Macdonough, Thomas (məkdŏnˈə) [key], 1783–1825, American naval officer, b. New Castle co., Del. In the Tripolitan War 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).