Macdonough, Thomas

Macdonough, Thomas

(məkdŏn`ə), 1783–1825, American naval officer, b. New Castle co., Del. In the Tripolitan WarTripolitan War
, 1800–1815, conflict between the United States and the Barbary States. Piracy had become a normal source of income in the N African Barbary States long before the United States came into existence.
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 he took part in the burning of the captured Philadelphia and the attack on the Tripolitan gunboats. In the War of 1812, given command of a small fleet on Lake Champlain, Macdonough augmented his strength by building ships from the local forests. On Sept. 11, 1814, in a pitched battle, his makeshift fleet defeated the British and thoroughly disrupted the British plans that required control of the lake. By superior skill and planning Macdonough on his flagship, the Saratoga (26 guns), was able to defeat the Confiance (37 guns) in one of the most significant naval battles in U.S. history.


See C. G. Muller, The Proudest Day: Macdonough on Lake Champlain (1960) and Hero of Two Seas (1968).

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MacDonough, Thomas

(1783–1825) naval officer; born in New Castle County, Delaware. He entered the navy in 1800 and served in the Tripolitan War. During the War of 1812, he built and commanded a small fleet on Lake Champlain. He won a decisive victory against a British fleet at Plattsburgh (1814). He died at sea while returning from command of the Mediterranean Squadron.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.