COMMODORE HULL ABOUT ISAAC HULL
NEWS & EVENTS
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Isaac Hull was born in Derby, CT, in 1773. His father was a sea captain, and Isaac learned his nautical skills in Derby before joining the merchant service and commanding his first ship at the age of 19. When the new United States Navy was created in 1798, Isaac Hull was appointed a Lieutenant on one of the four ships built for the new navy. He proceeded to distinguish himself in the "quasi-war" with France and the war with the Barbary pirates.
When Hull attained the rank of Captain in the American Navy, he was put in command of the U.S.S. Constitution. On August 19, 1812, the Constitution became engaged in a battle with the Guerriere, an English Navy vessel. Within one half hour, the Constitution had won the battle, making it the first naval win for the U.S. during the War of 1812. Hull had used this heavier broadsides and his ship's superior sailing ability, while the British, to their astonishment, saw that their shot seemed to rebound harmlessly off Constitution's hull—giving her the nickname 'Old Ironsides.' This battle marked the first time in history that an English frigate had struck its flag to an American ship of war.
Hull went on to command the Portsmouth Naval Yard and build the USS Washington, the largest American battleship ever built at that time. Hull was promoted to Commodore in 1823. After Portsmouth he commanded the Pacific squadron, the Washington Navy Yard, and the Mediterranean squadron.
The U.S.S. Constitution is the oldest commissioned battleship in the U.S. Navy and is still on display in Boston Harbor. For more information, use the following links:
Visit the official site for "Old Ironsides" by clicking here.
Read the poem "Old Ironsides" by Oliver Wendell Holmes by clicking here.
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Commodore Isaac Hull
Chronology of Service
1798, 9 March
1801, 8 July
1802, 1 April
1804, 18 May
1806, 23 April
1807, 9 January
1809, 11 January
1812, 10 October
1814, 18 January
Appointed to USS Constitution as Lieutenant
Commission as Lieutenant delivered
Ordered to remain on board USS Constitution
Ordered to take charge of USS Constitution
Ordered to duty in USS John Adams
Ordered to command of USS Enterprise
Ordered to command of USS Argus
Promoted to Master Commandant
Promoted to Captain
Returned to the United States in Argus and ordered to Connecticut to contract for and superintend building of four gunboats
Commission as Captain issued
Ordered to Hampton, Virginia, to act as member of a Court of Inquiry
Ordered to Norfolk under Commodore Decatur
Appointed member of Board of Inquiry
Ordered to duty in USS John Adams
Ordered to Norfolk for duty in USS Chesapeake
Ordered to take command of Portland Station in addition to other duties
Ordered to command at New York
Ordered to Washington
Ordered to command of Boston Navy Yard
Ordered to command of Portsmouth Navy Yard
Granted short leave of absence
Ordered to report to Commodore Bainbridge at Charleston, SC
Appointed to Board of Navy Commissioners
Commodore of Pacific Squadon - Flagship United States
Commanded Washington Navy Yard
Commanded USS Constitution
Appointed Commodore of Mediterranean Squadron - Flagship Ohio
Died in Philadelphia, PA