History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883
Volume I, Page 656
Capt. Machin appears to have been engaged at New Windsor much of the year 1781, in the recruiting service, having the principal direction of that business; and to have disbursed much money.* The following paper from Capt. Hubbell shows in truth the situation as regards funds, of very many of the officers of the American army in the latter part of the war:
" DEAR Sir-I am under the necessity of sending a man off into Connecticut to-morrow morning, and have not a shilling of money for the poor fellow to bear his expenses; should therefore be exceedingly obliged to you for some money. As his going is a matter of moment to a number of the gentlemen of the regiment, beg you would oblige me in this request-12th March, 1781.
"I am, respectfully yours,
"Capt. Thomas Machin."
Difficulties in the recruiting service were unavoidable, as the following paper directed to "Capt. Machin, Artillery Park, New Windsor," will show:
"POKEEPSIE, April 20th, 1781.
" DEAR SIR-Mr. George Thompson informs me that one of your recruiting parties pretended to have enlisted his son, and that he apprehends difficulties will arise on the subject. If Mr. Thompson's information is right, it would appear that the business was unduly managed; however, as the old gentleman is of respectable character, I would not wish you to carry the
* In furnishing recruiting officers with orders, it was particularly specified that they should enlist no slave; tory or individual who had been in the service of the enemy.
Matter to any extremity ; but to submit it to the determination of the civil magistrate. He is ready to appear before any in the neighborhood.
" I am yours sincerely,
In the fall of 1781, Capt. Machin accompanied the park of Gen. Washington's army, and, as engineer, aided in laying out the American works at the memorable siege of Yorktown. His skill in gunnery, which caused Gen. Sullivan to exclaim of the cannonading at Newtown, near Elmira, that it was elegant; was again manifested in the' early part of this siege by sending a shell, agreeable to the orders of Gen. Knox, into the magazine of a small British vessel lying in the river, and blowing it to atoms. Gen. Knox is said to have remarked, with evident satisfaction, as the shell performed its mission, and the men were blown into the air-" See the d--d rascals go up."..."Thomas, son of Capt. Machin.
The following paper from His Excellency, affords additional evidence of his friendship and confidence:
"POKEEPSIE, 13th January, 1782.
"DEAR Sir-I was favored with your letter of the 16th ultimo, a few days ago. I am happy in the good opinion entertained of Mr. Tappan, and particularly obliged to your friendly offers respecting him, which shall be communicated to his father. The warrants for the several gentlemen lately appointed to your regiment will be forwarded by the present conveyance to the Colonel, as also certificates of their appointment to the War office.
"I have nothing worth communicating. Mrs. Clinton begs
you to accept the compliments of the season; and believe me,
" Dear Sir, with great regard,
" Your most obed't serv't,
" GEO. CLINTON.
"Capt. Thomas Machin."
Here is a paper from Maj. Popham, without date, which gives another evidence of the straitened condition of an American officer:
" DEAR MACHIN-The situation of my finances at present, obliges me to apply to you as a dernier resort. It must be hard times when a soldier is obliged to sell or pawn his arms. If you could dispose of my sword at Head Quarters, it would be infinitely agreeable to me; and if it was in your power to spare me a few dollars for present use, until your return, you would add much to the happiness of your friend. Nothing but extreme necessity could induce me to write what I could I not speak last night when I saw you.
" W. POPHAM.
" Capt. Machin."
" Paid £3 4s 0 specie.
" " 3 4 0 new emission.
" May 14- 3 4 0 specie."
By the memorandum on the paper, we may suppose the major's sword was sold for $24.
After the publication of my history in 1845, which contained the above letter; an article appeared in the Cooperstown Freeman's Journal, expressing very strong doubts about the genuineness of the letter: on which account through my friend Mr. Prentiss, editor of that paper, the original was submitted to the inspection of the critic; who in the same paper of March 28, made the amende honorable in the following manly retraction:
"Having been instrumental in exciting doubts as to the
authenticity of a letter purporting to have been written by my relation,
Major Popham, of the Revolutionary Army, and published in the "History
of Schoharie County, and Border Wars of New York," and being satisfied
from inspection of the letter submitted to me by the historian, Mr. Simms,
that it is genuine, I deem it an act of justice to him to publish the fact.
I was well aware at the time of publishing the communication in this paper,
signed "OTSEGO," that there existed no motive whatever for the
fabrication of the letter, and I never imputed any such act to Mr. Simms.
The long lapse of time since the letter was written, and the very advanced
age of Major Popham, now over ninety-three, may well have obliterated all
recollection of the occurrence from his memory, and induced the mistaken
supposition that the letter was a fabrication.
"JOHN C. MORRIS.
"Butternuts, March, 24, 1846."
The following extracts are copied from a letter from Lieut. Morris to Capt Machin, dated Burlington, March 24th, 1782 :
"You express an anxiety to be acquainted with our movements after we reached Lancaster to comply with your desire I am under a friendly injunction to give a relation of the expedition. We were ordered to that post to guard prisoners from thence to Philadelphia. but before we reached the place of our destination, we found ourselves fatigued to a great degree, from the deepness of the roads, and the summit of every hill we passed presented to our view the same sad comfort that we had just passed. However, a generous supply from the financier, and my own resources, rendered every obstacle a mere trifle, and soon erased from my memory that gloomy prospect I had pictured in my imagination.
" Suppose we change the subject and give you a little of the news. The French have at length succeeded on Brimstone Hill, in the island of St. Christophers, and are in quiet possession of that place. The British made an attempt to succor the garrison by landing 1000 men at Basseterre, but were repulsed with 400 of them killed.
" We are furnished with the debates of the House of
Commons by a late arrival from France: the minority are thundering away
against the prosecution of the American war, and the other party are strenuously
opposing them. I am clearly of the opinion they will continue it a campaign
or two longer. The Dutch, to my great astonishment, seem disposed to make
a peace with England through the mediation of Russia. This circumstance,
added to a little success the British have had in the East Indies, convinces
me they mean to spend a few millions more. I must conclude; and believe
me to be,
" Your friend and humble servant,
" W. MORRIS."
" P. S.--Remember me to my uncle Richard if you should see him."
The period at length arrived when Capt. Machin's great skill in engineering could not construct a breast-work to guard him against an arrow from Cupid's bow. In other words, when he was to love one of the softer sex, and feel confident that a virtuous young woman reciprocated the sentiment. The following extracts of a letter from Maj. Doughty hint the existence of the skillful Captain's tender passion.
"BURLINGTON-, March 27th, 1782.
"MY DEAR SIR-How goes on recruiting? Do you meet with encouragement? Is there any prospect of money from the State? These are questions I wish you would answer for me, for I feel interested in them all.
"You promised to write me on the subject of my depreciated
notes, and the prospect of improving them to advantage by joining you in
the purchase of the lands formerly Gen'l Clinton's: you have forgot your
promise-perhaps your being in love, and the dear object that inspires that
interesting passion so totally engrosses your attention, as to leave no
room for your friend Doughty. I know he must give way both to the passion
and its object, but still he must claim a share though a small one, of your
friendship and attention; and believe me that he esteems them both not a
little. Adieu-make my respects to Co1. Bedlow and family, Maj. and Mrs.
Logan, and believe me to be with the greatest truth,
" Your friend and servant,
The following paper relating to the service in which he was
then engaged, was received by Capt. Machin per Col. Cobb:
"HEAD QUARTERS, 24th May, 1782.
"GENT'N- You will proceed to Fisk Kill and there apply to Colonel Weissenfels for the proportion of the levies destined for your line, one half of which are for the regiment of artillery and the other half for the regiment of infantry.
"So soon as you have received your proportion of Col. Weissenfels' regiment, you will: send them on to the regiments for which they are destined, under the care of all officer, and the remaining officers will wait at Fish Kill to receive those which will be sent from Co1. Willet's regiment, which are to be divided in the same manner. Before you send away the recruits,you will make a return to me of the number you have received.
"I am, &c.,
"Signed GO. WASHINGTON."
"To Capt. Machin,
The following extracts are made from a letter from Lieut. R. Parker to Capt. Machin, dated George Town, July 6th, 1782.
"Capt. McClure and myself are stationed at this place. Its situation I suppose you are acquainted with its trade is much increased within a short time past, a number of valuable prizes have been sent here. Rum, and most kinds of west India goods are plenty. The southern army and the country in general receive great advantages from it. I believe they could scarcely be supported without it.
"Here are a number of fine girls and rich widows. I have not yet got far in love-but can't promise for the future some fair nymph may captivate my heart-and while guardian reason sleeps, Cupid's fatal shaft may wound my rising heart and make me own his superior power, &c., &c.
"We have no news: Gen. Greene lays near Goose Creek, twenty miles from Charleston. An evacuation of Charleston and Savannah is daily expected by our sanguine friends.
"I have hardly got over celebrating the fourth of July in a Bacchanal frolic-Impute my inaccuracies to a pain in the head, &c." "
The following letter from Capt. Machin to Oliver Wendell, Esq., of Boston, discloses the fact at which Maj. Doughty hinted, and adds another evidence to the truism, that the course of true love is often a thorny one:
"NEW WINDSOR, 10th Aug't, 1782.
"HONORED SIR-An experimental knowledge of your philanthropy has emboldened me to address you on this occasion. Know, then, my Dear Sir, that I am at this time engaged to a young lady in the State of New York: the day for our union was set, and we both, I am led to believe; waited with equal anxiety for the arrival of that happy period; in which I think two feeling souls would have been happily united in the honorable bonds of Hymen. But to my great mortification, somebody was pleased to inform the young lady's friends that I had a wife in Boston. And as I always did, and I hope ever will, detest deception, be it of what kind soever it will: and much more that which is of all the most villainous; I therefore, relying on our former friendship and your justice, make no doubt but you will give the bearer, Mr. Dunning,. the young lady's and my friend, whatever information he may require, relating to my conduct when in Boston. Please to give my compliments to Mrs. Wendell, and believe me, Dear Sir, to be, with all the
esteem that is due to honor and merit,
" Your hum'l serv't,
"The Honorable Oliver Wendell, Esq."
The aspersions of some villain on the fair fame of Captain Machin were satisfactorily removed by Mr. Dunning's visit to Boston, and his marriage took place in August, 1782. He married Miss Susan, daughter of James Van Nostrand, who resided at or near Huntington, L. I. The marriage took place at the house of Timothy Dunning in Goshen, who had previously married a sister of Miss Susan.
The following letter from Lieut. Wood ward, shows to some extent the popularity and influence of Capt. Machin in the army:
"WEST POINT, 26th Oct., 1782.
"DEAR SIR-- While I was gone to Poughkeepsie the day before yesterday, Lt. Tappen was so imprudent as to give permission. for William Ockerman to leave the Point to go to New Windsor, and return the same evening; but in order to keep alive the dignity of his former conduct he has broke into Goshen goal. That is, I am informed he is taken by the constable for a tavern debt. Col. Stevens desires you will take upon you the trouble of procuring his enlargement and send him to Camp. His inducement for requesting you to undertake the task, is because that you, by some means or other, can accomplish it, while another officer would not be able to succeed. You must give my best compliments to Mrs. Machin, &c., &c. .
" I am, dear sir, with every sentiment of respect,
"Your ob't, humble serv't,
At this period, general officers were deficient in funds.
"LITTLE .BRITAIN, NOV. 9th, 1782.
"DEAR SIR-I received your favor by Serj't Reino, and should have sent you the balance of Maj. Bush's account as you have made it out if I had the cash, which article I never was scarcer of than at present; at the same time must inform you that you have not given me all the credit in your account that I ought to have; but that is a matter we can easily settle when opportunity serves. I wish it was in my power to pay you the whole or half due on the account of your location ; as soon as it is I, I will do it: if I can't soon I will give you a note or bond with interest.
"I am, sir, yours, &c.,
Considerable correspondence passed between Joseph Wharton, Esq., of Philadelphia, and Capt. Machin, in the year 1782. It began in the latter part of the preceding year, as the following letter will show:
"PHILAPELPHIA, Dec. 24th, 1781.
"Mr. Thomas Machin:
"SIR-- You have been so obliging as to offer me your services in the State of New York, I commit to your care two deeds from Col. George Croghan to me; the first dated April 3d, 1780, for twenty-five thousand four hundred and seventy-seven acres of land, with a release for the same; and the other for eleven hundred and fifty-seven acres, dated June 27th, 1780, with its release; and both tracts situated on and near Lake Otsego in Tryon county in that State. These lands becoming more and more valuable, it's necessary the deeds should be recorded in the proper office. And as I have some reason to apprehend an assignment of the Mortgage on these lands to the late Governor Franklin, is attempting to be obtained, when probably some hasty step may be pursued to recover payment by public sale, injurious to my property; I earnestly press it upon your friendship to have the deeds recorded in Albany, or wherever the most suitable office is, in the most expeditious manner; and for your assiduity herein as well as the necessary charges, I will gratefully pay due honor to your draft. The repossession of the deeds will give me great satisfaction; yet I would not have them sent, unless a gentleman of character and whom you know can be found to be entrusted with them. In the meantime, I beg you will inform me by post the moment the deeds are enrolled, as well as any farther information you may receive of the value of these lands in consequence of any rise since your departure from their vicinity; for surely the late glorious victory to the Southward, and our proximity to absolute independence must have started the value of such excellent tracts.
"I have shown you Mr. Hooper's Field Book, containing as well his description of the exterior lines of my 15,074 acre tract on the Tennedena, as the qualities of the land of each 1,000 acres, the whole being surveyed into fifteen lots; and you have read that the soil and other natural' advantages are very good and exceeding great. Will you, sir, be pleased to enquire the utmost price that can be obtained for the whole of this tract payable in two months, or rather one-half in six weeks and the other in three months with interest ill specie or sterling bills on France? Because if this 15,000 acre Tract will command what I conceive it will, it will enable me to keep the Otsego Tract to a future day, and a far more beneficial price. I must also request you will have the offices searched to know what Mortgages and Judgments are on the Otsego Tract; for although there maybe a Judgment or two, yet whether the legal steps have been pursued to secure payment previous to the time you will have my Deeds enrolled is the question. Among other favors you are going to bestow on me, do let me know the Law of your State in regard to Mortgages, that is whether any time is limited for their recording? Whether a second or third Mortgage being entered first does not supersede, or at least obtain first payment? And if a Deed enrolled prior to a previous Mortgage (as in my case) will not bar a recovery by the Mortgagee?
"It may be necessary to explain the hint I have given relating to Governor Franklin's * Mortgage for £1,800 your money, which is, that his creditors here and in Burlington are endeavoring to procure his Assignment of Testament if I have the word right), and although it ever was my disposition that Justice should be done, yet prudence dictates a cautionary prevention to the sale of my estate to my disadvantage, which surely would be the circumstance if it was to be sold at this period. For I suppose in cases of sequestration your State, like ours, hath taken care that just creditors shall be satisfied as far as such estate will admit.
" I am, with respect,
" Your most obed't, humble serv't,
Under date of September 11, 1782, Mr. Wharton wrote Capt.
Machin as follows:
" My situation in life requiring me to raise a capital sum of money in the Course of the Winter, has determined me to sell the Otsego Tract, containing about 27,000 acres; provided I can be paid one-third part on the sale, and the remainder in the Spring. My price will be twenty shillings this currency (Specie) per acre. [He proposed to let 7,000 pounds of the purchase remain unpaid, with security. He considered the land worth, he said, thirty shillings per acre. He added--Should my limit be thought too high, let me know the highest sum obtainable for the whole tract, payable in part down and the rest in six months with interest; or if it would be more agreeable, I will take twenty thousand pounds for it, and the purchaser to be accountable for the incumbrances" [which were some £2,000 New York currency on that and a tract of 40,000 acres adjoining]. Col. Croghan was buried about ten days since."
The reader may here see what was once the value of the rich lands around Cooperstown.
*Lest my readers may not be aware of the fact, I here remark that the Governor Franklin above alluded to was a son of Doctor Franklin. and at the beginnIng or the war was Governor or New Jersey; that not observing the just counsels of his father, he espoused the cause of the mother country whIch had honored him wIth the Executive authority of a colony. A desire to retain place has forfeited for many individuals the good opinion of the virtuous, and the rich inheritance of parental good deeds.
The campaign of Gen. Sullivan 'in 177'9, discovering the valuable lands in Western New York, was the means of their being brought into market. The following paper from Capt. Nestell, shows where some of the lands in the earliest transfers were situated, and the price they brought :
"April 17, 1783.
"Received of Ebenezer Burling the full sum of thirty pounds, which was his subscription for a Right of six hundred acres of land between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. Received by me,
On the 21st of January, 1783, Gov. Clinton sent the bounds
of a certain lot of land to his friend, with the following request:
"Capt. Machin will please to take a view of the above Tract, and see that the settlements are properly made, and no land cleared that will injure the Tract in point of timber. That the persons who live on it clear annually a proportion of swamp, and plant out fruit-trees, and make such agreement with them as shall be easy and reasonable; but they are to be Tenants at Will, as I may conclude to sell. Fix on the most convenient place for a homestead, and erecting a dwelling-house, &c., supposing it to be divided into two farms.
"Pokeepsie, 21st Jan., 1783."
On the 17th of April following, Capt. Machin wrote Gov. Clinton from Murderer's creek, that he had made a beginning of the works at the Great Pond-was cutting timber, and expected to have a dwelling ready to move into within five weeks from that time, etc., etc,; to all of which doings Gov. Clinton wrote an approving letter April 19th.
Mr. Machin was commissioned a Captain by Gov. Clinton, and the council of appointment March 12, 1793, to take rank as such from August 21, 1780. The appointment was confirmed by Congress on the 28th of the following April 19th.
On the approach of peace, in 1783, we find Capt. Machin laying aside his war-like implements, and, Cincinnatus like, following his plow. He settled at a place called New Grange, Ulster county, a few miles back of Newburgh, where, in 1784, he erected several mills, as a grist-mill, saw-mill, etc.
The following order of the Quarter-Master-General, on Lieut.
Denniston, is inserted to show the reader how particular that officer was
in closing his business:
" NEW YORK, Ap rill 10, 1784.
"SIR-Capt. Machin will deliver you six spades and shovels, which he received last summer from the store at Newburgh. You will deliver him one band for the nave of a wagon wheel, and two wagon boxes, to complete a wagon he bought of the public;
"TIM: PICKERING, Q. M. G.
"Mr. George Denniston, West Point."
About the 1st of September, 1784, Gov. Clinton removed from
Kingston to New York, as appears by several letters to Capt, Machin, directed
to his address at "Great Pond, Ulster county;" by which it appears
the Captain was to send down his winter's stock of fire-wood.
The fol1owing credible voucher appears to close the correspondence between Capt. Machin and his former General :
" This is to certify that I have been acquainted with Capt. Thomas Machin ever since the year 1776, and have had considerable dealings. with him, and I always found his accounts to be just.
" Given under my hand the 7th of March, 1786.
" JAMES CLINTON."
The correspondence between Machin and Gov. Clinton closed with the fol1owing letter (until the latter was chosen Vice-President of the United States), which is inserted because it tells so credibly and justly for that honest Republican, who not only dealt honorably with the unprotected himself, but desired all others to do likewise. His honesty in the Revolution made him exceedingly popular wherever known:
" NEW YORK, 13th November, 1786.
" DEAR SIR-The bearer is a brother-in-law and executor to Mr. Briggs, deceased. He has been here some time settling the affairs of the deceased. Among the little property he has left for his children, the location under a military right in your hands is a principal part. Mr. McClagley is anxious to know how it stands, and whether you have done the needful to give a title to the executors for the use of the infants, For this purpose he means to call on you on his way home, and the regard I have for the widow and family has induced me to write you on the subject, not doubting, at the same time, that yon will pay every attention to them and their business.
" Yours sincerely,
A Copper-coinage Firm.-On the 18th of April, 1787, Capt. Machin formed a copartnership with Samuel Atlee (a porter brewer), James F. Atlee, David Brooks, James Grier and James Giles (an attorney at law), all of the city of New York. The term specified for its continuance was seven years, with a capital of £300. The firm seems to have been formed for the avowed purpose of coining copper, provided Congress, or any of the State Legislatures, enacted a law allowing individuals to coin money. As the object was to make money, a small capital was considered sufficient for the undertaking. On the 7th of June following, that firm formed a copartnership with one then existing, which consisted of four partners-Reuben Harman, Esq.; William Coley, of Bennington county, Vt.; Elias Jackson, of Litchfield county, Ct.; and Daniel Van Voorhis, goldsmith, of the city of New York--for a term of eight years from the first of the following July, that being the limitation of an act of the Legislature of Vermont to said Harman, for the coinage of copper. The first mentioned firm was to furnish a capital of £500 for the concern; £200 of which capital, with £400 more, New York currency, to be paid to the latter firm two years after, was to be theirs as an equivalent for admitting the New York firm into communion with them, the latter being required to furnish no capital. The ten partners were to enjoy equally "the benefits, privileges, and advantages arising from the coinage of copper in the State of Vermont, to be coined in that State, and also in Connecticut, New York, and elsewhere, as the parties should think fit." On or before the first day of July the first mentioned, or New York firm, were required, by the copartnership, "to complete, at their own cost, the works then erecting at the mills of the said Thomas Machin, near the Great Pond, in the county of Ulster," while the other part of the firm agreed, in the same time, to complete works they were then erecting, at Rupert, in the county of Bennington; Vt.
Agreeably to the written, contract, Giles was to have charge of the writing and book-keeping.; Harman and Coley were to manage the money changers at Rupert; and Machin and J. F. Atlee were to "manage, act and perform that part of the trade which concerned the coinage of money and manufacturing hard ware" at Machin's Mills; Grier was to be cashier of the money coined at Rupert;" Van Voorhis, "cashier of the money coined at Machin's Mills;" Grier and Jackson were to have the general management of the expenses, purchase of necessary articles, etc.; while other joint business was to be performed by Brooks and Samuel Atlee. It was further stipulated that Giles should keep a "certain book of resolutions;" that the firm should meet, either in person or by proxy in in other members, agreeably to a written form of authority incorporated, on the 1st day of February, June and October of each year, at Rhinebeck, New York, unless otherwise agreed upon. In case either of the partners obtained a grant from Congress or any of the States to coin money, the profits resulting from such act were to be shared by all the partners, who also bound themselves personally, "in the penal sum of one thousand pounds," for the punctual performance of the contract.
Whether the long firm of money makers ever found the business profitable, is uncertain; but from Mr, Machin's papers I am led to conclude they never effected much. At his mills perhaps a thousand pounds of copper was manufactured, as appears by the papers, in the year t 789; previous to which little seems to have been done. "What is everybody's business is nobody's;" and the saying seems to have been verified in the doings of this copper firm: for in a letter from J. F. Atlee to Mr. Machin, dated Vergennes, October 14, 1790, he expresses a wish that the concern might arrive at a settlement on equitable terms, and compromise their matters wIthout a tedious and expensive law suit.
In January, 1791, Capt. Machin removed from New Grange to the town of Mohawk, Montgomery county, from-which town were afterwards organized the towns of Charleston, Glen, and part of Root. The fall previous to his removal he had visited his lands, accompanied by two hired men, and erected a log tenement, cleared a fallow, planted fruit-trees, currant bushes and sallad,-made sap-troughs, etc., etc., as is shown by a journal he kept at the time. His lands were situated 10 miles north of Schoharie Court House; and 20 south of Johnstown village.
Capt. Machin continued to practice surveying after his removal to Montgomery county, and several officers of the army were among those who profited by his skill, among whom were John Lamb, his former Colonel and Gen. Nicholas Fish. His political influence was sought for years by the active Republicans of Montgomery and Schoharie counties, at that period when political parties were known as Federal and Republican. Among Mr. Machin's personal friends was George Tiffany, Esq., a native of Massachusetts, who settled in Schoharie about the time the county was organized. * Capt. Machin took no little pains to educate his children, a son and a daughter.
At the close of the war, Capt. Machin became a member of the Cincinnati Society. He also belonged to the fraternity of Free Masons, and on the establishment of a lodge in Schoharie, he was appointed master to install its officers. Silas Gray was also appointed as senior and Johannes Dietz junior wardens of the same. The following is the evidence of Capt. Machin's appointment :
"To all, Greeting:
" Be it known that I, Ezra Ames, Grand High Priest of the G. R. A. Chapter of the State of New York, by virtue of power in me vested by the third Sec'n. and fourth article of the General Grand Constitution, Do hereby authorize and empower our worthy Brother, Thomas Machin, to install the officers of Ames Mark Lodge, in the town of Schoharie, County of Scho'e., agreeable to the Gen'l. Grand Constitution of the United States, and to make returns of his proceedings thereon, at the next session of the G. Ch.
"EZRA AMES. "Albany, 4th Feb., 5807. " [Year of the world:]
* Mr. Tiffany was a fine classic scholar, and while in Schoharie county was distinguished for his legal ability.
By the following letters from his old friend Gov. Clinton, who was then Vice-President of the United States, it appears that Capt. Machin, sought for a pension, and, afterwards, its increase:
" WASHINGTON, 14th April, 1808.
"DEAR SIR-Agreeably to the request contained in your letter, I have done what was necessary on my part to give success to your application to be put on the Pension List. It gives me pleasure to render you this little service, being, with great regard,
" Yours sincerely,
" GEO. CLINTON.
" Capt. Thomas Machin."
"WASHINGTON, 6th March, 1810.
" DEAR SIR-Yesterday I received your letter of the 22d of last month. You may rely on every assistance in my power to afford, to obtain an increase of your pension. But the preparatory steps to an application can be done most conveniently to you in the State, under a commission from Mr. Talmadge, the District Judge. I have requested Mr. K. K. Van Rensselaer to communicate to you the manner in which this commission is to be obtained, as well as the necessary subsequent measures to be taken previous to your application; to accomplish which, if expeditiously performed, may yet be in season for the present session of Congress. I am, with best respects to Mrs. Machin,
" Yours sincerely,
" GEO. CLINTON."
" Capt. Thomas Machin.
Capt. Machin, after seeing the country of his adoption, in the defense of which he had freely shed his own blood, pass triumphantly through two wars with Great Britain, at the close of each gaining the admiration and respect of the world, died at his residence in Charleston on the evening of April 3, 1816, aged 72 years. A brief notice of his services and death appeared in the Albany Gazette of April 15th, which closed with the following sentence: "In the camp and in retirement his qualifications were holden in very high consideration." He was buried with Masonic honors.
In a letter of personal introduction from Col. Aaron Burr to Henry Remsen, Esq., dated at New York, December 30, 1830, I find the following sentence: "Capt. Machin, who will have the pleasure to hand you this, is the son of my friend and fellow soldier, Capt. Machin, who was a distinguished officer in our Revolutionary war, and was probably known to you.
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