The Times’ Odessa correspondent, writing on April 15, says  -

“Yesterday evening the voluntary cruiser, Nijni- Novgorod,  left this port
with four hundred male and eight female convicts for the island  of Saghalin.

In the afternoon a religious service was performed on board by  the
Archbishop of Odessa. The Archbishop made some appropriate and feeling  remarks to the
convicts, and they finished by singing ‘Long Life to the  Czar.’

Each male convict has a comparatively light chain descending  from the
waistband to the ankles - the hands being quite free. None of them wear  either
whiskers, beard, or moustache; and one half of their hair on their heads  - that
is, in a straight line from forehead to the nape of the neck - is clean  
shaven, consequently they look strange objects with their hats  off.”