Hull, William

born June 24, 1753, Derby, Conn.
died Nov. 29, 1825, Newton, Mass., U.S.

U.S. Army officer.

He fought in American Revolutionary campaigns in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. In 1805 he was appointed governor of Michigan Territory. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he was appointed brigadier general and charged with defending Michigan and attacking Canada. His poorly planned invasion of Canada forced him to retreat to Detroit, where he surrendered without a fight. He was court-martialed and convicted of cowardice and neglect of duty; his death sentence was remitted by Pres. James Madison because of his earlier service.

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▪ United States general
born June 24, 1753, Derby, Conn. [U.S.]
died Nov. 29, 1825, Newton, Mass., U.S.

      U.S. soldier and civil governor of Michigan Territory (including present Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) who was the subject of a celebrated court martial.

      A graduate of Yale College, Hull joined the American army during the Revolutionary War, serving in campaigns in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Both before and after the war he practiced law, and in 1805 President Thomas Jefferson named him governor of Michigan Territory. In 1812, at the outset of the war with Great Britain, he accepted a commission as brigadier general, in command of an army intended to defend Michigan and attack Canada. His invasion of Canada was clumsy and poorly planned; he retreated to Detroit and eventually, on Aug. 16, 1812, without a fight, surrendered his army and forts to the British.

      A court martial later convicted him of cowardice and neglect of duty and sentenced him to death. President James Madison approved the findings but remitted the sentence. Hull's surrender was a severe blow to American morale during the remaining two years of war.

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Universalium. 2010.

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