According to traditional sources, Edward Chinn was born in Bridgewater, England in 1732. By the late 1760s, he was living in Montreal where he was involved in the Indian trade. His associates and clients included many important personages. His business often carried him deep into the Indian country where he wintered with the Ottawas and at other Great Lakes locations.
At the outbreak of the war, his name appeared on a list of Canadian refugees fleeing to New York. During the 1770s, he was known to be at-large in northern Albany County, as a boarder in Albany, and as a resident of Claverack. In July 1779, he was about forty-seven when he married spinster Margaret Livingston - a former resident of Montreal and the sister of his military commander.
Although an Englishman, Edward Chinn had joined the crusade for American liberties as the paymaster and an officer in the Second Canadian Regiment. He served in New York and Pennsylvania and was taken prisoner in 1777. Later, he was "the only person left" in the New York "office of Commissioners of the Chamber of Accounts."
After the war, he took his bride to Claverack where their household was served by four slaves in 1790.
Edward Chinn died in August 1802 and was buried in the Albany Episcopal church cemetery. His widow returned to Albany in died in 1820.
Sources: The life of Edward Chinn is CAP biography number 7608. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 2/15/06