A deputation of the residents of Capetown waited on their Government on behalf of the people of the Cape during the quarantine of the Neptune, requesting that Mitchel be permitted to land there as a free settler. The Government declined – in this matter of course it was not free to act. Mitchel does not seem to have been aware of the request of the Cape people for his release and residence amongst them when he was compiling and, later, publishing the “Jail Journal.”

The Neptune convict ship in which he was interned was of 643 tons register, commanded by John Henderson. The two bashful officers were Lieutenant Melvin and Ensign Manners of the 91st Regiment. They commanded a guard of forty-seven men.