His Majesty's Frigate Macedonian was launched at Woolwich in 1810, at the height of the wars against Napoleon; its remains, refashioned as a seaside hotel, burned in the Bronx in 1922. It is barely remembered w, but in its time the Macedonian was recognized as the most important prize ever taken by the American navy--a distinction it holds to this day. The history of this one ship, recommissioned USS Macedonian after its capture from the British in the War of 1812, is an engrossing tale filled with battles, chases, near mutiny, and an engaging cast of commanders. The Macedonian played a prominent role in such major events as the liberation of Latin America, the war against the slave trade, the great Irish famine, and the American Civil War. Not just an entertaining narrative, however, the biography of this extraordinary ship is also a detailed portrait of gunboat diplomacy in the nineteenth century.
James Tertius de Kay has written a number of well-received books of American naval history: Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian; Monitor; and A Rage for Glory. He lives in Pawcatuck, Connecticut.