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Hull, Isaac (1773-1843) Naval Officer: Isaac Hull was born on March 9, 1773, in Derby, Connecticut. His father died when young Hull was a child, so his uncle, General William Hull, adopted him. General Hull wished to educate him to enter Yale College, his own alma mater. However, young Hull had a passion for the sea, and could not get excited about anything else. At 14, Hull became a cabin boy on a merchant ship. When Hull was 16, he saved the captain of the ship when it was wrecked. Before he turned twenty-one, he was commander of a ship that sailed to the West Indies. His reputation was so high that he was able to enter the US Navy, at he age of 25, as a 4th Lieutenant. Hull served in the Tripolitan War, and was appointed to the frigate "Constitution," which was nicknamed "Old Ironsides." In 1812, he captured the British frigate "Guerrière." He went on to command Mediterranean and Pacific squadrons. Hull died on February 13, 1843, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Early life [ edit | edit source ]
Claimed birthplace, Shelton, Connecticut
Isaac Hull was born in Derby, Connecticut (some sources say Huntington, now Shelton, Connecticut), on March 9, 1773. ΐ] < Α] 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. Β] Γ]
During the mid-1790s, the young Hull commanded several merchant vessels, losing some to French privateers.
Isaac Hull (1773 - 1843)
Commodore Isaac HULL Esquire was born 9 Mar 1773 in Derby, New Haven, CT and was christened 6 Jun 1773 in First Congregational Church Of Derby. He died Feb 1843 in Derby, New Haven, CT and was buried in Derby Colonial Cemetery, Derby, New Haven, CT. Isaac married Anna McCurdy HART on 1813.
Isaac Hull was a Commodore in the United States Navy. He commanded several famous US naval ships including the USS Constitution, serving in the Quasi War, the Barbary Wars and the beginning of War of 1812. In the latter part of his career he was commander of the Washington Navy Yard, and later the Mediterranean Squadron.
1798: 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 Constitution in the Quasi-War with France.
1802: When troubles with the Barbary states heated up in 1802, he went to the Mediterranean as First Lieutenant of the frigate Adams.
1809: 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.
1809: In 1809 Hull briefly commanded the USS Chesapeake.
1810: Isaac Hull assumed command of the USS Constitution in June 1810. his time on the ship was eventful.
1811: 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 Britain.
Command of Constitution 
Medal awarded to Hull by the United States Congress. Congressional Gold Medal Isaac Hull assumed command of the USS Constitution in June 1810 his time on the ship 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 Britain. 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 Guerriere at sea and pounded her to a wreck 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.
|USS Constitution engaging HMS Guerriere|
Hull commanded the Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery, Maine, for the rest of the War of 1812, then briefly served on the Board of Navy Commissioners in Washington, D.C. Later he was leader of the Boston Navy Yard. During 1823–1827, he commanded the Pacific Squadron operating out of South America aboard the USS United States. Commodore Hull's next assignment, as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, 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 at the age of 69 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is buried there in Laurel Hill Cemetery.
U.S. surrenders Fort Detroit to the British
During the War of 1812, American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit and his army to the British without a fight. Hull, a 59-year-old veteran of the American Revolution, had lost hope of defending the settlement after seeing the large English and Indian force gathering outside Detroit’s walls. The general was also preoccupied with the presence of his daughter and grandchildren inside the fort.
Of Hull’s 2,000-man army, most were militiamen, and British General Isaac Brock allowed them to return to their homes on the frontier. The regular U.S. Army troops were taken as prisoners to Canada. With the capture of Fort Detroit, Michigan Territory was declared a part of Great Britain and Shawnee chief Tecumseh was able to increase his raids against American positions in the frontier area. Hull’s surrender was a severe blow to American morale. In September 1813, U.S. General William Henry Harrison, the future president, recaptured Detroit.
In 1814, William Hull was court-martialed for cowardice and neglect of duty in surrendering the fort, and sentenced to die. Because of his service in the revolution, however, President James Madison remitted the sentence.
Hull, Isaac - History
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 48939-KN.
Early in life, he joined his father, a mariner, on local voyages and longer trips to the West Indies. During the mid-1790s, Hull commanded several merchant vessels, losing some to French privateers.
In March 1798, Hull was commissioned a lieutenant in the new United States Navy.and distinguished himself during the next two years while serving on board the frigate Constitution in the undeclared war with France. When troubles with the Barbary powers heated up in 1802, he went to the Mediterranean as first lieutenant in the frigate Adams. He later commanded the schooner Enterprise and the brig Argus, receiving promotions 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.
Captain Hull&rsquos tour in Constitution was eventful. He took the ship on a European cruise in 1811&ndash12, returning home before the War of 1812 broke out between the United States and Great Britain. An enemy squadron closely pursued his ship off the East Coast in July, but Hull skillfully evaded them. On 19 August 1812, Constitution encountered the British frigate Guerriere at sea and pounded her to a wreck 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.
For the remainder of the War of 1812, Isaac Hull commanded the Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery, Maine, then briefly served on the Board of Navy Commissioners in Washington before taking over leadership of the Boston Navy Yard. From 1823&ndash1827, he commanded the U.S. squadron operating along South America&rsquos Pacific Coast.
Commodore Hull&rsquos next assignment, as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, 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 spend the next two years on leave. He died at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 13 February 1843.
March 9: He Put the Iron in “Old Ironsides”
Today in 1798, 25-year-old Isaac Hull, who was destined to become one of the United States’ most famous heroes of the War of 1812, began his distinguished career in the Navy after accepting a commission as a fourth lieutenant aboard the U.S. frigate Constitution.
Born in 1773 in Derby, Connecticut, young Isaac was raised by his uncle William Hull, a hero of the Revolutionary War, after his father, who also fought in the war, died from health complications aboard one of the British Army’s notoriously hellish prison ships. At age 14, Isaac gave up the chance to attend Yale College in favor of becoming a cabin boy on a merchant vessel. Within five years, the talented young seaman had earned command of his own ship, participating in the lucrative West Indies trade.
In 1798, on his 25th birthday, Hull accepted a commission as a fourth lieutenant in the newly re-organized United States Navy, which came with a posting to the service’s brand-new frigate USS Constitution. Over the next several years, Hull steadily rose through the ranks. After distinguishing himself in both the Barbary Wars and Quasi-War with France, he was given command as captain of the Constitution. Shortly after war was declared between the United States and Great Britain in June 1812, Hull gained national fame by engaging a British frigate, the HMS Guerriere, in a fierce naval battle on the open sea, 400 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In a bold and daring move, Hull commanded the Constitution’s gunners to hold their fire — in spite of relentless cannonading from the British — until the American frigate had maneuvered herself directly alongside the Guerriere. Then, on Hull’s signal, the Constitution opened fire at point-blank range, demolishing the British warship and forcing the surrender of its entire crew. Amazingly, despite Hull’s putting his ship directly in the line of fire, the Constitution suffered minimal damage, earning her the nickname “Old Ironsides.”
One of the many popular images of the famous War of 1812 battle between the Constitution and the Guerriere. (Yale Art Gallery)
Captain Isaac Hull was welcomed back to American shores as a hero, and even his natal state of Connecticut — home to some of the most ardent anti-war sentiments in the entire country — couldn’t resist joining in the celebration of its famous native son. Newspapers boasted of Hull’s bravery, and etchings and mezzotints depicting the famous sea battle could be found on virtually every city street corner.
Ironically, the same war that saw Isaac Hull lionized as a hero saw William Hull, the uncle who had raised him, court martialed, convicted of cowardice, and sentenced to death by firing squad, after he surrendered the American garrison at Detroit to the British without firing a single shot in the frontier fort’s defense. (William Hull’s cowardly surrender took place on August 16, 1812, only three days before his nephew’s celebrated naval victory.) Though President Madison later set aside William Hull’s death sentence, his reputation was permanently shattered, and the shame of the surrender followed him to his death.
His nephew Isaac Hull’s fame and prestigious career arc continued unabated, however, and the heroic naval commander subsequently found himself in charge of the Portsmouth, Charleston, and then Washington Naval Yards, while intermittently serving as Captain of various Navy ships. Finally, in 1841, Isaac Hull was forced to retire from the Navy due to ill health, and he bowed out of the service after a long and distinguished career at the age of 68.
One of Connecticut’s most famous Navy heroes, and the man who put the iron in Old Ironsides, first reported for duty, today in Connecticut history.
--> Hull, Isaac, 1773-1843
Isaac Hull (1773-1843) commanded USS Constitution in her 1812 victory over Guerriere, in which it earned the sobriquet "Old Ironsides." He later commanded the Boston, Portsmouth, and Washington Navy yards and was appointed Commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron in 1838.
From the description of Isaac Hull Collection, 1798-1841. (New-York Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 479784380
Isaac Hull was born 9 March 1773 Huntington (now Shelton) CT. His commands included the schooner Enterprise and the brig Argus in 1803, the frigate Constitution in 1810-1812, the Navy Yards at Boston, Portsmouth and Washington, the Pacific Station (1824-1827) and the Mediterranean Station (1838-1841). He died 13 February 1843 Philadelphia PA.
From the description of Letterbook of Isaac Hull, 1838 August-1839 December 6. (New England Historic Genealogical Society). WorldCat record id: 49282009
Isaac Hull, U.S. naval officer, was born in Shelton, Connecticut on March 9, 1773. He joined the Navy in 1798 and saw action in the hostilities with France that year, the War with Tripoli and the War of 1812, when he, in command of the Constitution, defeated HMS Guerriere. He was CO of the Pacific and Mediterranean Squadrons in the post-war period.
From the description of Letter, May 24, 1824. (Naval War College). WorldCat record id: 730451274
From the description of Papers of Isaac Hull, 1811-1930. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79453753
1773, March 9. Born Shelton, Conn.
Raised by uncle in Newton, Mass.
1798, March 9. Appointed lieut., U.S.N.
1810. Given command of "Constitution."
1812, Aug. 19. Captured British frigate "Guerrière."
1813, Jan. 2. Married Anna McCurdy Hart.
1815. Took command of Boston Navy Yard.
1824. Achieved rank of commodore, and command of Pacific station in frigate "United States."
1829. Appointed commandant of Washington Navy Yard.
1838. Chairman of the Navy Board of Revision.
1839. Jan. 4. Arrived at Port Mahon in "Ohio" to command Mediterranean station.
1841, July 17. Arrived in Boston.
1842. Retired to Philadelphia.
From the description of Papers, 1810-1842. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 13087734
Isaac Hull (1773-1843), the nephew and adopted son of William Hull (1753-1825), was a naval officer in the U.S. Navy from 1798 to 1841. During the Tripolitan War, Hull, commander of the brig _Argus_, cooperated with William Eaton in capturing the town of Derne, as this was essential to Eaton's plan of restoring Hamet Caramalli as Bashaw of Tripoli.
William Eaton (1764-1811) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1790. He was commissioned captain in the U.S. Army in 1792 and, in 1798, was appointed U.S. consul to Tunis. During the Tripolitan War, Eaton served as a special representative of the American government, with the title "Navy Agent to the Barbary States."
From the description of Letterbook, 1804-1805. (American Antiquarian Society). WorldCat record id: 191259443
Exiting the Chesapeake, Hull steered north with the goal of rendezvousing with a squadron that Commodore John Rodgers was assembling. While off the coast of New Jersey on July 17, Constitution was spotted by a group of British warships that included HMS Africa (64) and the frigates HMS Aeolus (32), HMS Belvidera (36), HMS Guerriere (38), and HMS Shannon (38). Stalked and pursued for over two days in light winds, Hull used a variety of tactics, including wetting down the sails and kedge anchors, to escape. Reaching Boston, Constitution quickly resupplied before departing on Aug. 2.
Moving northeast, Hull captured three British merchantmen and obtained intelligence that a British frigate was operating to the south. Sailing to intercept, Constitution encountered Guerriere on Aug. 19. Holding his fire as the frigates neared, Hull waited until the two ships were only 25 yards apart. For 30 minutes Constitution and Guerriere exchanged broadsides until Hull closed on the enemy's starboard beam and toppled the British vessel's mizzen mast. Turning, Constitution raked Guerriere, sweeping its decks with fire. As the battle continued, the two frigates collided three times, but all attempts to board were turned back by determined musket fire from each ship's marine detachment. During the third collision, Constitution became entangled in Guerriere's bowsprit.
As the two frigates separated, the bowsprit snapped, jarring the rigging and leading to Guerriere's fore and main masts falling. Unable to maneuver or make way, Dacres, who had been wounded in the engagement, met with his officers and decided to strike Guerriere's colors to prevent a further loss of life. During the fighting, many of Guerriere's cannon balls were seen to bounce off Constitution's thick sides leading it to earn the nickname "Old Ironsides." Hull attempted to bring Guerriere into Boston, but the frigate, which had suffered severe damage in the battle, began to sink the next day and he ordered it destroyed after the British wounded were transferred to his ship. Returning to Boston, Hull and his crew were hailed as heroes. Leaving the ship in September, Hull turned command over to Captain William Bainbridge.
Hull, Isaac - History
The Rev. Joseph Hull was born in 1596 in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England. He was educated at St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, receiving his B. A. Degree.
On 6 May 1635 he arrived at Boston, MA along with 104 others who would later be referred to as "Hulls Colony". Joseph Hull married twice and had a total of twenty-one children.
The second generation in America was Joseph's son Samuel Hull, Born ca 1649 in Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ, Died ca 1706. He married Mary Manning on 16 Nov 1677 and they had six children. They lived in both Maine and New Jersey along with settlers who's background must have been similar.
The Hull family is then traced from New Jersey into Anson County, North Carolina and Moses Hull, who was the fifth generation in the New World. Moses was Born ca 1729 in New Jersey and Died ca 1778 in North Carolina. His wife remains unknown. Records and Moses' will reveal at least four surviving children:
- William Jackson Hull - Born ca 1750 in New Jersey, Died Jan 1778 in Leonardtown, MD. He married Sarah. They had three sons:
- 7th Generation
- Josephus Hull - Born ca 1772 in North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Brown. They lived in an area of Tennessee that fell into the new county of Fentress and probably died there. They had six children.
Hull Family History
Additional Surname Resources
- Roots Surname List RSL offers registered Hull researchers listings showing the earliest and latest dates of their Hull family data, origination of family, migration route and last, the E-Mail address of the submitter of the Hull family data. RSL is now located on the RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative server and includes a growing list of searchable databases which will likely be of interest to the researcher. These folks do a great job!
William I. Hull Papers
The Papers contain correspondence (1900-1939), diaries (1892-1939), published and unpublished writings, papers relating to conferences and committees in which he participated, reference materials, and study and teaching notes. Of particular interest are his notes on the history of Quakerism in Holland, including files on persons and places as well as a translation of the minutes of Friesland Monthly Meeting of Friends (1677-1701), and a two-volume manuscript of his unpublished history of Swarthmore College.
His correspondence primarily concerns his peace activities, particularly his efforts toward limitation of armaments and an advocacy of international arbitration. Correspondents include Jane Addams, Devere Allen, Fannie Fern Andrews, Jacob Billikopf, Percy H. Boynton, Thomas S. Butler, Merle Curti, Paul H. Douglas, Anna Griscom Elkinton, Edward W. Evans, Abraham Flexner, Edwin Ginn, Sidney L. Gulick, Henry S. Haskell, J. Franklin Jameson, George W. Kirchwey, Henry Goddard Leach, Frederick J. MacFarland, George W. Nasmyth, Norman Penny, Elihu Root, L.S. Rowe, Joseph Swain, Benjamin Franklin Trueblood, Oswald Garrison Villard, Thomas Raeburn White, Janet P. Whitney, Richard R. Wood, and Stanley R. Yarnell. Organizations in which he was active with which he communicated include the American Peace Society, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Church Peace Union, Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Women's Peace Party, and the World Peace Foundation
|1. Correspondence, 1900-1939|
|2. Biographical and family papers|
|3. Writings: Quakerism in Holland|
|4. Writings: A History of Swarthmore College|
|5. Writings: Other books|
|6. Writings: Pamphlets, book reviews, articles|
|7. Writings: Unpublished|
|9. Conferences and Committees|
|10. Reference material|
|11. Annotated books from the library of William I. Hull|
|12. Study and Teaching Notes|
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Copyright and Rights Information
Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/ .
Biographical / Historical
William Isaac Hull (1868-1939), a Quaker and pacifist, taught history at Swarthmore College for 47 years, from 1892 to 1939.
Born in Baltimore, Hull attended the Friends Elementary and Secondary School in Baltimore prior to his studies at Johns Hopkins University where he earned a A.B. in 1889 and a Ph.D. in 1892. He also studied history abroad at the University of Berlin in 1891 and at the University of Leyden in 1907. Hull was the youngest faculty member at Swarthmore College when he was appointed Associate Professor of History and Economics in 1892. He served as Joseph Wharton Professor of History and Political Science, 1894-1904, Professor of History, 1904-1911, Isaac H. Clothier Professor of History and International Relations, 1911-1929, Howard M. Jenkins Research Professor of Quaker History, 1929-1939, and Librarian, Friends Historical Library, 1936-1939. In 1914 Hull went to the Netherlands Archives as Research Professor for the Carnegie Institution .
In 1898 Hull married Hannah Hallowell Clothier, member of the Class of 1891 of Swarthmore College. Both William and Hannah Hull were dedicated to the cause of world peace. William Hull was a pacifist, committed to world organization, disarmament, and international arbitration. He attended the Second International Conference at the Hague in 1907 and in 1908 published a history of the two Hague conferences (The Two Hague Conference and Their Contributions to International Law Boston, Ginn and Company, 1908), which was widely used as a text and a reference book. He was United States Delegate to the International Conference on Education at the Hague, 1914 and 1915 an official observer in Paris during the writing of the Covenant of the League of Nations attended the Washington Naval Conference in 1922 and the General Disarmament Conference at Geneva in 1932. In 1914 Andrew Carnegie appointed Hull to be the Quaker representative on the board of the Church Peace Union, where he served as a trustee for many years. Hull was also a Director of the World Peace Foundation, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Arbitration and Peace Society, and was a frequent lecturer for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was active in or frequently communicated with most of the leading peace organizations of the period. Hull communicated extensively on peace subjects with officials in the United States government and with members of Congress. In 1928 his testimony opposing expansion of the Navy at a Congressional hearing aroused great public controversy, especially from the Daughters of the American Revolution and from various veterans organizations. His wife, Hannah Clothier Hull (1872-1958), shared in many of his peace activities. She was particularly active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and her papers are preserved in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.
Hull published numerous books and pamphlets on peace and international relations. Also, beginning in 1929, when he was appointed Howard M. Jenkins Research Professor of Quaker History, Hull wrote extensively on Quaker history, especially on Dutch Quakers and on William Penn. He planned a series of twelve monographs on Dutch Quakers, five of which were published by Swarthmore College. The others were not completed before his death, but his papers have extensive notes or drafts for most of them. Also included in his papers is an uncompleted history of Swarthmore College, other manuscripts, speeches, pictures, material from conferences he attended, study and teaching notes, and reference material.
William I. Hull, a Quaker pacifist, taught history at Swarthmore College from 1892 until his death in 1939. He was the Librarian of Friends Historical Library and also authored numerous books and articles, particularly on the subjects of Quakers in Holland, William Penn, peace, and international relations. The Papers contain correspondence (1900-1939), diaries (1892-1939), published and unpublished writings, papers relating to conferences and committees in which he participated, reference materials, and study and teaching notes. Of particular interest are his notes on the history of Quakerism in Holland, including files on persons and places as well as a translation of the minutes of Friesland Monthly Meeting of Friends (1677-1701), and a two-volume manuscript of his unpublished history of Swarthmore College. His correspondence primarily concerns his peace activities, particularly his efforts toward limitation of armaments and an advocacy of international arbitration.
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