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A New Hampshire Rarity—Ruggles’ Pirated Carrigain Map

Rare, early wall map of New Hampshire by Edward Ruggles, pirated from the 1816 map by Philip Carrigain, “New Hampshire by Recent Survey.”

This is the 1837 "Improved" edition; the first Ruggles edition was issued ca. 1817.

The map shows New Hampshire divided into counties and land grants. It is bordered by Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, the Atlantic, and part of Lower Canada. Roads are marked with dotted lines, towns are indicated, as are rivers, lakes, and ponds. There are also indications of industry, with the identification of iron factories. Other features of importance are mountains and hills and turnpikes.

Dartmouth College is indicated with a building symbol. Churches are indicated with a spire. Several areas of land are not yet granted, while others have been granted to institutions, such as Dartmouth College and the Atkinson and Gilmanton Academies.

To the right is a title block that includes a dedication to the citizens of New Hampshire. Below it is an inset view, "View of Bellows Falls and Mansion House Hotel Taken from the Western Bank." Bellows Falls are in Vermont, near the border with New Hampshire, at the town of Rockingham. Timbers from the dismantled hotel would be used in 1848 to build the Russell Hyde House, which stills stands at 6 School Street in Rockingham.

The view was engraved by O. T. Eddy (1799-1868) while in nearby Walpole, N. H. Originally from Greenbush, Vermont, Oliver Tarbell Eddy was trained in engraving by his father, Isaac Eddy. He also invented an early typewriter but made his income primarily from portrait painting, which he performed around the northeastern United States.

Ruggles, who made this map, was from Walpole. Details of his life remain few and vague beyond this map and another, “A Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut, & Rhode Island” (Hartford, Vermont, 1819). It is possible that this Edward Ruggles was related to Edward Ruggles Jr. from Pomfret, Connecticut, who produced several maps and sought subscriptions for a terrestrial globe in the final decades of the eighteenth century.

The controversial publication of the Ruggles Map of New Hampshire

While an early map of New Hampshire, this edition is actually a pirated version of the first official map of the state. Ruggles took the 1816 work by Philip Carrigain, “New Hampshire by Recent Survey,” and reduced it, which led to the omission of some of the detail. The inset was swapped for the view of Bellows Falls and there is at least one update; the Coos County township labeled “Durand” on Carrigain’s map is here “Durand now Randolph.”

In previous centuries maps were quite openly copied and reprinted. The practice still occurred in the early-nineteenth century, although copyright laws were then in place. Piracy was also less acceptable by the early-nineteenth century, at least to some. Ruggles’ duplicity was noted in an indignant article that ran in the New Hampshire Patriot. Part of the column reads:

We have seen a ‘Map of New-Hampshire from late survey…. Who ‘Edward Ruggles’ is, we know not; but this we do know, that independent of the mean attempt to deprive Mr. CARRIGAIN of the small compensation he was likely to receive for the years of assiduous labor bestowed on the Map which has done honor to our State, the wretched draught and more wretched engraving and execution will be its sufficient condemnation to all men of taste and discernment. Really, one would suppose that even the Dublin parson would be ashamed to exhibit this Map among his rare collection of pictures: as a caricature it might answer very well to go along-side of Bonaparte and the Deveil, which we have sometimes seen in barbers’ shops. For the honor of our State, it is hoped the ugly picture, (for map it can scarcely be called, except from the bungling, blurred letters spelling that word) will never travel beyond its limits—From the attempt to trace contiguous towns in Massachusetts, this thing was evidently copied, or attempted to be copied, from Carrigain’s elegant map…We cannot believe, however, that the good people of New-Hampshire will be at all inclined to do injustice to the merits of Mr. Carrigain by purchasing Mr. Ruggles’ Map of New-Hampshire. (New Hampshire Patriot, vol. IX no. 37 (Dec. 16, 1817), p. 2)

Carrigain had been financially ruined by the expenses of creating his own map and he is possibly the author of this impassioned review. The Ruggles map, therefore is not only rare, it is also notorious, and an intriguing example of early U.S. regional cartography.

New Hampshire in the Early Republic

New Hampshire was one of the original thirteen colonies and subsequently became the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution in 1788. The state was divided between the wealthy merchants and shipowners who lived along the seacoast. Inland, wealthy farmers lay claim to land. At the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, day laborers worked on the docks, ships, mills, and farms, while enslaved peoples also labored in industry and in households.

Concord, in the south-central part of the state, was named the capital in 1808. In 1835, just before this edition of the map was published, abolitionists from Dartmouth College founded an interracial school, the Noyes Academy, in Canaan. Mere months later, opponents to integrated education destroyed the school, dragging the building with oxen and lighting it on fire. Slavery was officially outlawed in 1857, although the final census to show slaves was that of 1840.


The map is very rare, especially this later 1837 edition.  

We were unable to find an example of the 1837 edition offered for sale in any auction or dealer catalogs. David Cobb, in New Hampshire Maps to 1900, locates only two examples in institutional collections (Dartmouth College and the Library of Congress).

Condition Description
Wall map, backed on new linen. Some soiling an toning and other signs of age and use. Several minor areas of loss, replaced with facsimile image.
David Cobb, New Hampshire Maps to 1900: An Annotated Checklist (New Hampshire Historical Society, 1981), map 129. KAP