General Hull served bravely in the American Revolution but was a scared shell of a man in the War of 1812. He allowed himself to be bamboozled by General Brock and even more so by Tecumseh. He was terrified of the Indians.
Tecumseh paraded his warriors around the walls of Detroit 3 times to make it seem like there were more Indians than there were. Brock dressed Canadian militia in the spare uniforms of British regulars. They both played on Hull’s fears.
According to some accounts, Hull lost his nerve and collapsed in fear, drinking himself into a stupor.
The charges that he took money from the British, raised in this article from the Niles register, were groundless. But, it provided a good opportunity to harangue the public about those dastardly British!
Hull was court-martialed and sentenced to death for his ignominious surrender. President Madison upheld the ruling, but commuted the sentence and Hull was instead forced out of military service. Then end of his life cannot have been terribly pleasant as the man who gave up without a fight. Cowardice is its own punishment.
An interesting account of the surrender of Detroit is covered in an excellent upcoming (October 10) PBS documentary about the war of 1812. The review will be published here on October 5.