Thursday, November 13, 2008

What the Hull?

Continuing a series of brief local history posts, I bring you Commodore Isaac Hull. He was born in Derby, Ct. in 1773.
At age 14 Isaac Hull became a cabin boy on a merchant ship, and that was the start of his seafaring career.
He is famous for being the captain of a frigate, the USS Constitution, commonly called “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812.

According to Wikipedia, (you could look this up too – I’m just trying to help) “on August 19, 1812, the Constitution encountered the British frigate HMS Guerriere at sea and pounded her to a wreck 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.”

So there. Guess he was quite the commander.

Here in the Valley there is a heavily traversed state highway bridge that spans the Housatonic River, near its confluence with the Naugatuck River.
It’s called the Commodore Isaac Hull Memorial Bridge. If you’re headed to or from Fairfield County and NYC from this area you will no doubt drive over it.

There used to be an elementary school in Shelton, Ct., just across the Housatonic River from Derby, called Commodore Hull School. It was closed in the late 70s. Some people believe Hull was born in Shelton. I'm not going to get involved in that dispute! Most people believe he is from Derby.

Also according to Wikipedia, the U.S. Navy has named five ships after Hull. They include: the USS Commodore Hull, (1862-1865); the USS Hull (Destroyer #7); USS Hull (DD-330); USS Hull (DD-350); and USS Hull (DD-345).

He retired in 1841 and died in 1843 at the age of 69 in Philadelphia.


That was short and sweet, wasn't it? But I hope it might whet your appetite to learn more about one of our local heroes.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh i wonder if they have cake on those ships like my ships???

smiles, bee

Linda said...

We had some great men live in our State back in the day, didn't we? I wonder why they all moved out ...