The Brodheads first arrived in America when Daniel Brodhead, a Captain of King Charles II's Grenadiers in the British Army, was dispatched as a part of Nicolls’s Expedition to take New Amsterdam in 1664. Brodhead commanded a company that occupied a post in Esopus, New York, where he died two years later. Henry’s great granduncle was Brevet Brigadier General Daniel Brodhead IV, who served as colonel of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in the American Revolution. Henry was the nephew of U.S. Senator Richard Brodhead (his mother's brother).
The Linderman side of the family came to America in the eighteenth century. Jacob von Linderman was a younger son of a line physicians and lawyers from Saxony who occasionally served as counselors to the Electors of Saxony. He emigrated during the chaos of the War of the Austrian Succession and settled near Kingston, New York in 1750.
Linderman was born in Lehman, Pennsylvania. He studied medicine, first under his father, then completing a Doctor of Medicine from University of the City of New York in 1846. While in New York his preceptor was Dr. Willard Parker. Subsequently he practiced medicine in Pike County, and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, until 1853 when he moved to Philadelphia where he also practiced medicine for a short time.
He was active in politics as a Democrat. From 1855 until 1864 he was chief clerk of the US Mint in Philadelphia. Linderman resigned this office during 1864, and entered business as a stockbroker.
He was director of the mint from 1866 to 1869. On account of his great experience and thorough knowledge of such subjects, he was appointed by the secretary of the treasury to examine the mint in San Francisco, and to adjust some intricate bullion questions. In 1871 he was sent by the U. S. government to London, Paris, and Berlin to collect information concerning the mints in those places, and in 1872 he made an elaborate report on the condition of the market for silver. In order to find an outlet for the great amount of silver in the United States, he proposed the trade dollar.
With Knox, he drew up the Coinage Act of 1873. On the enactment of this law in April 1873, he was appointed superintendent of the mint and organized the bureau, and from that time had the general supervision of all the mints and assay offices in the United States. During his administration he gathered a choice collection of specimen coins, which were to be sold by auction in New York in 1887, but the U. S. government claimed them. As superintendent of the Mint, he wrote annual reports, of which that of 1877, arguing for the gold standard, is best known and most important. He also published Money and Legal Tender in the United States (New York, 1877).
Henry Linderman died on January 27, 1879, in Washington, D.C.