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Commodore Isaac Hull "I. Hull USN" Signed Letter
COMMODORE ISAAC HULL (1773-1843). Historic War of 1812 Hero and Celebrated United States Navy Commander of the Frigates, USS Chesapeake, USS President, and USS Constitution (Old Ironsides).
December 27, 1837-Dated Official 8" x 10" United States Naval Manuscript Letter Signed, "I(saac) Hull usn" at Washington, with Integral stampless "Free" Franked cover, Very Fine. This folded Letter was written and signed by Commodore Isaac Hull of the United States Navy. This Letter was mailed and Postmarked in red in "Washington City," and was sent to Dr. B. T. Magill in Philadelphia. Isaac Hull tells Dr. Magill that his name has been entered at the Navy Department on the list for Assistant Surgeon, and that he should be one of the first appointments. At its conclusion, the Letter is Signed, "J. Hull usn." (Apparently Dr. Magill was appointed as Asst. Surgeon of the Ship "Ohio.") The letter has some light age and scattered stains but overall is in very good, well written and easily readable condition.

Isaac Hull was born in Derby, Connecticut (some sources say Huntington, now Shelton, Connecticut, see postcard picture). Early in life he joined his mariner father, Joseph, on local voyages and longer trips to the West Indies. After his father died while still young, Isaac was adopted by his uncle William Hull, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. During the mid-1790s, the young Hull commanded several merchant vessels, losing some to French privateers. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the newly-formed United States Navy in March 1798 and distinguished himself during the next two years while serving on board the frigate USS Constitution in the Quasi-War with France. Commodore Hull was assigned as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 1829 until 1835. Between 1839 and 1841, he commanded the Mediterranean Squadron. The "Commodore Isaac Hull Bridge" carries Connecticut Route 8 over the Housatonic River, between Shelton and Derby, in Connecticut.

Isaac Hull was born in Derby, Connecticut. Early in life he joined his mariner father, Joseph, on local voyages and longer trips to the West Indies. After his father died while still young, Isaac was adopted by his uncle William Hull, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.

During the mid-1790s, the young Hull commanded several merchant vessels, losing some to French privateers. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the newly-formed United States Navy in March 1798 and distinguished himself during the next two years while serving on board the frigate Constitution in the Quasi-War with France.

When troubles with the Barbary states heated up in 1802, he went to the Mediterranean as First Lieutenant of the frigate Adams. Hull later commanded the schooner Enterprise and the brig Argus, receiving promotion to the rank of Master Commandant in 1804 and to Captain in 1806. During the next few years, he supervised the construction of gunboats and, in 1809 and 1810, was successively given command of the frigates, Chesapeake, President and Constitution.

A Special Medal was Awarded to Hull by the United States Congress

Captain Hull's time on the Constitution was eventful. He took the ship on a European cruise in 1811"1812, returning home before the War of 1812 broke out between the United States and Great Britain. An enemy squadron closely pursued his ship off the East Coast in July, but Hull skillfully evaded them. On August 19, 1812, Constitution encountered the British frigate HMS Guerriere at sea and pounded her to a wreck in an action that electrified the Nation and demonstrated that the small U.S. Navy was a worthy and dangerous opponent for Britain's otherwise overwhelming maritime might.

Hull commanded the Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery, Maine, for the rest of the War of 1812, then briefly served on the Board of Navy Commissioners in Washington, D.C. before taking over leadership of the Boston Navy Yard. During 1823"1827, he commanded the Pacific Squadron operating out of South America. Commodore Hull's next assignment, as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, ran from 1829 until 1835. Between 1839 and 1841, he commanded the Mediterranean Squadron.

Rendered unfit for further service by age and ill health, he spent the next two years on leave. Commodore Isaac Hull died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is buried there in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

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