Collection of Isaac Hull Papers, 1791-1962
Isaac Hull was born in Derby (now Shelton), Connecticut in 1773 to Sarah Bennett Hull and Revolutionary War officer Joseph Hull. His military career began in 1798 when he accepted a commission as a lieutenant in the US Navy. He served with distinction aboard USS Constitution Quasi-War against France until 1801. In the years that followed, he rose steadily through the ranks and commanded USS Chesapeake and USS President before returning to Constitution as captain in 1810. Hull and his crew won the first American naval victory of the War of 1812 when Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere on August 19, 1812. Hull received praise for his gallantry and was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and several commemorative presentation pieces for his naval victories. After the war, Hull commanded the Pacific and Mediterranean Squadrons, as well as the Boston and Washington Navy Yards. He died in 1843 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The collection contains numerous letters, mostly personal, beginning from the time Hull left home in Derby, Connecticut and went to stay with his uncle, William Hull, and ending with memorial dedication services conducted as late as 1962. Also included are notes on Hull’s naval career, legal documents, and manuscripts.