1833 - The Bowman Forgery
Coventry History

A Counterfeiters Crucible
A Counterfeiters Crucible(1)

JAN 1833
...The indictment ..."And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that the said Zadock Bowman and Baxter Bowman, on the 22nd day of January, in the year of our Lord 1833, with force and arms, at Coventry, in the county of Orleans aforesaid, feloniously and unlawfully, did have in their possession a certain tool or other instrument, called a crucible, ... constructed and contrived for the purpose of melting ... copper, zinc and tin, to the imitation and likeness of good legal and pure silver ... for the purpose of forging, altering and counterfeiting the current silver coin of this state and of the United States, called half-dollars ... To this count the respondent demurred, and joinder by the state. After argument by I.F.Redfield * State's Attorney and Fletcher & Cushman for respondent. County court was reversed. Having a crucible in possession for the purpose of counterfeiting, does not constitute an offence under the 31st section of the act for the punishment of high crimes and misdemeanors.(2)

An 1833 Half Dollar
An 1833 Half Dollar

JUN 1833
...There is a host of counterfeiters constantly travelling from Canada into the United States ... A number of the counterfeiters have been detected ... nine of whom, I understand are in Irasburg prison, Vt. and several under bonds, who will have their trials on the 18th inst. ... the most extensive business of counterfeiting is now carried on ... That of Stephen Burroughs day bears no comparison to it ... Tavern keepers, traders, money lenders, and horse dealers are concerned ... and some persons who have hitherto maintained to all appearannces a respectable standing in society ... Some of the taverners have been put under bonds and their signs taken down. Counterfeit half dollars are also in circulation. ... one of the gang, who died in Sutton, Vt. about four weeks since ... (3)

NOV 1833
In the legislature "on motion of Mr Parker of Coventry **, resolved to request the Executive to express to the Governor of Lower Canada annd his officers the gratitude of this Legislature for their cordial and efficient efforts in repressing the desperate and extensive combinations of forgers ad counterfieters of American coin and bills in that province; passed"(4)

* Isaac.F.Redfield of Coventry, States Attorney 1832-1835.
** Isaac Parker of Coventry, State Representative 1833

1. The Strand Magazine 1894, coinauthentification.co.uk
2. Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court v. 6 (1831-1834) Cases In The Supreme Court, Orleans County, April Term, 1834, State vs. Zadock and Baxter Bowman
3. Brattleboro Messenger June 29 1833
4. American Repertory, 7 Nov 1833