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Isaac Hull (March 9, 1773February 13, 1843) was a Commodore in the United States Navy.


Isaac Hull was born in Derby, Connecticutmarker (some sources say Huntington, now Shelton, Connecticutmarker, see postcard picture).Early in life he joined his mariner father, Joseph, on local voyages and longer trips to the West Indies. After his father died while still young, Isaac was adopted by his uncle William Hull, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.

During the mid-1790s, the young Hull commanded several merchant vessels, losing some to Frenchmarker privateers. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the newly-formed United States Navy in March 1798 and distinguished himself during the next two years while serving on board the frigate Constitutionmarker in the Quasi-War with France.

When troubles with the Barbary states heated up in 1802, he went to the Mediterraneanmarker as First Lieutenant of the frigate Adams. Hull later commanded the schooner Enterprise and the brig Argus, receiving promotion to the rank of Master Commandant in 1804 and to Captain in 1806. During the next few years, he supervised the construction of gunboats and, in 1809 and 1810, was successively given command of the frigates, Chesapeake, President and Constitution.
Medal awarded to Hull by the United States Congress
Captain Hull's time on the Constitution was eventful. He took the ship on a European cruise in 1811–1812, returning home before the War of 1812 broke out between the United States and Great Britainmarker. An enemy squadron closely pursued his ship off the East Coast in July, but Hull skillfully evaded them. On August 19, 1812, Constitution encountered the British frigate HMS Guerrieremarker at sea and pounded her to a wreckmarker in an action that electrified the Nation and demonstrated that the small U.S. Navy was a worthy and dangerous opponent for Britain's otherwise overwhelming maritime might.

Hull commanded the Portsmouth Navy Yardmarker at Kittery, Mainemarker, for the rest of the War of 1812, then briefly served on the Board of Navy Commissioners in Washington, D.C.marker before taking over leadership of the Boston Navy Yardmarker. During 1823–1827, he commanded the Pacific Squadron operating out of South America. Commodore Hull's next assignment, as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yardmarker, ran from 1829 until 1835. Between 1839 and 1841, he commanded the Mediterranean Squadron.

Rendered unfit for further service by age and ill health, he spent the next two years on leave. Commodore Isaac Hull died in Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker.

Namesakes and honors

The U.S. Navy has named five ships in honor of Isaac Hull, including: USS Commodore Hull ; USS Hull ; USS Hull ; USS Hull ; and USS Hull marker.

The Commodore Isaac Hull Memorial Bridgemarker spanning the Housatonic River between Derbymarker and Shelton, Connecticutmarker is named after him.

Further reading

  • London, Joshua E. Victory in Tripoli: How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005. ISBN 0-471-44415-4

See also


External links

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