Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Read Dan's blog on the "word".

Grandfather G.s idol was revolutionary war Admiral A. Philip Levy. In fact he chose Philip for his son's name.

One of Admiral Levy's legacies is that he holds to this day the record of receiving the most courts martial of any officer in the history of the U. S. Navy but that is another story.

He campaigned vigorously to abolish flogging in the service.

It was common in those days that after extended time at sea the sailors would be paid and given shore liberty.

Typically they would head for a waterfront tavern where a comely lady would invite one to her quarters. Once there, a potion known as a "Mickey Finn" would be added to his drink and after a confederate ransacked his pockets, he would be dumped into the alley to sleep it off.

The next morning the "wronged" lady and her confederate would present the "bill" to the ship's officer. The payment with the officer getting a bit of a kickback would be charged to the seaman's pay account plus he would be assessed a certain number of lashes with a whip.

The entry in the punishment book would be "For unlawful carnal knowledge" usually in acronym form.

Admiral Levy made attempts over the years to get Congress to outlaw the practice of whipping American sailors and was rebuffed.

This consensus was that a good whipping was needed once in awhile to maintain discipline.

Finally, Levy came up with an idea. He brought a navy Sargent at arms to the floor of congress with a cat-o-nine tails and invited any member who felt it was minimal punishment to step forward and the chief would demonstrate on him.

The vote to abolish flogging in the U. S. Navy was unanimous

3 Comments:

Blogger Danny Barer said...

If the Congressional confrontation were to be adapted into a movie, the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives would probably respond by hefting the House of Representatives' Mace; and the two would have gone at it, mace vs. whip. Yeah. That would be cool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mace_of_the_United_States_House_of_Representatives

12:48 PM  
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Alan _
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1:58 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

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1:59 PM  

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