|Captain Alexander Smollett|
|Treasure Island character|
|Created by||Robert Louis Stevenson|
Captain Alexander Smollett is the fictional captain of the schooner Hispaniola in Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 novel Treasure Island. He plays an important part in disciplining the main characters on the ship as the story progresses, and helps the protagonists survive against the pirates later on.
He first appears to the reader as a strict, bitter man who finds fault with everything and is never satisfied. However, he quickly reveals that not all is well aboard the ship, and his first conversation with Jim Hawkins, Dr. Livesey, and Squire Trelawney foreshadows the eventual mutiny of many of the Hispaniola's members under the leadership of Long John Silver, a cunning and wealthy one-legged pirate. When the Hispaniola finally reaches its destination and the pirates rebel, he organizes the faithful crew's flight from the Hispaniola onto the shores of the island and helps in gaining a stockade. The next day, he attempts to negotiate with "Captain" Long John Silver, but the negotiations fail due to the arrogance of Silver and the stubbornness of Smollett. (Indeed, Smollett admits that he has goaded Silver on purpose, reasoning that battle is probably inevitable and might as well be fought sooner rather than later, while they are alert and fresh.) As a result, Silver storms off in a rage, and Smollett is left to organize the defence of the stockade. In the battle of the stockade, he is seriously wounded by two bullets, though neither incapacitates him, and he disappears from the story for the most part. In the end, he and the faithful crew sail back to Bristol laden with treasure, and he retires from seafaring.
Captain Smollett's role in the story is crucial, but he is usually remembered for his temperamental personality. He is obsessed with duty and expects all his orders to be followed to the letter. When the stockade's defences break down during his negotiations with Silver, he explodes, venting his rage on the Doctor and Squire Trelawney for abandoning their stations to watch the negotiations. Yet, he doesn't fail to reward those who perform well and praises Abraham Gray, a mutineer who defects to their side, for staying at his post dutifully.