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Guide to the Naval History Society Collection
1721-1995 (bulk 1781-1936)
  MS 439

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Celia Hartmann.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on May 29, 2018
Description is in English.

Container List

Series 27. Isaac Hull (1798-1841)

Scope and Content

The series comprises logbooks, letter books, combined journal and letter book volumes, and orders received by Captain Isaac Hull aboard various vessels and while in command of Navy Yards in Boston, Portsmouth, and Washington.

The USS Constitution material includes logbooks while it was under the command of Samuel Nicholson and Silas Talbot (Volume 1), and then under Hull's command, including immediately before its August 1812 engagement with   Guerriere. Its 1810-1811 logbook (Volume 3) includes "Commander Rodgers' Rules for Sparring and Rigging Frigates;" dimensions of British vessels built and launched 1809; dimensions of the USF   President, a bomb ketch, a gun boat, US Brig   Hornet, US Brig  Congress, and US Brig   Chesapeake, plus "an indent [order or requisition] of articles by various personnel, presumably of a frigate."

The letter books include copies of outgoing correspondence from Hull to Commodore John Rodgers, Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, and others (Volumes 2 and 4) while Hull was commanding USS Constitution; to Navy Secretaries William Jones and Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Navy agent Samuel Storer, Commodore William Bainbridge (see Series 1), and others (Volumes 6 and 7), while he was commanding Portsmouth Navy Yard; to Navy Secretary Samuel Southard and others (Volume 8), General Simon Bolivar, General Jose Ramon Rodil, Michael Hogan, and other US officials in South America (Volume 9), Secretary of the Navy James K. Paulding and others (Volume 14), and officers in the Mediterranean Squadron (Volume 15) while he was commanding USS   Ohio and USS   United States. The 1823-1827 order book (Volume 10) includes letters to officers under his command on the Pacific coast of South America while he commanded USS   United States.

The 1829-1831 and 1829-1835 letter books (Volumes 12 and 13) include correspondence to the Secretary of the Navy, Navy Commissioners, and others while Hull commanded the Navy Yard in Washington.

Two volumes combine letters with other materials. Volume 11 includes letters sent (August 10, 1824, to March 10, 1837), which are indexed on pp. 69-72, with orders sent (October 1, 1838, to October 12, 1840) to officers commanding vessels in the Mediterranean Squadron under Hull's leadership. Volume 17 includes a range of letters from October, 1838, to July, 1841, while Hull commanded USS Ohio as well as log entries, miscellaneous remarks, and copies of letters dated April 15 to August 2, 1841.

Portions of the collection are available on microfilm.

Biographical Note

1773: Isaac Hull born Derby, Connecticut, March 9

1798: Commissioned fourth lieutenant

1798-1800: Aboard frigate Constitution under Commodores Samuel Nicholson and Silas Talbot

1801: Takes charge of Constitution

1803: Commands USS Enterprise

1804: Promoted master commandant; as commander of brig Argus participates with Commodore Edward Preble's Mediterranean squadron in the war against the Barbary States

1806: Promoted captain; in Connecticut contracts for and superintends building of four gunboats

1809: Aboard USS John Adams and USS   Chesapeake

1810: Commands USS Constitution

1811: Conveys Joel Barlow, newly appointed US minister to France, and carries currency to Holland to pay interest on debt

1812: War is declared against Great Britain, June 20

1812: Sails from Annapolis July 12 to join squadron of Commodore Rodgers at New York.

1812: Constitution engages and ruins British frigate   Guerriere on August 19 while sustaining minimal damage and earns sobriquet "Old Ironsides"; Hull receives surrender of Captain Dacres

1812: Receives Congressional gold medal; Constitution's crew receives cash awards

1813: Commands Boston Navy Yard and Portsmouth Navy Yard

1815: Appointed to Board of Navy Commissioners

1824-1827: Commodore of Pacific Squadron flagship United States protecting American shipping and commercial interests

1829-1835: Commands Washington Navy Yard

1833: Commands USS Constitution after its reconstruction

1838: Appointed Commodore of Mediterranean Squadron

1839-1841: Commands European Squadron flagship USS Ohio

1841: Retires from active duty

1843: Dies 13 February in Philadelphia

Container 1     Title Date
Volume: 1 Log Book, US Frigate Constitution
1798 December 6 - 1800 October 20
Volume: 2 Letter book
1809 October 28 - 1811 March 16
Volume: 3 Remark Book and Journal, US Frigate Constitution
1810 June 17 - 1811 July 19
Volume: 4 Letter book
1811 March 29 - November 27
Volume: 5 Log, US Frigate Constitution
1811 August 2 - 1812 August 19
Volume: 6 Letter book
1813 February 25 - 1814 March 13
Volume: 7 Letter book
1814 March 16 - [1815] March 17
Volume: 8 Letter book
1823 October 25, - 1827 July 2
Volume: 9 Letter book, USS United States
1823 October 25 -1827 November 7
Volume: 10 Order Book
1823 November 24 - 1827 April 29
Volume: 11 Letter book and orders received
1824 August 10 - 1840 October 12
Volume: 12 Letter book
1829 May 14 - 1831 June 25
Volume: 13 Letter book
1829 September 18 - 1835 October 18
Volume: 14 Letters to Secretary of Navy, USS Ohio
1838 August 27-1840 February 12
Volume: 15 Orders and correspondence, USS Ohio
1838 Sept 20 - 1840 August 2
Volume: 16 Letter book, USS Ohio
1838 September 20 - 1841 July 2
Volume: 17 Journal and letter book
1838 October- 1841 August 2
Volume: 18 Letters to Navy Commissioners, USS Ohio
1840 February -1841 September 13

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