Oil on canvas, c. 1830–35?
The victory of the Constitution—“Old Ironsides”—in the first months of the war elevated not only the ship, but its captain, Isaac Hull, to legendary status throughout America. So great was the force of the war’s celebrity that a man described as “a sturdy, fat-looking fellow” won the hand of a renowned Connecticut beauty of whom it was said, “it would be difficult to meet with a lovelier face or figure.”
Seventeen years his junior, Ann McCurdy Hart married Captain Hull barely four months after the Constitution’s victory, to widespread surprise. During their marriage, Ann traveled with her husband on various cruises, and the couple were known for their shipboard entertainments when in port. Such was the influence of the beguiling Mrs. Hull that it was once commented that she was in “command of the ship.”