Captain R.W. Grace was the captain of the S.S. England in 1866. Based on the story below 1866 was his first year as captain. He would have been 37 years old during the cholera outbreak.
By Charles Algernon Dougherty, Harper's New Monthly Magazine,
New York, 1886, Vol. 73, August, pp. 375-391
"The National Line is justly proud of her captains. She has a big fleet of stanch ships, to each of which the name of one of the great nations of the earth is given. The line is a British corporation, and hence no selfish partiality is responsible for the fact that the largest, newest, and best of the baker's dozen of splendid vessels is called the America. It may have been a mere coincidence in its christening, but it is a compliment none the less to what the patriotic American would call the largest, newest, and best of the nations. The command of this fine steamer has been given to Captain R.W. Grace, who ranks as the Commodore of the line. He has been temporarily deprived of the guardianship of this youngest sea child of the National by her British Majesty's government, who have enrolled the America into the military transport service. It is expected that she will soon resume her usual sphere of existence as one of the monarchs of the Atlantic. Captain Grace is as proud of his ship as the line is of him. Unlike his vessel, he is neither the largest nor the newest of his colleague captains, but there are many people who persist that he is the best. In point of length of service and varied experience on the sea, he is unquestionably the patriarch. He is in his fifty-seventh year, and looks every inch a gallant mariner. He has been a National captain for twenty years. If he wore on his breast all the medals he has won for fearless deeds and humane actions, his coat would look like a jeweler's shop case. A hale, jovial, and genial man, always courteous and considerate, one is never at a loss to understand, when speaking to him, why Commodore Grace is so popular with ocean travelers."
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