John Lawrence Fink was a captain, and later lieutenant, of the 13th Infantry, United States Army under Colonel John Chrystie, during the War of 1812. In 1805, Fink had a butchers stand on Spring Street in New York City. Just before the war, he was an officer in a cavalry called the Flying Artillery , made up of butchers. Fink entered the official army on March 12, 1812, as a captain. He rose to 1st lieutenant on July 25, 1814, and was honorably discharged on June 15, 1815. On October 13, 1812, at the Battle of Queenstown, Fink was taken prisoner by the British and sent to Quebec. He and his cohort of prisoners of war were paroled to Boston and next to Staten Island where they were clothed and fed but not allowed to participate in war efforts. Fink remained in Staten Island until July 25, 1814, when he was promoted to captain. He participated in the Battle of Plattsburg in September 1814.
After the war, Fink tried his hand at farming in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and later worked at the customs house in New York City. He died November 1, 1850, in Greenpoint, Long Island.