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Thomas Machin


Born near Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England. Machin served with British infantry and fought at Minden, Germany, in August, 1759, during the Seven Years War. He worked as a civil engineer in England. In 1772 he came to America and settled in New York City. He soon moved to Boston. He is believed to have participated in the "Boston Tea Party" in December 1773.

Machin served as a lieutenant of artillery in the Continental army. He was injured in June 1775 at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Machin served as engineer for the defenses of Boston in 1776. In July 1776 he served under Colonel George Clinton. In October 1777 he was shot through the chest near Fort Montgomery. He recuperated at the farm of recently elected Governor George Clinton.

Machin designed the chain to be placed across the Hudson River at West Point. It was installed in April 1778 and was never tested by the enemy. Governor Clinton promoted him to Captain retroactively to August 21, 1781. He was honorably discharged November 3, 1783 having served during the entire eight year period of the war.

Machin married Susan Van Nostrant in August 1782. His son, Thomas Machin, Jr. was born July 17, 1785.

On March 3, 1787, Machin petitioned New York for the right to coin money. He built a mill west of Newburg, New York, and struck copper coins. Machin was a Freemason. He died in Charleston, Montgomery County, New York.

bio: ApCAB; Colonial Newsletter Nov 1983.

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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