Lead: In the fall of 1842 the sailing brig USS Somers was in mid-Atlantic on the homebound leg of a officer training cruise. The stench of mutiny was in the air.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Captain Alexander Slidell Mackenzie received word of the threatened mutiny when the ship was ten days out of St. Thomas. The conspirators were Midshipman Philip Spencer, Petty Officer Samuel Cromwell and Seaman Elisha Small, plus an undetermined number of apprentices Spencer, as the conspiracy's leader, had been recruiting.

For some time the officers had been noting a change in attitude. Orders were obeyed grudgingly and in a surly manner. On November 25th Spencer approached the purser's steward, James W. Wales with the details of the plot. On a night during his turn as officer of the watch, Spencer planned to kill the officers and turn the Somers into a pirate ship operating out of the Isle of Pines off Cuba. He had a list of the crew divided by their disposition toward the conspiracy. Those who failed to go along, unwilling sailors and useless boys, just like the dead officers, were to be tossed overboard as shark bait.