Online Encyclopedia

ISAAC HULL (1775-1843)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 869 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ISAAC HULL (1775-1843), commodore in the U.S. navy, was born at Derby in Connecticut on the 9th of March 1775. He went to sea young in the merchant service and was in command of a vessel at the age of nineteen. In 1798 he was appointed lieutenant in the newly organized U.S. navy. From 1803 to 18o5 he served in the squadron sent to chastise the Barbary pirates as commander of the " Enterprise," but was transferred to the " Angus " in November of 1803. When the War of 1812 broke out he was captain of the U.S. frigate "Constitution" (44), and was on a mission to Europe carrying specie for the payment of a debt in Holland. The " Constitution " was shadowed by British men-of-war, but was not attacked. In July of that year, however, he was pursued by a squadron of British vessels, and escaped by good seamanship and the fine sailing qualities of the Constitution." He was to have been superseded, but put to sea before the officer who was to have relieved him arrived—an action which might have been his ruin if he had not signalized his cruise by the capture of the British frigate " Guerriere " (38). Captain Hull had been cruising off the Gulf of St Lawrence, and the engagement, which took place on the 19th of August, was fought south of the Grand Bank. The " Constitution " was a fine ship of 1533 tons, originally designed for a two-decker, but cut down to a frigate. The " Guerriere " was of 1092 tons and very ill-manned, while the " Constitution " had a choice crew. The British ship was easily overpowered. Hull received a gold medal for the capture of the " Guerriere," but had no further opportunity cf distinction in the war. After the peace he held a variety of commands a t sea, and was a naval commissioner from 1815 to 1817. He had a high reputation in the United States navy for practical seamanship. He died at Philadelphia on the 13th of February 1843.
End of Article: ISAAC HULL (1775-1843)
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