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First Name: Isaac

Last Name: Hull

Birthplace: Derby, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 09 March 1773

Date of Death: 13 January 1843

Rank or Rate: Commodore

Years Served:
Isaac Hull

•  Quasi-War (Franco-American War) (1798 - 1800)
•  1st Barbary War (1801 - 1805)
•  War of 1812


Isaac Hull
Commodore, U.S. Navy

Isaac Hull was born on 9 March 1773 in Derby, CT. 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 General William Hull, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.

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

When troubles with the Barbary states heated up in 1802, he went to the Mediterranean as First Lieutenant of the frigate USS Adams. Hull later commanded the schooner USS Enterprise and the brig USS 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, USS Chesapeake, USS President and USS Constitution.

Captain Hull's time on the Constitution was eventful. He took the ship on a European cruise in 1811-12, returning home before the War of 1812 broke out between the U.S. 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 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. Hull commanded the Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery, ME, for the rest of the War of 1812, then briefly served on the Board of Navy Commissioners in Washington, DC, before taking over leadership of the Boston Navy Yard. During 1823-27, he commanded the Pacific Squadron operating out of South America. Commodore Hull's next assignment, as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, ran from 1829-35. From 1839-41 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 Philadelphia, PA, and his last words before dying were "I strike my flag."


The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded by the U.S. Congress to Commodore Isaac Hull on 29 January 1813.


The U.S. Navy has named five ships in honor of Isaac Hull, including: USS Commodore Hull (1862-65); USS Hull (Destroyer #7); USS Hull (DD-330); USS Hull (DD-350); and USS Hull (DD-945).

The Commodore Isaac Hull Memorial Bridge spanning the Housatonic River between Derby and Shelton, CT, is named after him.

Death and Burial

Commodore Isaac Hull died on 13 January 1843. He is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.


Honoree ID: 2659   Created by: MHOH




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