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Ruggles family papers

Call Number: MS 1199

Scope and Contents

The Ruggles Family Papers consist of correspondence, household accounts and receipts, leases and other personal and financial papers of Herman, Ellen McCoy, Thomas Colden, Julie Flewwelling, and Ellen Rosalie Ruggles. Since both daughters remained with their parents and since Thomas Colden Ruggles also returned home periodically, the papers form a nearly continuous record of the family's social and economic life over a period of nearly twenty five years, ca.1845-1867. Particularly well documented are the household accounts and business transactions involving land holdings in the Union Square area of New York City and around Cleveland, Ohio, and the purchase, refurbishing, and upkeep of a new family home in Jersey City, New Jersey, ca.1855.

Papers of a specific family member, including letters addressed to them by immediate family members, correspondence with others, and financial records kept by them, are arranged by family member at the beginning of the collection. Other more general types of papers, such as household bills and receipts, inventories, calling cards, and clippings, are arranged by record type.

The papers of Julia Ruggles are the most extensive. Her correspondents include her brother, writing concerning his engineering work on the railroads of Virginia in the 1850's and of his Civil War assignments around Cincinnati. He also writes of his political leanings and his opinions of Lincoln. Sister Rosalie, in 1853, visited her brother in Virginia and took "the cure" at Hot Springs and White Sulphur Springs. Her letters to Julia describe the area and the social life.

Another of Julia Ruggles major correspondents is John Sweet, her agent in Rockport, Ohio. Following the death of her father in 1857 Julia assumed many financial responsibilities for the family's land holdings. Sweet's letters discuss tenants and rents, taxes, prospects for land sales, and oil rights. In 1864 the family decided to sell the Ohio property, and Julia traveled alone to Ohio to negotiate the sale. Her papers contain her notes made at the time as well as frequent letters from Rosalie describing conditions at home and giving advice.

The provenance of the Ruggles Family Papers is unclear. There is some indication that a portion of these papers was received with the Baldwin Company Papers, Ms.No.56. Similar papers were found in the Baldwin Family Papers, Ms.No.55 and were removed from them when the Ruggles Family Papers were processed in 1984.


  • 1789-1887
  • Majority of material found within 1832 - 1867


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The provenance of these papers is unclear. There is some indication that some papers were received with the Baldwin Company Family Papers, MS 56. Additional papers were removed from the Baldwin Family Papers, MS 55.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, household accounts and receipts, leases and other personal and financial papers of Herman, Ellen McCoy, Thomas Colden, Julia Flewwelling, and Ellen Rosalie Ruggles. Particularly well documented are business transactions involving land holdings near Cleveland, Ohio and the Union Square area of New York City prior to and during the Civil War. Also included are papers relating to Thomas Colden Ruggles' career as an engineer to domestic management of a new house in Jersey City, New Jersey, and to the family's political views during the Civil War.

Biographical / Historical

Herman Ruggles, son of Lazarus and Hannah Bostwick Ruggles of New Milford, Connecticut, was bon on March 20, 1778, the thirteenth of fourteen children. Among his siblings was Philo Ruggles, father of Samuel Bulkley Ruggles (Yale, 1814), developer of the Gramercy Park and Union Square of New York City.

Herman Ruggles married Ellen McCoy (d.1865) in 1813. They had three children: Thomas Colden (b.1814), Julia Flewwelling (b.1816), and Ellen Rosalie (b.1828). Thomas Colden Ruggles was an engineer and worked in Virginia and upstate New York. During the Civil War he was stationed in Cincinnatti, Ohio. The family home was in New York City, near Union Square, and after 1855 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Both daughters remained at home with their parents. Herman Ruggles died in September, 1857, but Julia and Thomas Colden continued to manage the family land holdings in New York City and near Cleveland, Ohio.

Guide to the Ruggles Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane Ellen Kaplan
April 1984
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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