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Flowers left for Philip Spencer
The single beneficial result of the whole sorry business was the founding--in 1845--of the Naval Academy of Annapolis. The Somers mutiny convinced George Bancroft, a successor to Abel Upshur as Secretary of Navy, that it was time to stop recruiting a naval force from the ranks of problem children (or neurotic children). A new, land based, properly supervised establishment was needed, only the best candidates to be accepted. This decision has never been regretted. Otherwise, misfortune seems to have befallen many of those involved. Three days after MacKenzie's acquittal, Richard Leecock, Passed Surgeon of Somer, shot himself. He had been the most reluctant of all the officers to pass sentence on the prisoners; subsequent testimony evidently preyed on his conscience. Gansevoort reputedly took to drink. He is said to have told a cousin years later that when he reported to MacKenzie that the officers had been unable to reach a verdict,the Captain had replied that "It was evident that the young men had whooly misapprehended the nautre of the evidence, if they had not also misapprehended the aggravated character of the offense", and that there would be no security for the lives of the officers nor protection to commerce if an example was not made in a case so flagrant as this. "It was my duty,", he urged, "to impress these views on the court. I returned, and did, by impressing these considerations, obtain a reluctant conviction of the accused. MacKenzie swept all before him. After the gloom burial of the conspirators, he closed his prayer book with unclouded confidence and later wrote: "I could not but humbly hope that divine sanction would not be wanting to the deed of that day". His wish appears to have been denied him. He died six years later, in no disgrace, but dogged to the grave by ugly rumors. What of the Somers? The bad deed gave her a badname; those who could, avoided her like the plague. Legend has it that ghosts gibbered nightly in her shrouds. Sleek and fast, but untrustworthy, poorly designed, and dangerously top-heavy, she came to a perhaps well-deserved end. One stormy night in December, 1846, four years and six days after the hangings--she rolled over and sank with nearly half her unlucky crew on board. Ref: "Panic Rides the High Seas", American Heritage
- Dana Spencer
 Added: Feb. 16, 2008

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