Frank Queen, editor of the New York Clipper, did play fair. He published the key parts of Cotton's letter. For a while Billy O'Neil was on the straight and narrow. He got an opportunity to travel to Australia with another band and left, for good. Down under things did not go well. In a drunken Saturnalia, he stabbed a fellow player and was sentenced to three years in prison. Six months later O'Neil was hospitalized and died within days.
Tommy Peel's given name was Thomas Jefferson O'Reilly. An orphan, he had been taken into the business by Matt Peel. T.J. Peel also traveled to Australia. He died of consumption in 1869, at the age of 27. At his own request he was buried in the same Melbourne grave as O'Neil.