
understand the man who, as commander of a vessel, should be to those around him
"second only to God."
Unless I am greatly mistaken there is another man on board who, if circumstances should
require it, would take the more prominent position -- I mean the mate. I have hitherto,
however, had so little opportunity of observing his character, that I must defer saying
more about him at pres- ent.
Besides the captain and this mate, whose name is Robert Curtis, our crew consists of
Walter, the lieutenant, the boat- swain, and fourteen sailors, all English or Scotch, making
eighteen altogether, a number quite sufficient for working a vessel of 900 tons burden.
Up to this time my sole ex- perience of their capabilities is, that under the command of
the mate, they brought us skillfully enough through the narrow channels of Charleston;
and I have no reason to doubt that they are well up to their work.
My list of the ship's officials is incomplete unless I men- tion Hobart the steward and
Jynxstrop the negro cook.
In addition to these, the Chancellor carries eight pas- sengers, including myself. Hitherto,
the bustle of em- barkation, the arrangement of cabins, and all the variety of preparations
inseparable from starting on a voyage for at least twenty or five-and-twenty days have
precluded the formation of any acquaintanceships; but the monotony of the voyage, the
close proximity into which we must be thrown, and the natural curiosity to know
something of each other's affairs, will doubtless lead us in due time to an ex- change of
ideas. Two days have elapsed and I have not even seen all the passengers. Probably sea-
sickness has prevented some of them from making an appearance at the common table.