A View of Manchester N.H. Composed from sketches taken near Rock Raymond by J.B. Bachelder.
- Author: ENDICOTT & CO after BACHELDER, J.B.
- Publication place: New York
- Publisher: Endicott & Co, Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1855 by J.B. Bachelder in the Clerks Office of the District Court of New Hampshire
- Publication date: 1855.
- Physical description: Tinted lithograph, sheet 760 by 1000 mm, image 585 by 793 mm.
- Inventory reference: 12546
Manchester, as seen here in 1855, was a model company town designed by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, whose first mills opened there in 1838. Amoskeag wanted to create a utopian factory-city, built in a unified architectural style, where the company owned and controlled almost all of the city’s industry and housing while providing churches, schools and other amenities to its workers. The city was intended to become the Manchester of America, though the focus here was on textiles rather than steel. At its peak in the late nineteenth century, Amoskeag was the largest cotton textile producer in the world and had built the largest mill in existence. Bachelder’s view shows Manchester near the middle of its rise to prominence as a major production center.
Bachelder’s depicts the city of Manchester bustling with red brick mills, steam engines and smokestacks. The city is looming in the distance on the opposite bank of the Merrimack River, while an idyllic pastoral scene plays out in the foreground. This creates a stark contrast, all the while highlighting what an important New England mill-town Manchester had only recently become.
John Badger Bachelder (1825–1894) was born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire and produced thirty-five known city views, mostly of his native New England. He created this view while living in Manchester from 1854–56. His views have a documentary quality instilled by their being drawn after sketches or photographs that were taken from existing locations. This is made clear in the print’s title, which states that the view was “composed of sketches taken near Rock Raymond.” Rock Raymond, now a public park in Manchester called Rock Rimmon, remains a popular location for hiking and, of course, taking in the view of the city below.