Hull, Isaac

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Hull, Isaac,

1773–1843, American naval officer, b. Derby, Conn. He served in the undeclared naval war with France (1798–1800) and in the Tripolitan War before being promoted to captain in 1806. In 1810 he was given command of the Constitution. Early in the War of 1812 he slipped his ship out of Chesapeake Bay and, evading seven enemy ships, succeeded in making his way through the British blockade to Boston Harbor. On Aug. 19, 1812, the Constitution met the Guerrière in one of America's great sea battles. Hull's superior seamanship forced the British vessel to surrender.


See his papers, ed. by G. W. Allen (1929); biographies by B. Grant (1947) and L. T. Molloy (1964).

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Hull, Isaac

(1773–1843) naval officer; born in Huntington (now Shelton), Conn. (nephew and adopted son of General William Hull). He served in the undeclared naval war with France and the Tripolitan War. As commander of the USS Constitution (1810–12) he won an outstanding victory over the British Guerrière (1812), earning the Constitution the nickname of "Old Ironsides." During the next 30 years he alternated between commands of naval yards and overseas squadrons.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.