Here lie the remains of the family of James McDonough, an Irish immigrant who purchased land at this location in 1748. Seven children were raised here by James and his wife Lydia. Their eldest, Thomas McDonough, was a prominent local physician. In March 1776, he was chosen to serve as a Major in Delaware’s Continental Regiment. Senior officers being absent, he was in command of the regiment at the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. Charged with protecting the retreating Americans, the Delaware Regiment and their Maryland comrades prevented the capture of the army, and a defeat that may well have ended the Revolution. Returning to his home following the Battle of White Plains, he was commissioned as a Colonel in the Delaware Militia. Actively involved in civil affairs, he was a member of the state Privy Council 1777-79. Elected in 1780 to the General Assembly’s upper house, then known as the Legislative Council, he later served two terms as Speaker of that body. He was appointed Justice of the Court of Common Pleas and Orphan’s Court in 1788, and continued to serve in the judiciary until his death in 1795. Thomas and Mary McDonough were the parents of ten children, among them a son Thomas, who achieved fame in his own right as an officer in the United States Navy. He is buried in Connecticut.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Connor Graham at (302) 744-5019 or via email at

LOCATION: Middletown, Route 13 south, 4 miles below the C&D Canal