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Commander Isaac Hull

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Isaac Hull was born on March 9, 1773 in Derby, Connecticut to Sarah Bennett Hull and Revolutionary War officer Joseph Hull. He went to sea at an early age and, in 1798, accepted a commission as a lieutenant in the United States Navy.

Hull’s first naval assignment was aboard USS Constitution as fourth lieutenant. He served in that capacity until 1801, and during that time saw action in the Quasi-War against France. After later serving during the Barbary War, Hull was promoted to master commandant in 1804 and to captain in 1806.

On June 17, 1810, Hull was once again assigned to Constitution, this time as commander. In an effort to prepare his crew for the possibility of war with Great Britain, Hull ordered daily gun drills to hone the crew’s competence and skill. The constant drills paid off as, one month after the June 18, 1812 declaration of war against Great Britain, Hull and his crew met and defeated HMS Guerriere in the U.S. Navy’s first frigate victory. Upon returning home, Hull was awarded a Congressional gold medal and celebrated by the public for his naval gallantry and leadership. He remained in command of Constitution until September 2, 1812. Hull became a member of the Naval Board and subsequently commanded the navy yards at Boston and Washington. He continued on in the navy until his retirement in 1841 and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1843.

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