where it stands, not only as a piece of noble sculpture, but as the perpetual witness of that generous and faithful zeal which Crawford
's friend and benefactor showed for him at a critical moment of his career.
‘The Mutiny of the ‘Somers
’’ was the subject of Sumner
's only contribution to the ‘North American Review,’1
after his return from Europe
,’ a brig-of-war of the United States
, sailed front New York upon a voyage to the coast of Africa
, on Sept. 12, 1842, under the command of Alexander Slidell Mackenzie
Her crew consisted largely of apprentice boys, whom she had received from the Naval School.
Holding the rank of midshipman among her officers was Philip Spencer
, son of John C. Spencer
, then Secretary of War
under President Tyler
He had been guilty of previous misconduct in the service, and was reluctantly received by the commander.
During the voyage, he was assiduous in corrupting the crew with attentions, money, tobacco, and spirits.
On the return, he was discovered in a conspiracy to murder the officers, take possession of the ship, and enter on a career of piracy; and he and two confederates —Small, a seaman, and Cromwell
, a boatswain's mate—were put in irons.
Four others were soon after arrested, and the seven confined on the quarter-deck.
The commander intended to carry all the prisoners to the United States
for trial; but finding that in consequence of their confinement a mutinous disposition was spreading among the crew, he called a council of his officers.
They, after a careful examination of the evidence and a consideration of the necessity, advised, in a formal document signed by them, the immediate execution of Spencer
, Small, and Cromwell
,—closing their decision with the words, ‘bearing in mind our duty to our God, our country, and to the service.’
Accordingly, by the order of the commander, the three were hung at the yard-arm, on Dec. 1,—four days before the arrival of the ship at St. Thomas
and Small confessed their guilt, and acknowledged the justice of the punishment.
A question was, however, raised as to the guilt of Cromwell
A court of inquiry, of which Commodore Stewart
, approved Mackenzie
Afterwards, a court-martial, of