A Surgeon-Superintendent’s Experiences on a Convict Transport: the Voyage of the Emperor Alexander to Van Diemen’s Land in 1833
The experience of a Surgeon-Superintendent on the convict transport ship, the Emperor Alexander, casts light on aspects of life at sea commonly overlooked. The information derived encompasses the considerable responsibilities existent in the role of Surgeon, concerning conditions on board, education, hygiene and food rationing often causing hostile relations within the ship’s hierarchy. There is particular focus on bureaucratic procedure at sea and on land. There is a lesser focus on common illnesses at sea and the condition of prisoners prior to transportation.