Letter from Isaac Hull to Paul Hamilton, July 21, 1812
Between July 16 and 19, 1812, USS Constitution, under the command of Captain Isaac Hull, narrowly escaped a squadron of five British ships in a multi-day chase that demonstrated Constitution’s sailing capabilities and readiness for war.
This document is a contemporary copy of a letter from Hull to Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton that describes the event in detail, written just days before the ship arrived unharmed in Boston Harbor. This copy, which is not written in Hull’s hand, was likely transcribed by a clerk aboard Constitution. A copy such as this may have been kept for Hull’s own records. This document is not complete, however, as words and paragraphs are missing.