Thomas MacDonough

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War Hero
Date of Birth December 21, 1783
Place of Birth Delaware
Date of Death Nov 10, 1825 (41)
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Thomas Macdonough

Thomas Macdonough, Jr. was an early-19th-century Irish-American naval officer noted for his roles in the first Barbary War and the War of 1812. He was the son of a revolutionary officer, Thomas Macdonough, Sr. who lived near Middletown, Delaware. He was the sixth child from a family of ten siblings and was raised in the countryside. He entered naval life at an early age, receiving a midshipman's commission at the age of sixteen. Serving with Stephen Decatur at Tripoli, he was a member of "Preble's Boys", a select group of U.S. naval officers who served under the command of Commodore Preble during the First Barbary War. Macdonough achieved fame during the War of 1812, commanding the American naval forces that defeated the British navy at the Battle of Lake Champlain, part of the larger Battle of Plattsburgh, which helped lead to an end to that war.

Born: December 30, 1783, The Trap, New Castle County, Delaware
Died: November 10, 1825, at sea aboard USS Edwin, near Gibraltar
Place of burial: Middletown, Connecticut
Allegiance: of America
Service/branch: United States Navy
Years of service: 1800–1810, 1812–1825
Rank: Captain
Commands held: Lake Champlain squadron, Commandant, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 1815‑18, USSGuerriere, USSConstitution
Battles/wars: Quasi War, First Barbary War, –Battle of Tripoli Harbor, War of 1812, –Battle of Lake Champlain
Awards: Congressional Gold Medal
Relations: Thomas Macdonough, Sr. (father), James Macdonough (brother), Augustus Rodney Macdonough (son)

About Thomas MacDonough

American naval officer who served in the first Barbary War and the War of 1812 and was a member of Preble's Boys.

Before Fame

He worked as a clerk in Middletown before joining the Navy.


The city in which he was born, New Castle County, was renamed in his honor to MacDonough in Delaware.

Family Life

He was married to Ann Shaler.


Another influential person from Delaware like him was James Ponder.

Information related to Thomas Macdonough

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  • Naval artillery in the Age of Sail - Naval artillery in the Age of Sail encompasses the period of roughly 1571–1862: when large, sail-powered wooden naval warships dominated the high seas, mounting a bewildering variety of different types and sizes of cannon as their main armament.
  • 19th-century American naval officers
  • American military personnel of the Quasi-War
  • American military personnel of the First Barbary War
  • People who died at sea
  • Congressional Gold Medal recipients
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Latest information about Thomas MacDonough updated on October 30, 2020.

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